1. Hello, listening friends.
2. We welcome you once again to this broadcast;
3. and, if you have joined us for the first time,
4. we are in the midst of a series on the Ten Commandments.
5. Today, many people abhor the name of God.
6. You say, “How come?”
7. By swearing by the name of God, and, most often, they are lying.
8. They swear by the name of God, just to get out of trouble.
9. Now, compare this attitude of abusing the name of God with the way people of old have felt about the name of God.
10. The Book of Leviticus tells us
11. that the name of God was held so sacred that it was pronounced only once a year.
12. The priest would say the name of God only on the great Day of Atonement.
13. In fact, God’s people came to value God’s name so much that, when the scribes were copying the words of the Scripture, when they came to the name “Jehovah,” they would stop and bathe all over;
14. then, they would return and begin to write again with another pen that had never been used before.
15. They did this to show respect for the name of Jehovah.
16. To them, the name of Jehovah was so awesome.
17. The name of Jehovah was so covenantal.
18. The name of Jehovah was so promise-keeping;
19. and they could not misuse the name of the Lord;
20. and that is why the Third Commandment is unlike the first two.
21. For those of you who are just joining us, we have been studying the Ten Commandments.
22. In the first two Commandments, God says, “I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods before Me...”
23. and, then, in the Third Commandment, the Word of God said,
24. “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless.”
25. Why do you think God switches into the third person in the Third Commandment?
26. It is because God wants to draw attention to who He is.
27. God wants to draw attention to His covenant name,
28. which is Yahweh, or Jehovah, or Elohim.
29. This was the name that God gave Moses when Moses asked the Lord what would he tell His people.
30. Moses said, “Lord, when I go to your people in Egypt, who can I tell them sent me?”
31. and the Lord said to him,
32. “The Lord Jehovah, the God of your fathers...”
33. and “Yahweh” means, “I Am who I Am.”
34. Why is this so important?
35. It is very important because it speaks to us about God’s self-existence.
36. It speaks to us about God’s supreme sovereignty in the universe.
37. Yahweh is more than just a name.
38. God’s very identity is in His name.
39. To most of us, names are just labels.
40. We name children to distinguish them from each other.
41. Names are something our parents have given us;
42. but, to the people of God, names were not just labels.
43. Names expressed the entire reputation of the person;
44. and it is the same way when you are talking about the name of God.
45. God’s name reveals who He is.
46. His name reveals His identity, His character, and His personality.
47. In Bible times, they did not worry so much about nice-sounding names.
48. Names were given to children to indicate the direction of their lives;
49. and where did the people of God learn to give their children names which reveals their character?
50. They learned it from God,
51. because God’s name reveals who He is;
52. therefore, they gave their children names that they hoped would reveal what they want them to be.
53. I want to tell you why it is so important not to misuse the name of the Lord.
54. Because the name of the Lord is holy;
55. and to misuse His name is to desecrate why He is holy.
56. Because the name of the Lord is worthy;
57. and taking that name lightly means that you are saying that God is worthless.
58. That is why it is so important.
59. You may be wondering how a believer could misuse the name of the Lord.
60. I will share with you three ways in which believers sometimes misuse the name of God.
61. First is perjury.
62. Secondly, intimidation;
63. and, thirdly, casualness in the use of the name of the Lord.
64. Let me start with perjury.
65. What do I mean by “perjury?”
66. When someone takes an oath to tell the truth and then lies, that’s perjury;
67. and it is a serious offense against a holy God;
68. and God will not hold guiltless those who take His name in vain or misuse His name.
69. The Lord Jesus Christ gives us a wonderful example of honesty under oath in Matthew 26:63.
70. The high priest asked Jesus,
71. “I charge you under oath, by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.”
72. Jesus could have kept quiet.
73. He knew that telling the truth under oath would take Him to the cross;
74. but here’s what Jesus said:
75. “Yes, it is as you say.”
76. Jesus knew that His blazing integrity in declaring who He is would take Him to the cross;
77. and, so, Jesus is saying to us, if your life depends on it, tell the truth;
78. but misuse of the name of the Lord takes place not only by perjury,
79. but, secondly, when believers try to intimidate each other, this is breaking the great Commandments.
80. You say, “How does this happen?”
81. It happens when people try to speak for God.
82. They claim to be spokesmen for God;
83. but, my listening friends, please listen very carefully.
84. This is not from God.
85. Do you know why?
86. Because God spoke once and for all in His book, the Bible.
87. People claiming to speak for God uses God’s name to manipulate people.
88. They use the name of God for personal gain.
89. That is breaking the Third Commandment.
90. Not only perjury is misuse of the name of the Lord,
91. not only using the name of the Lord to intimidate people is misusing the name of the Lord,
92. but, thirdly, casualness in the use of the name of the Lord is misuse of the name of the Lord.
93. People use profanity as a crutch;
94. and, then, they say, “Well, I didn’t really mean that.
95. I was just angry and I did not know what I was saying...”
96. but, please listen carefully, my listening friend.
97. To curse someone in God’s name is a terrible misuse of the name of God,
98. whether you claim that you meant it or not.
99. Jesus said,
100. “From the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks...”
101. and that is why God’s Word says
102. you cannot misuse His name and get away with it,
103. for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
104. There are some people who use the name of the Lord for their own advantage.
105. In fact, the Bible gives us an example of a family who tried to use the name of Jesus to advance themselves.
106. It is in the Book of Acts, Chapter 19, beginning at verse 14.
107. In Ephesus, there was a man who was the chief priest of the synagogue.
108. This man’s name was Sceva;
109. and the Bible tells us that he had seven sons.
110. When Paul arrived in Ephesus, he began to preach the Gospel in the power of the name of Jesus.
111. He was healing the sick in the power of the name of Jesus.
112. He was baptizing people in the name of Jesus.
113. He was casting out demons in the power of the name of Jesus;
114. and the Ephesians saw and experienced the power of the name of Jesus like very few cities around that time;
115. and among those who were watching Paul from a distance were the seven sons of Sceva;
116. and they were taking notice that Paul would say, “In the name of Jesus,” and things would happen;
117. and so the sons of Sceva said, “If we can mimic Paul and use the same words that Paul uses,
118. then we will have power and people will notice us.”
119. So what did they do?
120. They went to cast out a demon from a demon-possessed man.
121. They said, “In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, come out.”
122. Demons, as you may know, believe and tremble at the name of Jesus;
123. but this demon spoke through the man he was possessing,
124. and he said, “Jesus I know. Paul I know, but who are you?”
125. and then he jumps on them and he gives them the beating of their life.
126. In fact, the Bible said they ran out naked and they were bleeding from head to toe.
127. After this episode with Sceva, the Bible said that the name of Jesus was lifted high,
128. not only in Ephesus, but throughout the whole area.
130. Because there is power in the name of the Lord,
131. and you cannot exploit it to your own advantage without a heavy consequence.
132. Well, some of you may be asking, “How, then, do we properly use the name of the Lord?”
133. There are three ways in which you can honor the name of the Lord.
135. you must recognize the incredible relationship that God has with you.
136. You have to focus on that.
137. You have to spend time to know what it means for the God of the universe to reach down to you and say to you, “I love you. I want you to spend time with Me.
138. I want you to know Me.”
139. The Creator of the universe wants you to know Him;
140. and, when you come to Him,
141. He puts His arm around you and says, “You are My child.
142. I have redeemed you.
143. I desire to give you power that’s in My name, but you have got to know Me first.
144. You can’t just use My name.”
145. To know God is to be overwhelmed with His grace.
147. you must recognize His presence all the time.
148. Even non-believers would say God is everywhere;
149. but I’m talking of you being conscious of the fact that He is with you everywhere you may go,
150. watching your every moment of every day.
151. The third thing I want to tell you is to recognize the power of the tongue.
152. If you have a problem praising the name of God,
153. then there must be a problem in your life.
154. If you have a problem praising God,
155. then there is something wrong with your relationship with God;
156. so watch the power of the tongue,
157. because the tongue that praises the name of the Lord,
158. the tongue that honors the name of the Lord,
159. the tongue that glorifies the name of the Lord,
160. the tongue that treasures the name of the Lord,
161. the tongue that protects the reputation of the name of the Lord
162. is the very tongue that invites the blessing of the power of the name of the Lord.
163. Until next time, I wish you God’s richest blessing.