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Source: BS205

A523 Do Not Take the Name of God in Vain

Table of Contents

The Holiest Name

1.  What is said in the Scriptures concerning the name of God?

“That thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD.” Deut 28:58.  “Holy and reverend is His name.” Ps 111:9.

2.  How should we relate ourselves to it?

a.  Hallow it.  “Hallowed be Thy name.” Matt 6:9.

b.  Love it.  “Let them also that love Thy name be joyful in Thee.” Ps 5:11.

c.  Give glory to it.  “All nations whom Thou hast made shall come and worship before Thee, O Lord; and shall glorify Thy name.” Ps 86:9.

d.  Trust in it.  “Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of His servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light?  let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.” Isa 50:10.

3.  Of what should we never be guilty?

“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.” Deut 5:11.

4.  How is the name of God profaned by the wicked?

a.  By denying His existence and power.  “Shall the clay say to Him that fashioneth it, What makest Thou?  or Thy work, He hath no hands?” Isa 45:9.

b.  By denying His omniscience.  “And they say, How doth God know?  and is there knowledge in the Most High?” Ps 73:11.

c.  By denying His revelation.  “Behold, they say unto me, Where is the word of the Lord?  let it come now.” Jer 17:15.

d.  By denying His activity.  “And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil.” Zeph 1:12.

5.  In what ways may God’s professed people profane His name?

a.  By limiting His providence.  “Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?  .  Can He give bread also?  Can He provide flesh for His people?” Ps 78:19-20.

b.  By criticizing His ways.  “Yet ye say, The way Of the Lord is not equal.  Hear now, O house of Israel; is not My way equal?  are not your ways unequal?” Eze 18:25.

c.  By doubting His goodness.  “Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts?” Mal 3:14.

“Every light and irreverent mention of His name tends to diminish awe, veneration, confidence, and respect, and … to weaken His influence; and the power of His government.” —Dr C G Finney in “Theological Lectures,” page 204.

6.  What is the most serious way in which we may profane God’s name?

“Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoureth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me.” Matt 15:7-8.  (See also Eze 22:26, 28.)

7.  Who among His professed adherents does Jesus especially condemn?

“Why call ye Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” Luke 6:46.

8.  What should characterize our conversation?

“Above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.” James 5:12.

“Our Lord consented to be put upon His oath.  Oaths before a civil tribunal cannot be forbidden to His disciples.” —Bishop Browne in “On the Articles,” page 837.

9.  How do many profane God’s name in conversation?

“Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.” Eph 5:4.

10.  What serious charge has James to make against some believers?

“Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing.  My brethren, these things ought not so to be.” James 3:10.

11.  Of what is the improper use of the tongue an evidence?

“If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.” James 1:26.

12.  What does Paul therefore urge all believers to do?

“Put off all these; … blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.” Col 3:8.

13.  What irreverent handling of the Word of God does Paul condemn?

“But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the Word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” 2 Cor 4:2.

14.  What would be conspicuous among the sins of antichrist?

“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. … And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies.” Rev 13:1-5.

15.  What breaches of the third commandment does prophecy indicate will be prominent in the last days?

a.  Scoffing.  “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts.” 2 Peter 3:3.

b.  Blasphemy and hypocrisy.  “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be … blasphemers, … having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” 2 Tim 3:1-5.

16.  How fully does God know all the blasphemies uttered against Him?

“And thou shalt know that I am the Lord, and that I have heard all thy blasphemies. … Thus with your mouth ye have boasted against Me, and have multiplied your words against Me: I have heard them.” Eze 35:12-13.

17.  What condemnation does He pronounce upon those who utter them?

“Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin.” Lev 24:15.

18.  At the same time, what other special record is God keeping?

“Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name.” Mal 3:16.

19.  How will He reward those who fear His name?

“But unto you that fear My name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings.” Mal 4:2.

20.  For what, therefore, did the psalmist pray?

“Unite my heart to fear Thy name.” Ps 86:11.

Sons & Daughters of God, p58

We Shall Not Take the Name of the Lord in Vain

     “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” Exodus 20:7.

     “The reason for this command is given: we are not to swear “by the heaven, for it is the throne of God; nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of his feet; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, for thou canst not make one hair white or black.” All things come of God. We have nothing that we have not received; and, more than this, we have nothing that has not been purchased for us by the blood of Christ.

     Burning words of passion should never be spoken, for in the sight of God and holy angels they are as a species of swearing.

     This commandment not only prohibits false oaths and common swearing, but it forbids us to use the name of God in a light or careless manner, without regard to its awful significance. By the thoughtless mention of God in common conversation, by appeals to Him in trivial matters, and by the frequent and thoughtless repetition of His name, we dishonor Him. “Holy and reverend in his name.” All should meditate upon His majesty, His purity and holiness, that the heart may be impressed with a sense of His exalted character; and His holy name should be uttered with reverence and solemnity.

     It is not men whom we are to exalt and worship; it is God, the only true and living God, to whom our worship and reverence are due. According to the teaching of the Scriptures, it dishonors God to address ministers as “reverend.” No mortal has any right to attach this to his own name, or to the name of any other human being. It belongs only to God, to distinguish Him from every other being. … “Holy and reverend is his name.” We dishonor God when we use this word where it does not belong. … The Father and the Son alone are to be exalted.”

“In how many churches does mammon bear rule! Christ says, “Be not ye called Rabbi,” that is, master, or doctor; “for one is your Master, even Christ.”  To do this is to partake of the same spirit which has lead aspiring men to assume to be the head of the church, the successor of St Peter, the vicegerent of Christ, and a god upon earth.  Yet how many in the Protestant church, in imitation of the Romish, adopt the title of “Reverend,” which in our version of the Scriptures is applied to God alone:  “Holy and reverend is his name.”  But not content with this, some become “Very Reverend,” and “Right Reverend,” and “Doctors of Divinity.”” Old D&R 605

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