In response to the their accusation that he was casting out demons using the power of Satan (Matthew 12:24), Jesus introduced the Pharisees to the third person of the Godhead, whom he referred to as the Spirit of God and Holy Ghost. Jesus associated the Holy Ghost with the kingdom of God and said that his work was evidence that God’s kingdom had come to earth (Matthew 12:28). One of the key statements Jesus made that clarified the Holy Ghost’s equality with God is found in Matthew 12:31. He said, “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.” Jesus went on to say, “And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come” (Matthew 12:32). In this statement, it appeared that Jesus was giving the Spirit of God a status above himself because he attributed a higher degree of severity to sins that were committed against the Holy Ghost. Most likely, it was the Holy Ghost’s power that differentiated him from Jesus and made his equality with God indisputable.
Jesus criticized the Pharisees because they tried to give Satan credit for doing the good works that should have been attributed to the Holy Ghost. Using the illustration of a tree that can only produce a specific kind of fruit (Matthew 12:33), Jesus argued that it would be impossible for Satan to do anything good. Relating his argument back to the Pharisees, Jesus said, “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things” (Matthew 12:34-35). Jesus indicated that the words we speak are evidence for or against us having a relationship with God and used the Greek word argos, which is translated idle (692), to refer to words we use that are not inspired by the Holy Ghost. In other words, you could say, idle words are words spoken that are useless with respect to God’s kingdom. Jesus emphasized the importance of every word that comes out of our mouth and declared, “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37).