The 3rd Commandment
Is this command still as important and does ignoring it disrespect the name of Christ?
What all does this Command apply to today?
Acts 4:12 says; "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (NKJ) That makes His name far more important than any other human names. Would disrespect to true Christianity break the 3rd Commandment? Christ is the LORD who gave that command to Moses for Israel, (John 1:1-3, & 14) but what about in today’s world and among those who claim Christianity!
For those who are daily Bible students and who thirst for knowledge and understanding—everything in the Bible points us to the creative purpose & the bringing of man to salvation. We must develop Godly character to be in His Family, soon established here on earth as the coming Kingdom of God. But do we grasp what that really means in relation to keeping the Ten Commandments? Let us begin with 2 Pet 3:18 “but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever”. Amen. (NKJ) This verse can obviously stand alone, but it is not alone here and we will pick up the context as we go along.
The 3rd command of the ten is not one that people reflect on much, in our world today—in fact not very many of the commandments are taken seriously today-if even believed at all and that is the problem. What does the 3rd commandment say, before we get into the context of 2Pet.3:18? Let us read that together—get your Bibles and believe what it reveals to you. We find this in Deut.5:11 'You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.” Most people think that only applies to using God’s name in cursing or profanity; however that is not the full intent and meaning. This is one of those commandments given that shows love & honor to God. There are many today who claim to be “Christians” but have no idea that they are in violation of this commandment, as well as others, in how they live their lives—it is more serious than most realize, even in the COG today, so let us go back now to 2Pet.3 and begin to take a look at the context. We need to begin with verse one and take it from there, in order to make the connection to the 3rd Commandment.
2 Pet 3:1 (NKJ) “Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), 2 that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, (So here is the first mention of commandment & Christ as Lord and Savior) 3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, (That is our time today) walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." Basically saying time has gone right on and Christ has not come (Even some who have been associated with the COG are now saying this.) V.5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, 6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.”
(This was because of the evils in Noah’s time, and Christ said it would be like that again right before His return. The evils are quickly growing in our world today and especially in the USA.)
V.7 “But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
The days of man under the god of this world (2Cor. 4:4) are allotted at 6,000 years—6 days to God—then the Sabbath rest or 1,000 years—a day of rest and peace on earth. Christ will intervene, the kingdom of God will be set up. Daniel spoke of this prophecy in Dan 2:44-45 "And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. 45 "Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, (represents Christ returning) and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold-- the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure."
Going back now to 2 Pet 3 and now V.9; “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, (The kingdom to be set up and eternal life given to the chosen and faithful) as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” This is a reference to those who are Christians and profess allegiance to Christ, so they have taken His name; Christian means a follower of Christ and He is their Lord—So you see, this does connect to the 3rd Commandment. Going on now; V.10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Note this now, as we get into verse 11; “Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,”--- so this is directed at true Christians, the COG and what they should be like—those who profess to keep the Commandments cannot be casually taking the name of Christ or Christianity in vain. Incidentally the (NIV) translates Deut.5:11 this way; "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.” And that is exactly what we are getting at here and what Peter is warning against in those who expect to be in the first resurrection. This resurrection of the first fruits is not overdue and will come in God’s time.
A person who only makes a pretense of being a Christian will not always be obeying God to the best of their ability, by keeping all of His Commandments! They will find ways and excuses for breaking the commandments by lying and cheating, committing adultery or lusting/coveting—etc.— or just following men, when it seems convenient to them. I hope this message is getting through to those doing so, for whatever the reasons they choose. When our choices do not match what we profess to be—we just may be taking the “Name” of the Lord Jesus Christ in vain and breaking the 3rd Commandment as well as others. Now let us finish this context and get back where we started. 2 Pet 3: and now verse13; “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”
Many today who claim to be Christian ministers do not teach this, believing & teaching that one is going off to heaven, as well as many other things contrary to Scripture. They have rejected much of the truth of Jesus and are breaking the 3rd Commandment—appropriating or taking His name in vain—even the claim of being Christians!
V.14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; “ (working toward obedient perfection or maturity in the unity of the one body or spiritual organism, as much as is possible today.) 15 and account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation-- as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.”
This gets right at the heart of taking the Lords name in vain when people twist and pervert the very words and doctrines that our Lord and Savior came to reveal and teach—they reject the very truth of the Gospel and preach lies instead—but still claim to be Christians! V.17 You therefore, beloved, (this is to the true COG now) since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; (those who would pervert and twist the truth to suite themselves, having their own agenda, which is happening among the differing COG organizations today—so now, we have come back to that verse.)
2 Pet 3:18 “but grow in the grace”—now let us pause here to get the full impact of this word and the intent meant here; Strong’s definition is this: # 5485 charis (khar'-ece); from 5463; graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude):” (See also the article titled “Ingratitude” as it also affects some in the COG today.)
So we are, if true Christians, to be growing in that “and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.” That means you are studying your Bibles to learn all you can learn about Him, what His word reveals and teaches, how He would have you live and what to obey, which is all of the Commandments, as He did. God looks on the heart and knows if you and I are trying or not and have a true desire to overcome. He also knows those who are just following men and their doctrines and traditions, handed down through time, that may be in error or even just twisted somewhat. (Many cleverly teach a mixture of truth and error and if they also claim to be ministers of Jesus Christ, they are taking His name in vain.)
If we truly do love God and Christ, accepting Him as Lord and Savior, we will be struggling and praying not to be taking His name in vain, nor having disregard for any of the word of God, which pertains to true Christianity today. If we are trying to be true Christians, we will live Spiritual lives to the best of our ability while rejecting anything that even looks like we are taking His name in vain! (Editor for tcogmso)