Christian Churches of God
Law and the Third Commandment
(Edition 4.0 19981006-20050810-20120520)
It is written: Thou shalt not take the name of thy Lord in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. The Third Commandment involves the entire concept of the power and authority of God in His system of Law Order. This commandment not only deals with the profane use of His name in idle speech but also relates to the entire civil and religious law order and the calendar laid down for its function within that order. Purporting to act for God under another system is also a breach of this commandment.
Law and the Third Commandment
It is written:
Exodus 20:7 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. (KJV)
Deuteronomy 5:11 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. (KJV)
The name of God in the singular is Eloah. He is the source of all power and authority and is the object of worship at the Temple (Ezra 4:17-7:26).
The heavenly host became elohim with Eloah upon their creation just as we are becoming elohim. Eloah, however, is one God.
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: 5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. (KJV)
Exodus 3:14 shows us that God is becoming something. He says there, “I will be what I will become” (‘eyeh ‘asher ‘eyeh cf. Oxford Annotated RSV and Bullinger, Companion Bible n. to verse). God is extending Himself to become “all in all”.
God’s Law-Order System
It is a breach of the Law of God and the third commandment to set up a system of law not in accordance with the Bible and its provisions. The entire system thus perverts the Law of God. It is not permissible to implement parts of the law-order and reject others.
It is not permissible to claim to worship the Living God in the name of Jesus Christ and to reject the Sabbaths and Feasts, and implement instead the pagan systems of worship and the Sun cults. Thus Sunday worship and the implementation of the Christmas and Easter festivals not only breach the fourth commandment, but they also breach the third commandment and the entire law. God says He hates their Feasts and Sabbaths (Isa. 1:11-20) because of this hypocrisy.
A false Sabbath is not just worship on another day, such as Sunday; it is the worship of the Lord in vain, through injustice and malice and hypocrisy. God hates these false and idolatrous priests. These are the black cassocked ones that serve Baal and the Sun cults (cf. 2Kgs. 23:5; Hos. 10:5; Zep. 1:4).
All authority is obliged to work from and to undertake all matters within the Law of God. All religious systems that purport to work for the Bible and effect or change the law-order are taking the name of the One True God in vain; they are in breach of His Law under the third commandment. If they teach contrary to the word of God then they take His name without godly purpose and without His authority, and it is therefore in vain.
All exercise of power under direction of God is done in His name as Yahovah of Hosts. Hence every being acting for Him is called by His name Yahovah and they carry His authority in the same way an individual bearing the king’s ring carried the king’s authority (cf. The Angel of YHVH (No. 24); Gen. chs. 18 and 19).
God guides and teaches us. His gentleness makes us perfect and we have the shield of His salvation. He is our fortress and our deliverer (cf. 2Sam. 22:32-35; Ps. 18:34; 144:1). All power is of God and the powers that be are ordained of God (Rom. 13:1,2,7).
However, we are to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29). To Him belong vengeance and recompense (Deut. 32:35; Ps. 94:1; Heb. 10:30; Rom. 12:19).
Deuteronomy 10:20-22 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name. 21 He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen. 22 Thy fathers went down into Egypt with threescore and ten persons; and now the Lord thy God hath made thee as the stars of heaven for multitude. (KJV)
We are told not to take the name of God in vain, or swear falsely by His name. He is holy, and His name is great and awesome (cf. Ex. 20:7).
Leviticus 19:12 Ye shall not swear by my name falsely, so that thou profane the name of the LORD thy God, I am the Lord.
Psalm 99:2-3 The LORD is great in Zion; And high above all people. They shall give thanks unto thy name, which is great, wonderful and holy.
Psalm 111:9 He sent redemption unto his people; He hath commanded his covenant forever. Holy and reverend is his name.
Jeremiah 14:9b Thou O Lord are in the midst of us and we are called by thy name; leave us not. (KJV)
The unseen God
The Scriptures tell us that God has never been seen and that no one has heard His voice. Who is this God who is known only by his name?
John 1:18a No man has seen God at any time.
Exodus 33:20 And he said, Thou can not see my face: for there shall no man see me and live.
John 5:37 And the Father himself, which has sent me, has borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.
Christ here identifies the Father as this being who has never been seen – neither His shape nor form – and whose voice has never been heard.
Paul’s writings in the New Testament refer to the “invisible” God.
Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.
1Timothy 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be Honor and glory forever. Amen.
Hebrews 11:27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the King: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
This God whom no one has seen has a name. God’s name identifies who God is. God’s name is Eloah, or Yahovah of Hosts. Sometimes God’s name is incorrectly called Jehovah or Yahweh.
How can the name of God be used in a vain way? Young’s Analytical Concordance gives several meanings to the word vain.
· Vanity: This word comes from the Hebrew word hebel (Jer.10:3)
· Gratis, for naught- from the Hebrew word chinnam (Ez. 6:10)
· Hollow from nabab (Job 11:11,12)
· Empty, vain from rig (Ps. 2:1; Jer. 51:58)
· Falsehood or lie from sheqer (Ex. 5:9)
· Waste or ruined from tohu (Isa. 45:18; cf. Gen. 1:2; Jer. 4:23)
· Unprofitable or useless from the Greek mataios
All of these words are translated as vain in English, but we see from the scriptural references that each of these words has a different application. The word for vain in the third commandment, however, comes from a different Hebrew word, shav or shawv, which also has the meaning of falsehood and hence vanity. In Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary, shawv (SHD 7723) means desolation, evil, ruin, idolatry, useless, in vain, falsely. As we look at the third commandment we will examine the many ways in which this word applies.
God’s Name written but not spoken
The name of God meant much to the Hebrews. After the Babylonian captivity the tribe of Judah and the part-tribes of Levi and Benjamin with them considered God’s name so holy that, though it was often written, it was never spoken. When a reader in the synagogue came to the “YHVH” he substituted for it the word “Adonai” meaning the Lord (cf. Yahovah SHD 3068 and Yahovih SHD 3069 below).
Hebrew writing, like modern shorthand, was composed of consonants only. The vowels were later supplied for those who might be uncertain of Hebrew oral tradition, by a series of small marks called vowel points, above, around and below the consonant text, but never interfering with it. Thus the vowels of the word Adonai (SHD 136) were supplied around the letters of the name of God, and these vowels were to be read. As a result of this practice, the hybrid word Yahovah made its appearance (in comparatively modern times) being composed of the name YHVH interspersed with the vowels from Adonai. The name was altered 134 times by the Sopherim (the scribes in rabbinical times) and we know where these alterations were made by examining the original. We know from ancient archaeology that the short name for God was Yaho (cf. J.B. Pritchard, The Ancient Near East, Princeton, 1958, Vol. 1, pp. 278-282). This has been incorrectly written as Jah. There is no J in Hebrew and the vowel is incorrectly omitted from the text, as we see from the ancient texts from the Temple at Elephantine (cf. Ps. 68:4 KJV). Modern scholars write it Jahveh or Yahweh.
When Yahovah (SHD 3068) was written it was pronounced as “Adonai,” and when The God was referred to, Yahovih (SHD 3069) was written. It was always pronounced “elohim” by the later scribes, more to avoid the theological implications of the distinction than anything else. Much of these later traditions came into Judaism from the Babylonian captivity, along with the concept among the ancient pagans of not mentioning the name of the god for fear of compelling the deity to act or be controlled by the person pronouncing the name (cf. the paper Abracadabra: The Meaning of Names (No. 240)).
Even in writing the name of God while copying the law the scribe was to abide by certain rules.
· He must be newly bathed.
· He must set in full Jewish dress.
· He must never dip his pen in ink in the middle of writing the name of God.
· Should a King address him while writing the name of God, he must take no notice of him.
These regulations were allegedly imposed because they thought it would prevent man from taking God’s name in vain. It is more likely, however, that they were also affected from the same considerations as we see in the Names concept with the pagans, whereby, if you knew the name you could summon and control it. This view is exactly the opposite of the meaning of the third commandment of the Law of God.
Bullinger’s Companion Bible (Appendix 32) has a list of these substitutions of Adonai for Yahovah and also the treatment of elohim. This focus on pronouncing the name of God is not what the third commandment means.
R.J. Rushdoony (The Institutes of Biblical Law, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1973, page 126) has the following question:
“Q.112. What is required in the third commandment?”
“A. The third commandment requires that the name of God, his titles, his attributes, ordinances, the word, sacraments, prayer, oaths, vows, lots, his works, and whatsoever else there is whereby he makes himself known be holy and reverently used in thought, meditation, word or writing; for an holy profession, and answerable conservation, to the glory of God, and the good of ourselves and others.”
“Q.113. What are the sins forbidden in the third commandment?”
“A. The sins forbidden in the third commandment are, the not using of God’s name as is required, and the abuse of it in ignorance, vain, irreverent, profane, superstitious or wicked mentioning or otherwise using his titles, attributes, ordinances or works by blasphemy, oaths, vows, if lawful, and fulfilling them, if other things unlawful; murmuring and quarrelling at, curious prying into and misapplying, or in any way perverting His word, or any part of it, to profane jests, curious or unprofitable questions, vain jangling or the maintaining of false doctrines; abusing it, the creatures or anything contained under the name of God, to charms or any sinful lusts and practices; the maligning, scorning, reviling or in any way opposing God’s truth, grace and ways. Making profession of religion in hypocrisy or for sinister ends; Being ashamed of it or ashamed to it.”
Most people probably have never considered this broad application of God’s third commandment. We know that God wants to have fellowship with man. The only way that this fellowship can be brought to fruition is for man to have total and complete surrender to God and His will, through total and complete obedience to His Law. God wants obedience and not sacrifice. More importantly, the law was given for our benefit and is not a burden when kept in the power of the Holy Spirit.
The perversion of using God’s name in vain began in the days of Adam’s grandson, Enos, from an examination of Genesis 4:26.
Genesis 4:26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.
This wording in the KJV is hiding what was really taking place; Bullinger’s Companion Bible, Appendix 21 gives us the true intent of this verse. According to the ancient Judaic commentaries, men stopped praying in the name of The Lord (Targum Onkelos) and also made themselves idols and called them by the name of the Word of the Lord (Targum Jonathan). Rashi says there was profanation in calling on the name of the Lord. The Dabar Yahovah or Word of the Lord was the entity representing God; this was the function of Jesus Christ, as the Logos.
It was understood that in the days of Enos (Adam’s offspring) men began to institute false worship by putting the name of God upon the heavenly bodies. They were thought to have begun calling upon their gods by the name Yahovah. Idolatry is thus understood to have its beginning here. Enos means frail, weak, sickly or incurable. Genesis is the book of beginnings. In the days of Enos, man began to use God’s name in vain. Enoch, the seventh from Adam, is recorded as prophesying against them and their ungodliness (Jude 14, 15). Idolatry always perverts the name of God. It is Satan who inspires man to turn worship away from God and to direct it to him.
Saying God’s Name in the Hebrew language
There are some groups among the various Sabbath-keeping Churches of God that promote the idea of saying God’s name only in the Hebrew language. They base this on the misunderstanding of Acts 4:12.
Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
Some of the names promoted by these churches are listed here.
For the Most High God: YaHVah, Yahu Wey, Yahaweway, Yhwh.
For Messiah: YaHVaHoshea, Yahushua, Yahshua, Yeshua.
Most “sacred name" groups primarily use the name Yahweh for the Most High God, and use Yahshua for the Messiah.
The “sacred names” concept is that we must know the name of God and pronounce it properly – with the correct intonation – in order to be saved. This idea makes a mockery of the Almighty God by implying that He communicates to man in no other language but Hebrew, and completely ignores the fact that it was God who divided the languages at the tower of Babel. It also ignores the text of Isaiah 28:11.
Isaiah 28:11 Nay, but by men of strange lips and with an alien tongue the Lord will speak to his people.
The “sacred names” idea also ignores the various titles and roles given by delegation to the one who is identified later as Jesus Christ, as seen in Isaiah 9:6.
Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (RSV)
The concepts of the sentence can be read and understood in a number of ways. The Septuagint (LXX) reads the text of Isaiah 9:6-8 as:
For a child is born to us and a son is given to us, whose government is upon his shoulder: and his name is called the Messenger of Great Counsel [Angel of Great Counsel]: for I will bring peace upon the princes and health to him. 7 His government shall be great, and of his peace there is no end.: it shall be upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom to establish it, and to support it with judgment and with righteousness, from henceforth and for ever. 8 The seal of the Lord of Hosts shall perform this.
The text reads literally, Counsellor the God [el] Mighty, hence, its translation into the LXX as Angel of Great Counsel, which is what is understood.
The term Everlasting Father cannot be understood within Trinitarianism or in Judaism, and it is written out of the LXX entirely. The Hebrew text confers a function of an Everlasting Father on Messiah. There are understood to be many fatherhoods in heaven and on earth, according to Paul (Eph. 3:14). One might attempt to read the Hebrew as the Everlasting Father conferring the title, but it is not normally read in that fashion from the texts. The Soncino translates the text as:
For a child is born unto us,
A son is given unto us;
And the government is upon his shoulder;
And his name is called
Hence, the entire structure is seen as a name of power given by God. The LXX, written centuries before Christ, understood that he would be the Angel of the Old Testament who gave the Law to Moses. Modern Judaism tries to ignore this fact, and indeed that is why post-Christian rabbinical Judaism denied the LXX. We know that these various roles are by delegation because of verse 7b (v. 8 LXX), “the zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this.”
This idea of “sacred names” ignores the record of Scripture in Matthew 1:21 (also v. 23).
Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son and thou shall call his name Jesus (meaning saviour) and he shall save his people from their sins.
Jesus became the Saviour by delegation, after living a sinless life and then giving that life as a sacrifice. There are Scriptures that show clearly that God the Father is our ultimate Saviour (Ps. 106.21; Isa. 60:16).
Jude 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion, and power, both now and forever, amen.
(See the paper God Our Saviour (No. 198).)
Matthew 1:23 Behold a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name ”Immanuel” which being interpreted is “GOD WITH US”.
This Son of God, this Messiah, this Saviour by delegation, was appointed High Priest after the Order of Melchizedek; he became our High Priest at his first coming and will become our King at his second coming. Limiting the Messiah to just one name in Hebrew breaks the third commandment; it is taking God’s name in vain. It limits God’s purpose and it limits God’s Plan for the eventual saving of all mankind.
When Jesus Christ was asked by his disciples to teach them how to pray (Lk. 11:1-4), he taught them to direct their prayer to the Father. God is addressed as, “Our Father in heaven.” Christ never told the disciples to address the Father in Hebrew only.
Jesus Christ’s own prayer in John 17:1-26 to God says, “Father.” In Matthew 27:46 we see that when Jesus Christ was on the stake he cried out to the Father in Aramaic, which was the common language of the people, “Eli, Eli, why have you forsaken me?” (quoting Hebrew Scripture). He did not use Hebrew to address the Father. Matthew records it because he was there at the crucifixion and heard it. John was there as well, and records Christ’s next words: “It is finished.”
God has several names and these names are to be hallowed. Saying these names only in Hebrew is not hallowing God’s name. The names themselves have concepts. The names conferred on the son by the Father are titles of power, which is why the Angels who acted for God in the Old Testament were given the name Yahovah. God alone was referred to as Yahovah of Hosts.
Blasphemy and misuse of the Names of God
The Psalmists note the foolish and the enemies of Israel reproach the name of God (Ps. 74:10-18). The people are taken away for nothing and redeemed by God who speaks. The people of God are sent into captivity and blaspheme the name of God. Therefore, His people shall know His name and that He speaks (Isa. 52:5; cf. Rom. 2:24). In the last days men will blaspheme the name of God and not repent to give Him glory (Rev. 16:9, 11, 21).
A classic example of the misuse of the name and authority of God in simple oath and blasphemy is found in 1Kings 21:10-13 and Acts 6:11ff. Stephen did not question the right of the council to put him to death. He prayed for the forgiveness of them all, because they had acted on false witnesses, in breach of the third and ninth commandments.
Christ was falsely accused of blasphemy (Mt. 9:3; 26:65,66; Jn. 10:36). However, he also spoke of the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Mt. 12:22-32; Mk. 3:22-30). This is a complicated issue in its own right. The Holy Spirit is the necessary instrument for salvation in the power of God. Failure to acknowledge the necessity for redemption and one’s own sin is in effect lying to and blaspheming the Holy Spirit.
Honour of others who carry God’s Names
The authority of God extends to both the spiritual and the physical rulers.
Exodus 22:28 Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people. (KJV)
Reviling the elohim and the rulers of one’s country is blaspheming the name of God. We will see more of this below. Blasphemy and blaspheming God’s name is referenced in many Scriptures.
Psalm 74:10 O God, how long shall the adversary reproach? shall the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever.
Psalm 74:18 Remember this, that the enemy hath reproached, O LORD, and that the foolish people have blasphemed thy name.
Isaiah 52:5-6 Now therefore, what have I here, saith the LORD, that my people is taken away for nought? they that rule over them make them to howl, saith the LORD; and my name continually every day is blasphemed. 6. Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I.
The example of false witness for dishonest gain is seen in the case of Naboth. This act strikes at both the third and the ninth commandments, for it is in breach of the ninth commandment that the false witness occurs; however, it is in compliance with the third that sentence is unjustly carried out.
1Kings 21:10-13 And set two men, sons of Belial, (Naboth) him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die. 11 And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, and as it was written in the letters which she had sent unto them. 12 They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people. 13 And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him: and the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones, that he died.
In this reference Jezebel sets up false accusers so that King Ahab can take over Naboth’s vineyard.
A New Testament example of false accusation is seen in Acts 6.
Acts 6:8-13 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. 9 Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. 10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake. 11 Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God. 12 And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council, 13 And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law:
Here false witnesses are set up to accuse Stephen of blasphemy. The power existed to put him to death but it was improperly used.
As we saw, they tried to condemn Christ in the same way. In most cases, the prophets who were sent to Israel were killed on various pretexts by the priests and prophets or the religious community of the day. In most cases the nation had gone into sin because the religious community was itself at fault and generally grossly idolatrous.
Matthew 9:1-7 And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city. (Capernaum) 2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. 3 And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. 4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? 5 For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? 6 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. 7 And he arose, and departed to his house.
If Jesus was indeed the Christ then he had not spoken blasphemy. The High Priest had prophesied that year that one must die for the people. He expected the Christ, and this is symbolic of the rending of his garment. The High Priest never tore his garment, however, what he did symbolically, by this action, was to rend the priesthood from Levi in Judah and transfer it to Melchisedek in Israel.
Matthew 26:63-66 But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. 64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. 65 Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. 66 What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.
Jesus Christ was falsely accused of blasphemy because of the ignorance of the hearers as to the Scriptures themselves. Most of modern Christianity would put Christ to death if he came to them today, because the message he would give them would differ from what they want and have been led to believe. In the Middle Ages, he would have been burnt at the stake as a so-called Arian Sabbath-keeper, from his own messages in the ancient New Testament texts.
John 10:34-36 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? 35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; 36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?
This message alone would have him condemned. He was accused of working by the power of Beelzebul, the Lord of the Flies, the God of Ekron.
Matthew 12:22-32 Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. 23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? 24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. 25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: 26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? 27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. 29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. 30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. 31 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. 32 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.
Jesus Christ taught that blasphemy against one another is a forgivable offence, whereas blasphemy against the Holy Spirit of God invites the death penalty. Repentance is the requirement for salvation, and acknowledgment of sin and the need of the saving grace of God in the Holy Spirit is the key to that salvation. Failure to repent is blasphemy against the Spirit. The penalties for blasphemy and failure to repent are harsh indeed.
Revelation 16:9,11,21 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory…
11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds…
21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.
Blaspheming God is the antithesis of repentance. The world has run its own affairs according to its own laws and system for six thousand years and longer. They will have reduced the earth to a virtual uninhabitable wilderness and yet they still will not repent and give glory to God and His law. They take His name in vain by setting up false systems of government (cf. Lev. 24:16).
God doesn’t play games; He means what He says. Society will be a safe place when this law is fully practised. God’s Law-order cannot be implemented on an ad hoc basis, or in a piece- meal fashion. God’s entire Law-order system is a complete system based on theoretical spiritual relations which proceed from His very nature. Causation is not a system of observable relations termed supervenient; it is singularist, proceeding from the nature of God. His Law-order is holy, righteous, good, perfect and true because God is all those things. The perversion of the Law and the testimony takes His name in vain.
The rebellion of Korah in Numbers 16 shows us that God will not forever tolerate those who oppose Him and blaspheme Him.
Numbers 16:31-33 And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them: 32 And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. 33 They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation.
God’s name and God’s anointed were spoken of in an evil way. God used this example to cut off the rebellious and as an example to others who blaspheme God. Blasphemy is more than taking the name of God profanely; it is defamatory, wicked, and rebellious language directed against God and His system and those who act in His name.
The prophet Jeremiah was hated by the prophets of Anathoth from whence he came. Generally the rot sets in to a nation under its ministerial leadership. In the last days, the religious whore has so destroyed its position that the Beast of the secular system will turn on the whore and destroy it. The whore has so taken the name of the Living God in vain that it has entirely lost the credibility which it might have had (cf. Rev. 17:16).
Paul and the law
Paul was brought before the High Priest. These actions form an important lesson.
Acts 23:1-5 And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day. 2 And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth. 3 Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law? 4 And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God's high priest? 5 Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.
The quote by Paul of not speaking against a judge or a ruler is written in the law at Exodus 22:28.
The apostle Paul knew this law. He was taught the law as a Pharisee by Gamaliel (cf. Acts 5:34).
Acts 22:3 I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.
Paul was not a Jew; in fact he was a Benjamite (Rom. 11:1) of the tribe of Benjamin not Judah, but the term Jew here has a generic meaning beyond the tribe. Moses was not a Jew; he was a Levite. Jesus Christ was a Jew, but he was also related to Levi. The High Priest, although a Levite and not a Jew, was nevertheless leader of Judah and Benjamin, as well as Levi; however, the rule of a High Priest from Levi no longer applied after the destruction of the Temple and the dispersion.
Paul knew what he had done as soon as he realised that he had spoken evil against Ananias the High Priest; he had spoken against a ruler of the people or one set in authority by God, an action forbidden under the law (Ex. 22:28).
Later Paul could write to the Roman Church, from Romans 13:1a: “Let every soul be subject to the higher powers,” or, as the Concordant Literal New Testament states:
Romans 13:1-2 Let every soul be subject to the superior authorities for there is no authority except under God. 2 Now those which are, have been set under God, so that he who is resisting authority has withstood God’s mandate.
God’s mandate is God’s Law expressed in Exodus 22:28. This law is very hard for man to live by because of the abuses of power by these authorities, just as Paul experienced here. Very clearly, in the future all our people will be tested on this point of the law as we come under the abuse of power by the authorities.
Swearing an oath
Proverbs 19:28 An ungodly witness scorneth judgment:
“The foundation for all legal procedure involving so called civil disputes is clearly in the third commandment and it would certainly carry over into the realm of criminal law.”
(Ingram, World Under God’s Law, page 46).
The oath of office, the trustworthiness of witnesses, the stability of society in terms of a common regard for truth, and entire structure based on any theory of obligation all hinge on the concept of the purity or truth under oath (or affirmation where oath is seen as swearing in contradiction of the instructions of Christ). Where there is no regard for truth when men can subscribe to oaths with no intention of abiding by their terms then social anarchy and degeneration follow. When there is no fear of God then the sanctity of oaths disappears and the foundations of society shift from the truth to a lie.
In the early years, the oath of the Crown or a Presidential oath of office (and every other oath of office) were recognised precisely as coming under the third commandment and in fact invoking it. By taking the oath a person promised to abide by his word and obligations, even as God is faithful to His word. According to the oath of office, if public officials failed they were understood to have invoked divine judgment and the curse of the law upon themselves. In today’s society there is a complete disregard for this oath. It has been noted that this oath-taking is just a ceremony, a formality that is tolerated. People swear by a Bible they have not fully read or do not understand, and most do not even believe in the veracity of its contents.
The abuse of an oath was considered a very serious offence in ancient times. For a person to witness such an oath for good or evil anywhere and to take no action required a trespass offering of atonement (Lev. 5:4-7). A false oath is an assault on the life of an entire society. The hatred of false swearing is reflected in Psalm 109.
Psalm 109:17-18 As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him. 18 As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment, so let it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones.
Exodus 23:1 Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.
The proper application of an oath is given in Exodus 22.
Exodus 22:10-11 If a man deliver unto his neighbour an ass, or an ox, or a sheep, or any beast, to keep (for safe keeping, while he is gone) and it die, or be hurt, or driven away, (by a wild beast) no man seeing it: 11 Then shall an oath of the LORD be between them both, (the oath shall settle the matter. The key wording here is no man seeing it.) that he hath not put his hand unto his neighbour's goods; and the owner of it shall accept thereof, and he shall not make it good.
The meaning of to keep in verse 10 is that of safekeeping while the neighbour is gone. The concept is of the oath settling the matter between both parties, while the key wording here is, without anyone seeing it.
Zechariah 8:16-17 These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates: 17 And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD.
Swear not at all
What did Jesus Christ mean in the Sermon on the Mount when he said to his disciples, “Swear not at all”? He had just told them that he did not come to destroy the law. Was he changing a part of the law here?
Matthew 5:34-37 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: 35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. 36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. 37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
This wording in the KJV “Swear not at all” is not a good translation from the original Greek.
The Concordant Literal New Testament makes the intent of what Jesus Christ means, much clearer.
Matthew 5:33-37 Again, you hear that it was declared to the ancients, You shall not be perjuring, (lying under oath) yet you shall be paying to the Lord your oaths. Yet I am saying to you absolutely not to swear, neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God, nor by the earth, for it is a footstool for his feet; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King,. Nor by your head should you be swearing, for you are not able to make one hair white or black. Yet let your word be yes, yes, and No, no. Now what is in excess of these is of the wicked one.
There are two parts to these verses: the first part confirms the law on oaths; the second part forbids swearing in a frivolous manner or in a light-hearted way. We all have heard people say “To tell you the truth.” Does this mean they weren’t telling the truth before? Or they will try to add emphasis by saying, “May my mother go blind if what I say is not true!”
The society in Christ’s day was using the earth, Jerusalem or their head to try to add emphasis to their words. In much the same way, people today use curse words to try to add emphasis. Christ’s instructions to us are: “Just let your words be Yes, Yes, or No, No.”
Some church leaders have instructed people not to swear in a court of law based upon these words, “swear not at all”. This is a wrong interpretation of these words. However, the apostle Paul swore in a court of Law and it was proper.
Ruth used God’s name in a declaration when she committed herself to Naomi.
Ruth 1:16-17 And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: 17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.
Ruth used the name of God in a proper way in this example; we must do likewise.
Seven things that God hates
Proverbs 6:16-19 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
Leviticus 5:1 And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it; if he does not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity.
Leviticus 5:4-5 Or if a soul swear, pronouncing with his lips to do evil, or to do good, whatsoever it be that a man shall pronounce with an oath, and it be hid from him; when he knoweth of it, then he shall be guilty in one of these. 5 And it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of these things, that he shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing:
Leviticus 5:6-13 And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD for his sin which he hath sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin. 7 And if he be not able to bring a lamb, then he shall bring for his trespass, which he hath committed, two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, unto the LORD; one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering. 8 And he shall bring them unto the priest, who shall offer that which is for the sin offering first, and wring off his head from his neck, but shall not divide it asunder: 9 And he shall sprinkle of the blood of the sin offering upon the side of the altar; and the rest of the blood shall be wrung out at the bottom of the altar: it is a sin offering. 10 And he shall offer the second for a burnt offering, according to the manner: and the priest shall make an atonement for him for his sin which he hath sinned, and it shall be forgiven him. 11 But if he be not able to bring two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, then he that sinned shall bring for his offering the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering; he shall put no oil upon it, neither shall he put any frankincense thereon: for it is a sin offering. 12 Then shall he bring it to the priest, and the priest shall take his handful of it, even a memorial thereof, and burn it on the altar, according to the offerings made by fire unto the LORD, it is a sin offering. 13 And the priest shall make an atonement for him as touching his sin that he hath sinned in one of these, and it shall be forgiven him: and the remnant shall be the priest's, as a meat (or meal) offering.
Breaking the law knowingly is not excusable, nor is failing to pay all vows made to God.
Deuteronomy 23:21-23 When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee. 22 But if thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee. 23 That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt keep and perform; even a freewill offering, according as thou hast vowed unto the LORD thy God, which thou hast promised with thy mouth.
There is an obligation on the family and the head of the household concerning vows.
Numbers 30:1-16 And Moses spake unto the heads of the tribes concerning the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded. 2 If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth. 3 If a woman also vow a vow unto the LORD, and bind herself by a bond, being in her father's house in her youth; 4 And her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her: then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand. 5 But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and the LORD shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her. 6 And if she had at all an husband, when she vowed, or uttered ought out of her lips, wherewith she bound her soul; 7 And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her in the day that he heard it: then her vows shall stand, and her bonds wherewith she bound her soul shall stand. 8 But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard it; then he shall make her vow which she vowed, and that which she uttered with her lips, wherewith she bound her soul, of none effect: and the LORD shall forgive her. 9 But every vow of a widow, and of her that is divorced, wherewith they have bound their souls, shall stand against her. 10 And if she vowed in her husband's house, or bound her soul by a bond with an oath; 11 And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her, and disallowed her not: then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she bound her soul shall stand. 12 But if her husband hath utterly made them void on the day he heard them; then whatsoever proceeded out of her lips concerning her vows, or concerning the bond of her soul, shall not stand: her husband hath made them void; and the LORD shall forgive her. 13 Every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul, her husband may establish it, or her husband may make it void. 14 But if her husband altogether hold his peace at her from day to day; then he establisheth all her vows, or all her bonds, which are upon her: he confirmeth them, because he held his peace at her in the day that he heard them. 15 But if he shall any ways make them void after that he hath heard them; then he shall bear her iniquity. 16 These are the statutes, which the LORD commanded Moses, between a man and his wife, between the father and his daughter, being yet in her youth in her father's house.
The Holiness of the Offerings
Leviticus 22:1-33 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, that they separate themselves from the holy things of the children of Israel, and that they profane not my holy name in those things which they hallow unto me: I am the LORD. 3 Say unto them, Whosoever he be of all your seed among your generations, that goeth unto the holy things, which the children of Israel hallow unto the LORD, having his uncleanness upon him, that soul shall be cut off from my presence: I am the LORD. 4 What man soever of the seed of Aaron is a leper, or hath a running issue; he shall not eat of the holy things, until he be clean. And whoso toucheth any thing that is unclean by the dead, or a man whose seed goeth from him; 5 Or whosoever toucheth any creeping thing, whereby he may be made unclean, or a man of whom he may take uncleanness, whatsoever uncleanness he hath; 6 The soul which hath touched any such shall be unclean until even, and shall not eat of the holy things, unless he wash his flesh with water. 7 And when the sun is down, he shall be clean, and shall afterward eat of the holy things; because it is his food. 8 That which dieth of itself, or is torn with beasts, he shall not eat to defile himself therewith: I am the LORD. 9 They shall therefore keep mine ordinance, lest they bear sin for it, and die therefore, if they profane it: I the LORD do sanctify them. 10 There shall no stranger eat of the holy thing: a sojourner of the priest, or an hired servant, shall not eat of the holy thing. 11 But if the priest buy any soul with his money, he shall eat of it, and he that is born in his house: they shall eat of his meat. 12 If the priest's daughter also be married unto a stranger, she may not eat of an offering of the holy things. 13 But if the priest's daughter be a widow, or divorced, and have no child, and is returned unto her father's house, as in her youth, she shall eat of her father's meat: but there shall no stranger eat thereof. 14 And if a man eat of the holy thing unwittingly, then he shall put the fifth part thereof unto it, and shall give it unto the priest with the holy thing. 15 And they shall not profane the holy things of the children of Israel, which they offer unto the LORD; 16 Or suffer them to bear the iniquity of trespass, when they eat their holy things: for I the LORD do sanctify them. 17 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 18 Speak unto Aaron, and to his sons, and unto all the children of Israel, and say unto them, Whatsoever he be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers in Israel, that will offer his oblation for all his vows, and for all his freewill offerings, which they will offer unto the LORD for a burnt offering; 19 Ye shall offer at your own will a male without blemish, of the beeves, of the sheep, or of the goats. 20 But whatsoever hath a blemish, that shall ye not offer: for it shall not be acceptable for you. 21 And whosoever offereth a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD to accomplish his vow, or a freewill offering in beeves or sheep, it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein. 22 Blind, or broken, or maimed, or having a wen, or scurvy, or scabbed, ye shall not offer these unto the LORD, nor make an offering by fire of them upon the altar unto the LORD. 23 Either a bullock or a lamb that hath any thing superfluous or lacking in his parts, that mayest thou offer for a freewill offering; but for a vow it shall not be accepted. 24 Ye shall not offer unto the LORD that which is bruised, or crushed, or broken, or cut; neither shall ye make any offering thereof in your land. 25 Neither from a stranger's hand shall ye offer the bread of your God of any of these; because their corruption is in them, and blemishes be in them: they shall not be accepted for you. 26 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 27 When a bullock, or a sheep, or a goat, is brought forth, then it shall be seven days under the dam; and from the eighth day and thenceforth it shall be accepted for an offering made by fire unto the LORD. 28 And whether it be cow or ewe, ye shall not kill it and her young both in one day. 29And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the LORD, offer it at your own will. 30 On the same day it shall be eaten up; ye shall leave none of it until the morrow: I am the LORD. 31 Therefore shall ye keep my commandments, and do them: I am the LORD. 32 Neither shall ye profane my holy name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I am the LORD which hallow you, 33 That brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD.
All offerings are holy to the Lord, and offering polluted sacrifices is taking His name in vain. This is the basis of the complaint: God says that people claim His table is polluted, because we are sinners and redeemed of God as living sacrifices.
The use of the Tongue
The focus of the third commandment is based on what we say. Our words reveal our thoughts, while our thoughts guide our actions. This principle is given by Christ in Luke 6:43-45.
Luke 6:43-45 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
The apostle Paul exposes the evil heart within man to the brethren in Rome. He shows the carnal nature of man who has chosen to separate himself from God.
Romans 3:10-18 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17 And the way of peace have they not known: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
These verses describe those who have no regard for God’s Law.
Christ’s own brother, James, pastor or bishop of the Church at Jerusalem, and spokesman for the church conference in Acts 15, had much to say about the use of the tongue.
James 1:26 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 2:5-7 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? 6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? 7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?
James 3:5-9 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. 7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: 8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
James 4:11-12 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. 12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
1Peter 3:10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
We see from these Scriptures that God wants His true servants to have a clean tongue (cf. also Tit. 2:7-8). We are judged on what we say. “From out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”
Prayer to God in a proper way was known from the earliest times. However, prayer is also used to try to manipulate God. This attempted manipulation is vain and violates the third commandment. Church leaders have called for fasting and prayer when their organisation got into financial trouble; and prayers have been offered up for Church leaders who were leading the members into apostasy.
Isaiah 1:15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear:
God used prophecy and the prophets to warn the people of future events, to call to repentance the disobedient, and to show what would happen to Israel for breaking His laws.
False prophecy has always been a plague upon God’s people. The account of King Balak of Moab asking Balaam to pronounce a curse on Israel in Numbers 22 shows how God views false prophets. God had to speak through a mule to get Balaam’s attention. Prophesying falsely in God’s name is vanity or in vain. Promulgating false ideas and misinterpreting Scripture has been a huge plague upon the Church of God in the twentieth century.
The mainstream so-called Orthodox world is filled with man-made false doctrines, which breach the third commandment and attack the Laws of God. The praying to a so-called Mary Mother of God to have a false Christ intervene is all vanity – it is petitioning in vain. The use of beads and prayer wheels is all vain repetition, forbidden by the Bible (Mat. 6:7). The gathering of thousands of people together in a stadium or arena and preaching to them to accept a false Christ is all vanity – it is taking the name of the Living God in vain.
More recent or modern songs in church worship, particularly those such as the “Just as I am” styles, are a breach of the third commandment. They show no understanding of the need of repentance, but are a fulfilment of the howlings (Amos 8:3), which were prophesied to fill our places of worship.
The Sunday morning “preaching about Jesus” is all taking the name of God in vain. The true Jesus Christ of the New Testament says in Matthew 15:9 and in Mark 7:7:
In vain they do worship (Greek-adore) me teaching for doctrine the commandments of men.
The whole system of so-called Gospel music with its message of “Give your heart to the Lord,” the false teaching of going to heaven, or, “You will burn in hell forever” is not based on any Scriptures of the Living God. These ideas are simply not found in the Bible; they all originate from the minds of men. They are not scriptural but are vanity, or in vain, and they serve no purpose except to promote a fear religion and hide the whole purpose and plan of the One True God. That plan is to bring all mankind into fellowship with Him, through repentance and obedience (cf. Acts 2:38 and Mat. 7:21).
The Negativism of the Law
Some have charged that the Ten Commandment structure of the law is negative in its instruction and wording, namely, “Thou shalt not…” This phrase is used ten times in Exodus 20, and ten times when the commandments are given in Deuteronomy 5. But the ten-point law is a positive law in its application. The Ten Commandments are to be obeyed, and they have a regulatory effect upon society as a whole and on each individual in particular.
The Law, when obeyed and applied, brings man’s spirit into subjection to God’s way. It causes man to develop obedience from within, and it teaches man a way of governance. Unless and until man can learn to govern the heart, lawlessness prevails. Man’s heart must be converted and changed, or man’s actions are foolish.
Psalms 14:1; 53:1a The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.
Proverbs 14:7 Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.
Proverbs 17:12 Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.
Proverbs 18:6 A fool’s lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes.
Proverbs 13:20 He that walketh with men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
God’s Law is filled with wisdom, and when obeyed gives understanding. When applied it is positive and gives positive results.
God’s Law is the solution to man’s inability to govern himself and the planet, and the third commandment is a big part of government. God in His wisdom reveals His Law. Mankind must learn to fear God and to fear disobedience to His Law. (See also Ex. 20:10; Deut. 5:14; Prov. 1:32; 14:7; 17:12; 10:23; 18:6; 29:11; 13:20; 26:6.)
Just and fair punishment
An example of the determination of the death penalty for blasphemy is found in Leviticus 24:10-16.
Leviticus 24:10-16 And the son of an Israelitish woman, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the children of Israel: and this son of the Israelitish woman and a man of Israel strove together in the camp; 11 And the Israelitish woman's son blasphemed the name of the LORD, and cursed. And they brought him unto Moses: (and his mother's name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan:) 12 And they put him in ward, that the mind of the LORD might be showed them. 13 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 14 Bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp; and let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him. 15 And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin. 16 And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death.
The important thing about this text is that it was Jesus Christ who was with Israel in the wilderness. Christ himself said that no man had seen God ever, or heard His voice. Thus Christ set this punishment in train through Moses, and that shows how Christ thought that it should be administered.
Moses carried out this punishment as he was instructed in the wilderness by the being we understand to have been Messiah, as Elohim of Israel. “For they all drank of the spiritual rock that followed them in the wilderness, and that rock was Christ” (1Cor. 10:4).
Leviticus 24:23 And Moses spake to the children of Israel, that they should bring forth him that had cursed out of the camp, and stone him with stones. And the children of Israel did as the LORD commanded Moses.
If the Angel of the Presence was Jesus Christ, then the law stood inviolate and the commandments, including the Sabbaths and Holy Days, also stood inviolate. For this reason the Trinitarian church of the Middle Ages made it an offence to say that Christ was the being with Israel in the wilderness, as the Angel of Yahovah or the Messenger of Great Counsel of Isaiah 9:6 (LXX). Thus the Trinitarians took the authority of God and His name in vain; they killed the martyrs and became drunk on the blood of the saints.
Cursing and worship
Exodus 21:17 shows the punishment for cursing one’s father and mother. The requirements of laying curses upon the disobedient in the nation are laid out in the texts of the law. No curse and no accusation can be made without being under the structure of the law. All such activity is in breach of the third commandment, as well as the others under which it falls juridically.
The Declaration of God and Worship
God Himself has sworn an oath and that oath shall stand. Isaiah 45:23 is a prophecy.
Isaiah 45:23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. (KJV)
God declares here that history shall culminate in the worship of Him, and the Godly oath will be the foundation of every society and every tribe.
Micah 6:8 He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
James 5:12 But 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.
God’s word shall not return empty, nor shall His name be taken in vain (cf. Rom. 14:11).
In every generation God has preserved those who have not bowed to this system, but have accepted and remain faithful to Him (1Kgs. 19:18).
1Kings 19:18 Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him. (KJV)
God has chosen Jesus Christ as His anointed and all shall bow to him in the name of God.
Philippians 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; (KJV)
That which can be made known of God is manifest in the elect who act in His name (Rom. 1:19-20). In the coming Kingdom of God men shall not call on the name of God falsely as they did in times past (Gen. 4:26). He who has been appointed an High Priest after the order of Melchisedek will be declared the King of Kings and will rule in the name of the One True God who sent him (Jn. 17:3); and no lips shall take the name of God in vain any more.
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