A Regulator of Church Purity: The Moral Law
The Grounds & Enforcement of the Moral Law via “The Death Penalty”
Important Clarifications Regarding Ignorant Sin & Willful Sin in Relationship to “The Death Penalty”
By a close study of “The Salvation of the Will” I have clarified to the reader the significance of The Doctrine of Willful Sin, as it pertains to regeneration and Church Purity. In doing so, I hoped to bring my reader into a full understanding of Old Testament regeneration as it related to The Death Penalty, a regulation enforced at the moral degeneration of “the will”. To understand the moral redemption of the saints in the OT and NT, we must understand that it is extremely difficult for the will of a regenerated man to move from Un-willful Sin to Willful Sin! This move is what John Wesley called, “The unquestionable progress from Grace to Sin”. Furthermore, also, this move is of equal difficulty to the possibility that Israel would be conquered and overthrown from national sovereignty in the Old Testament. Such a thing is impossible, indeed, except the Lord be provoked to allow it. After reading all that has been written, it is necessary to make some important clarifications which will enable us to see how the Moral Law is a regulator of Church Purity in Old Testament Israel, The Church.
The impression of each reader may differ, but let there be no mistake: After one willful sin a man does not utterly and irreversibly lose his salvation (as Hebrews 10:26-29 may seem to declare at first glance). This impression can appear to be strengthened by a quick overview of Numbers 15:22-31, which is quoted in Hebrews 11:28.
Willful Sin: Num. 15:30-31 (Note: The punishment of presumptuous sin is exemplified in Num. 15:32-36 (“they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day”). The meticulousness by which ALL commandments are bound with the same consequence is immediately demonstrated by Num. 15:22-23 & Num. 15:37-41, but see also Deut. 17:12-13, Deut. 19:11-13.
In both passages (Hebrews 10:26-29 & Numbers 15:22-31) willful sin is declared as unforgivable and un-atonable, thus it can be easily assumed that when this deed is committed once a man is forever lost. For those of you who have read all the sections in order up to this point, you know that this is not what the scripture teaches. After a regenerated man falls from grace (which is evident by a falling into willful sin), the man is not forever lost in an unforgiveable condition but, on the contrary, is able to be forgiven and restored once again. This is according to what is written, “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief” (Prov. 24:16).
This being the case, what is Hebrews 10:26-29 referring to? You may say, “But wait! Doesn’t Hebrews 10:26 state, ‘If we SIN WILFULLY… there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins’, so how is it that you are saying that there remains a sacrifice for sins when a man sins willfully?” The text forewarns of an unforgiveable condition, yes, but how a person arrives at this unforgiveable condition remains to be clarified. Hebrews 10:26-29 warns of reprobation (an unforgiveable condition) in a New Testament sense, and seeing that the Old Testament death penalty was in view as a contextual justification of this warning in the New Testament (see Heb. 11:28), we can understand that the Old Testament death penalty upon individual Israelites was the act whereby God reprobated the wicked from among Israel. Therefore, my reader, we must be careful to put a difference between being fallen and reprobated (as formerly addressed), in an Old Testament or New Testament sense.
Now you might say, yet again, “But the text does not say ‘if we continue to sin wilfully’, but, ‘if we sin wilfully’, which seems to mean that only one willful sin is what is warned against.” I understand that this is how the text appears at first glance, but a deeper study will prove the real meaning. According to Numbers 15, only he that “doeth ought presumptuously” is worthy of death, just as he that sins willfully in the New Testament is worthy of reprobation, but a closer study of the Law will reveal what constitutes the presumptuous sin warned against in Numbers 15.
“sinneth by ignorance” (Num. 15:28) ≠ “if we sin willfully” (Heb. 10:26)
“doeth ought presumptuously” (Numbers 15:30) = “if we sin willfully” (Heb. 10:26)
In terms of how we would commonly understand the phrase, “sin willfully” (Heb. 10:26), we would conclude that all sin which is done “by ignorance” is not willful sin. Understandably so. All sin which is done conscientiously and willingly, cannot also be done ignorantly. In simple terms, this is what appears to be in Moses’ mind when reading Numbers 15:22-31… but it is not that simple. The whole Law is written to depict very specific parameters beyond which, alas, sin passes the threshold beyond which potential forgiveness is lost forever. The threshold of reprobation is held in view by Numbers 15:22-31 and Hebrews 10:26-29, and even though the word “continue” is not used in those two texts, a single or short-lived walking in willful and conscientious sin is NOT the threshold of reprobation! And keep in mind, Old Testament reprobation was enacted by the Old Testament death penalty. To prove this, my reader, take a careful look at the Law. Contrast the two categories of crimes listed below. Are all the sins which are categorically forgivable, those which are “ignorantly” committed, commonly speaking?
Seeing that the writer of Hebrews is making a New Testament application from an Old Testament Law in Hebrews 10:26-29 (see “Moses’ Law”), what conclusions can we draw from the Law of Moses?
“For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' Law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 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?” – Hebrews 10:26-29
SUMMARY of MERCILESS PUNISHMENTS
“died without mercy” – Heb. 10:28, see Deut. 13:8, 19:13, 19:21 (Civil Justice), see Ezek. 5:11, 9:5-6 (God’s Justice)
If a man smites his mother or father (Ex. 21:15), curses his mother or father (Ex. 21:17), if a person is a witch (Ex. 22:18), if anyone lies with a beast (Ex. 22:19), if anyone makes a sacrifice to any idol (Ex. 22:20), oppresses a widow or orphan (Ex. 22:22-24), breaks the Sabbath (Ex. 31:15, Lev. 23:28-30, Num. 15:32-36), steals another man (called “man-stealing”, see Ex. 21:16, Deut. 24:7 ), eats the flesh of a sacrifice while being unclean (Lev. 7:20-21), eats the fat or blood of a sacrifice (Lev. 7:25-27), sacrifices anywhere but the Tabernacle of Congregation (Lev. 17:1-9), commits any number of sexual acts like as incest or bestiality (Lev. 18:7-23), if a man has sex (adultery) with a betrothed or married free woman and the deed is caught (in the act or upon the night of first union with husband she is found without the tokens of virginity; see Lev. 18:20, 20:10, Deut. 22:22-24, Deut. 22:20-21), eats a peace-offering on the third day (Lev. 19:5-8), gives of his seed to Molech (Lev. 20:1-3), consults wizards of familiar spirits (Lev. 20:6), curses God and blasphemes (Lev. 24:10-16), if any man does falsely prophecy (Deut. 13:1-5), entices another individual unto idolatry (Deut. 13:6-11), entices any multitude unto idolatry (Deut. 13:12-18), if a man commits idolatry (Deut. 17:2-7), if a man is disobedient to the Judges who stand to give the sentence in their day (Deut. 17:8-13), if a man is a false witness (Deut. 19:15-21), if a child is stubborn and rebellious and thus, unable to be corrected by chastisement (Deut. 21:18-21), if a man is conscientiously neglectful of an un-kept ox and it kills a man (The Death Penalty is potential but not required, dependent upon the party offended; see Ex. 21:29-31), if a man is a false witness of a crime that is worthy of death (Deut. 19:15-21), if a man engages in any lethal fight (pre-planned or sudden), including men, woman, pregnant women, and slaves, except in the occasion where the slave dies 2 days after the fight (Ex. 21:14, 21:12, 21:20-21, 21:22-23), if a man engages in pre-planned killing or murder (Numbers 35:15, 20-28, Deut. 19:4, 6, 11-13) …all such crimes are unforgivable, un-atoneable, and therefore punished by death.
SUMMARY of MERCIFUL PUNISHMENTS
If a man engages in a non-lethal fight with a pregnant woman (Ex. 21:22-23), if a man engages in a non-lethal fight with a slave (Ex. 21:20-21, 26-27), if a man has sex (fornication) with a woman who is not betrothed or married (Ex. 22:16-17), sex (adultery) with a betrothed woman who is a slave (Lev. 19:20-22), sex (adultery) with a betrothed or married free woman if the deed is un-caught (after the crime is committed the deed remained secret, but then by way of Divine-trial it is manifest, see Num. 5:11-31; but God has a right to judge whomever He wills, see Deut. 29:18-21), if a man steals an animal or an object of any value (Ex. 22:1-4, 7-13), if a man is conscientiously neglectful of an un-kept ox and it kills a slave or an animal (Ex. 21:32, 21:36), if a man is a false witness against a woman accused of committing sex or fornication (a sin which is worthy of death depending on how the fornication transpired, see Deut. 22:13-19), if a man commits ignorant or accidental manslaughter (Ex. 21:13, Numbers 35:15, 20-28, Deut. 19:4, 6, 11-13), if a man engages in pre-planned or sudden non-lethal fighting with a man, woman, pregnant woman or slave (Ex. 21:18-23), if a man engages in a pre-planned or sudden lethal fight with a slave whereby the slave dies two days after the fight (Ex. 21:20-21) [Note: In the case of fighting, “breach for breach” justice really does bring repentance (Lev. 24:19-20, Ex. 21:24-25).] …all such crimes are forgiven and atoneable as long as proper repentance and restitution is accomplished.
After reading the summaries listed above, can you see their relevance? Many might imagine that one willful sin, standing alone, warrants the punishment of death without mercy (cited in Hebrews 11:28). I say again, this is not the case. If this is truly not the case, what is meant by the warning written in Hebrews 10:26, “if we sin wilfully”? This phrase or, “doeth ought presumptuously” (Num. 15:30), is an expression of experiential damnation which matches its antithesis which expresses experiential salvation – “doth not commit sin” (1 Jn. 3:9). The text which expresses experiential damnation does not say, “he that continues to sin presumptuously and willfully”, but only that he that does the deed. Likewise, the text which expresses experiential salvation does not say, he that does not continue to commit sin, but he that does not commit sin. In each expression the word continue is not used, but the act of continuance is in reference.
Hebrews 10:26 appears to decry as reprobation the sin called, “if we sin wilfully”, when it is committed only one time, but there are many sins which are forgivable and atoneable even though they are done conscientiously, willingly, and presumptuously (seen categorically contrasted above). My reader, this is because when willful sin is committed one time, a saint is fallen but not reprobated (as exhaustively addressed in former chapters!). Despite the easily misunderstood phraseology and with all things considered, the warning of NT reprobation or OT death penalty is to those who continue to commit willful sin. Committing one willful sin or even some willful sins does not merit The Death Penalty (cited in Hebrews 11:28), but when a man continues to commit willful sin he will pass a certain threshold of Divine fury whereby his sins become unforgivable and un-atoneable. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament testify to this!
By the phrase, “doeth ought presumptuous”, does Moses mean to describe one presumptuous sin? In certain instances found in Old Testament Law this may appear to be the case, but in other instances many willful sins do not result in the OT death penalty at all (they are forgivable and atoneable as long as proper repentance and restitution are accomplished). Before looking at these specific situations in the Law which give the appearance that one willful sin results in The Death Penalty, one MUST UNDERSTAND the progress of Grace to Sin which leads to those greater crimes. The truth be told, continuous willful sin was already at work within the man long before he committed the greater crimes of the Law.
1) Fallenness is experienced when any willful or presumptuous sin (inwardly or outwardly) is committed one time.
2) Reprobation (The Death Penalty) is experienced when any willful or presumptuous sin (inwardly or outwardly) is committed with continuance.
God be praised that, when an Old Testament saint falls from grace into willful sin, he is not immediately and mercilessly slain by The Death Penalty! God is merciful. He makes provision for mercy to them that have fallen from grace, as long as when they fall they do not stubbornly go on in it with continuance. To backslide into fallenness is hard. To backslide into reprobation (The Death Penalty) is harder. When a man continues in willful sin inwardly he will be led to commit the greatest of crimes outwardly, crimes which are punished by death without mercy, but all progress thereto is HARD! I say again, the progress from standing, slipping, fallen, to reprobated is HARD!
In Old Testament Law, the difficulty of moving from ignorant sin to presumptuous sin is apparent.
A pre-planned sin is a conscientious, willful, and presumptuous sin, and this is a deed not easily committed by regenerate men. For example: A sin committed suddenly and in the moment of passion can be considered one which is not willful because it happened so fast and therefore, unintentionally. It is for this reason that, in a good conscience, a man can affirm that a certain sin is not pre-planned. Indeed, this line of reasoning is apparent for a number of lesser sins depicted in OT Law. By lesser, I mean, looking with lust upon a woman outside of marriage, or, looking with covetousness upon a neighbor’s physical possessions. To look is one thing and to act is another. Lesser sins, like the two formerly described, can be committed suddenly and unintentionally (ignorantly/unwillingly) as in a moment, but for a man to act upon those lusts is very different. A man cannot act out in a sin like unLawful sex suddenly and in a moment (ignorantly/unwillingly), even if it was not pre-planned before the man looked with lust. After the looking there was a deciding - a setting of the will into position to act. At this moment the sinning has moved from unwilling to willful. At this moment the act of sex outside of marriage became a pre-planned, intentional, calculated, willful, presumptuous sin. For this reason the act of sex (adultery) is punishable by death and the first-looking is not (with repentance).
The greatest of sins which are punished with peculiar mercilessness, are foregone by lesser sins committed presumptuously and with continuance, otherwise the greatest of sins could not have been committed. For example, if a child is resistant but submissive to the chastisement of his father or mother, he lives (with repentance), but if a child is resistant and rebellious so that he smites his mother or father, he dies (Ex. 21:15). You see, a child will not just suddenly begin smiting his mother and father. A child can suddenly and ignorantly be resistant of chastisement, and then upon conviction he will repent of any ignorant sin that was committed, but if a child sets his heart in pre-planned defiance of fatherly chastisement, his sinful resentfulness can mature into a sin of the greatest sort – smiting his mother and father. This sin is one of the greatest magnitude, thus it cannot be suddenly committed unless it was foregone by continuous willful sin of the lesser sort.
Following this pattern but without commentary, consider the following contrasts: If a child speaks uncharitably and dishonorably to his mother or rather, he lives (with repentance). If a child speaks curse words towards his mother or father, he dies (Ex. 21:17). If a man lustfully considers an act of witchcraft, he lives (with repentance). If a man becomes a witch, he dies (Ex. 22:18). If a man greedily considers the oppression of a widow or an orphan for his own selfish gain, he lives (with repentance). If a man acts out in such oppressive acts to a widow or an orphan, he dies (Ex. 22:22-24). If a man Lawlessly imagines the benefits of Sabbath-breaking, he lives (with repentance). If a man breaks the Sabbath, he dies (Ex. 31:15, Lev. 23:28-30, Num. 15:32-36). If a man lustfully contemplates an unspeakable act of sexual perversion, he lives (with repentance). If a man commits an unspeakable act of sexual perversion, he dies (Lev. 18:7-23).
The former parameters of the Law exist to allow for mercy when the “the will” slides from unintentional sinning into intentional sinning, but when brief periods of intentional sinning are repeatedly and continuously committed, crimes of the greatest magnitude will be committed. The guilty man who is led into the mercilessness of The Death Penalty was compelled thereto by the sovereign government of God who beheld the progress of Grace to Sin in his heart the entire time. God, who beheld the progress from Grace to Sin, who saw the periodic, repeated, and continuous seasons of willful sin committed, decidedly “gave them up” (Rom. 1:24, 26) into the violence of depravity, driving them into the greater crimes! Infuriated thereto, God “gives men up” like He gave up Israel (Ps. 78:29-30, Numbers 11, Ps. 81:10-16, Ezek. 20:39, Amos 4:4-5, Eccl. 11:9). Under the government of God’s sovereignty, the Lord gives men up into the slaughter of the Old Testament death penalty whenever He chooses. No Israelite escaped the grasp of their King’s Divine justice (Ezek. 5:11, 9:5-6).
The Element of Continuance
My reader, carefully consider the element of continuance. Concerning the process of sinning heretofore described – going from lesser to greater (sinning which was not worthy of death unto sin which is worthy of death) – when and if the act is done with continuance the penalties change. This strengthens the common understanding because, if the act is done with continuance it can no longer be excused as unintentional and unwilling. Therefore if the child continues to speak uncharitably and dishonorably to his mother or father so as to be without the correction of true penitence, he dies (Deut. 21:18-21). If a man continues to lust after the unLawful acts of witchcraft he will commit them, and thus, he dies (Matt. 15:17-20, Prov. 23:7). If a man continues to admire the greedy gain of oppressing widows and orphans he will commit the act, and thus, he dies (Deut. 20:17-18, Gal. 6:7-9, 1 Cor. 15:33, Mic. 2:2, 1 Tim. 6:10). If a man continues to Lawlessly imagine the benefits of Sabbath-breaking, he will eventually break the Sabbath, and die (2 Pet. 2:10, 2 Tim. 3:1-5). If a man continues to lustfully contemplate an unspeakable act of perversion, he will act upon it and die (Prov. 5:8, 22-23, 7:8, 21-27). The continuance of willful and presumptuous sin results in reprobation…
If a man willingly and conscientiously steals an animal or object of any value, he lives (with repentance; Ex. 22:1-4, 7-13). If a man willingly and conscientiously steals a human being, he dies (Ex. 21:16, Deut. 24:7). Both unLawful acts are sinful. Both acts are thievery. Both acts are preplanned, intentional, willful, and presumptuous by an equal magnitude… only one thing is different. The former sin is lesser and the latter is greater. This proves that the OT death penalty is administered to willful and presumptuous sins that are committed with continuance. All of the following categories of sin do convey the same conclusion.
If a man willingly and conscientiously has sex (fornication) with a free woman who is not betrothed or married, he lives (with repentance; Ex. 22:16-17). If a man willingly and conscientiously has sex (adultery) with a free woman who is betrothed or married and the deed is caught, he dies (Lev. 18:20, 20:10, Deut. 22:22-24, Deut. 22:20-21). If a man willingly and conscientiously has sex (adultery) with a slave who is betrothed or married, he lives (with repentance; Lev. 19:20-22). If a man willingly and conscientiously has sex (adultery) with a free woman who is betrothed or married and they are caught, he dies (Lev. 18:20, 20:10, Deut. 22:22-24, Deut. 22:20-21).
If a man is willingly and conscientiously neglectful of an un-kept ox and it kills a slave or an animal, or if it commits any un-lethal harm to a free man, he lives (with repentance; Ex. 21:32, 21:36). If a man is willingly and conscientiously neglectful of an un-kept ox and it kills a free man, potentially speaking, he dies (Ex. 21:29-31).
Fighting & Murder
If a man willingly and conscientiously engages in pre-planned or sudden fighting that is not lethal to anyone, he lives (with repentance; Ex. 21:18-23). If a man willingly and conscientiously engages in pre-planned or sudden fighting that is lethal to any human being (except in the case of a slave that dies 2 days after the fight; see Ex. 21:14, 21:12, 21:20-21, 21:22-23), or in the case that a man willingly and conscientiously acts upon a pre-planned murder of any human being (where no fighting transpires; see Numbers 35:15, 20-28, Deut. 19:4, 6, 11-13), he dies.
The Old Testament & New Testament Warnings in Perfect Alignment
This very same leniency can be found in the New Testament! From the place of spiritual fallenness (a state of temporary spiritual damnation wherein a man is fallen into willful sin), from thence a man CAN BE RESTORED! Even so in the Old Testament, God was intent upon restoring the fallen! According to the Law, God categorically defined acts of rebellion which backsliders could be restored from. If The Death Penalty was immediately demanded then the people would have no hope of restoration. The Old Testament Law parallels the aspects of mercy found in the New Testament. Formerly, one may have thought, if such and such a person lived in the Old Testament they would have died, but with all scripture in view a broader context of mercy is available whereby fallen people can be restored! Nevertheless, in both Testaments, if these greater sins are committed with continuance, the woeful fate warned of in Hebrews 10:26-29 will transpire. [Note: Understanding the distinction between being fallen and reprobate is prerequisite to seeing the mercy of God in this OT and NT parallel.]
The Old Testament Death Penalty = Reprobation
One willful sin does not result in The Death Penalty because here, in the Old Testament, The Death Penalty acts as an indicator of reprobation. Even in the Old Testament, like in the New Testament, godly men fell… thus at the instant this happens one time the man is not reprobated. The Death Penalty is the signal of reprobation because, it is the punishment for unforgiven sins enforced by unrelenting wrath. If there is a threshold beyond which there is no mercy – a point of no return – it is at the enactment of the Old Testament death penalty. The Death Penalty enacted upon individual persons is typological of reprobation because it is the threshold beyond which there remains no more mercy, forgiveness, or salvation. After this threshold is passed, the man is irreversibly fallen and forever lost.
The Death Penalty enacted upon Israel nationally speaking is impossible in the strictest sense, but possible in a general sense. The national death penalty of the strictest magnitude whereby every individual Israelite dies is impossible because of God’s promises. National sovereignty can cease but the Israelite race must continue. The national death penalty executed in a general sense is a judgment which stays within the bounds of God’s promises: national sovereignty can cease, the overwhelming majority of Israelites can be annihilated, while a surviving remnant suffers unspeakable servitude, curses, and torture.
The Death Penalty is restrained from individuals as long as the sin is not committed (inwardly or outwardly) with continuance, or as long as the willful sinning ceases. Allowing for forgiveness in this situation does restrain the gauntlet of reprobation from punishing one single fall. This aspect of mercy seen in the Law is in perfect alignment with the New Testament due process of reprobation for fallen saints. No New Testament saint can be nor will be reprobated after one single fall.
In the former chapters I defined all sin before the fall as non-willful sin committed, according to the scripture. I argued that willful sin is impossible to commit while a person is in a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, presently speaking. The scriptures heretofore examined in this appendix agree with and confirm this truth. The provision of mercy and leniency seen in the Law whereby a man is allowably forgiven after a brief period of willful sin committed, this is a provision whereby God forbids the reprobation of saints after one single fall. In the New Testament when a saint falls, he is committing willful sin with continuance. At the moment he is restored to saving faith in Christ he discontinues all willful sin. This allows for a falling and a getting back up again, evident in the Old and New Testaments.
The inner-workings of non-willful sin committed with increasing continuance prior to the act of willful sin, is the cause and reason for willful sin (the process of slipping to fallen; exhaustively addressed in CHATPER 5 of “Answers to My Brethren, the Calvinists”). Without the increasing continuance of non-willful sin, willful sin would not have overtaken the righteous man. Without the increasing continuance of willful sin, reprobation would not have overtaken any man. In the Old Testament or New Testament, it is not easy or flippant for a saint to fall into either condition. Just because the Law allows for mercy upon willful sin committed, it does not allow for mercy upon willful sin committed with continuance – this is the warning of Hebrews 10:26-29! The individual who has committed willful sin of any caliber, he is probated under close observation to ensure that true repentance is obtained by the grace of God. If no repentance is obtained, reprobation ensues.
The threat, “there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins”, specifically describes a state of unalterable reprobation. This being the case, the warning follows the parallels seen before and after Hebrews chapter 10. Hebrews 2:1-4 warns of overflowing wrath upon individuals or generations suffering The Death Penalty, typologically representing reprobation. Hebrews 3:7-4:11 warns of the displeasure of God experienced by a reprobate generation, lest we suffer it by similar backslidings (see Heb. 4:1 and Num. 14:30, 34). Hebrews 6:4-6 warns of an unrecoverable fallen-ness, a state in which it is impossible to find repentance again, even though it was previously in possession and continuously available upon sins committed – this is, yet again, descriptive of reprobation. Yet again and finally, Hebrews 12:15-17 warns of reprobate Esau’s fate as a potential for New Testament saints to experience if they are not diligent to avoid it. Here again, this is a state in which repentance and restoration cannot be found, a state of fallen-ness from which there is NO getting up! “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief” (Prov. 24:16).
National Israel’s phases of chastisement prior to falling are typologically representative and applicable to individual saints in the New Testament because, namely, Christ said, “the Kingdom of God is within you” (Lk. 17:21). Thus, however the Kingdom of God in the Old Testament was increasingly chastised until, alas, there was a complete overthrow of the nation (a cessation of the Kingdom’s sovereignty), so also, likewise, the Kingdom of God within New Testament saints can be chastised and potentially overthrown. If the Kingdom of God within New Testament saints is overthrown, the reigning King who is enthroned upon the human heart is overthrown from ruling the man in the powers of saving grace. This is, in other words, a cessation of salvation!
In this way, Old Testament national Israel is used as a typological depiction of salvation for us in the New Testament. Upon the act of one “willful sin”, henceforth, willful sin is committed continuously for the duration that the individual abides in a state of fallen-ness, but the warnings of Hebrews do not point toward this condition as a fulfillment of Divine woe. During the durations in which a backslidden saint does abide in a fallen condition before God, he is continuously committing willful sin, but he has not hereby fulfilled the warning of Hebrews 10:26 until he continues with so great a continuance that, alas, the man is reprobated. The warnings of Hebrews point to the threshold of reprobation! This means that the man has continued in willful sin to the point of irreversible lostness, like as was depicted by the threshold of presumptuous sin which resulted in The Death Penalty in Old Testament Law.
Inspired by the Old Testament Law this interpretation is clear: The Hebrews 10:26 warning points to a judgment equivalent to reprobation because Numbers 15 was executed upon individuals who committed willful sin with continuance and without repentance. This means that those who fell and kept falling, or, those who fell and stayed fallen, suffered under the merciless death penalty warned of in Hebrews 10:28 & Num. 15:22-31. According to the scripture, a willful sin offender is allowed mercy to avoid reprobating wrath as long as the deed or desire is not done with continuance. Therefore seeing that Hebrews 10:26-29 does warn of the point of irreversible damnation (i.e. reprobation), there is an exact parallel. All this being said let us remember: Although one single willful sin committed DOES result in fallenness, one single willful sin committed DOES NOT result in reprobation – thus in the New Testament and the Old Testament God allowed for forgiveness to willful sin offenders upon the condition and probation that true repentance is found.