-Using the name of God in vain-

By Leith Lyman Cunningham

“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name” (Exodus 20:7). What does it mean anyway? Is it still valid today? Does God really care anyway? Has He given us the right and authority to decide for ourselves? Or, are there still consequences for disobedience? Let’s take a look at what the Word of God has to say on the matter. Then let us also examine ourselves to see if we may need to implement a change of direction in any violations we may have been guilty of, and may still be guilty of using, against the name of God, in vain.

A concerned church member Emily, in her attempt at the possibility of opening up a deeper understanding of the Word of God; writes her friend a note on the subject that can begin to open our eyes just a smidgen, as we examine this important issue.

Emily volunteers her thoughts on the matter, to her friend. Growing up in church, I was always taught not to "take the Lord's name in vain." When I was younger, this translated to not saying things like "oh my god!" But the older I've gotten, the sillier that seems. I've heard people invoke God to justify saying all sorts of hurtful things, so just avoiding those few phrases seems like a shallow view of that commandment. I was reading back over the Ten commandments recently and came across that phrase again, so I was wondering: What does it actually mean to "take the Lord's name in vain?"    

- Emily

Dear Friend,

Having grown up in church, I too have wrestled over this question. We know better than to take the Lord’s name in vain. Scripture makes it clear: “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name” (Exodus 20:7).

God obviously cares about our words, and there’s something seriously wrong with taking the Lord’s name in vain. At face value, it makes sense not to say, “oh my god,” or to utter God’s name in other disrespectful ways. I grew up believing that’s all the third command requires, and that’s what we must do to fulfill it. Words reveal our substance, the truth of who we are. They testify either of our devotion to God or of a spiritual problem. I came to see that God lists this command among other serious infractions including idolatry, Sabbath breaking, disrespecting parents, killing, adultery, lying, coveting, a neighbor’s spouse and or possessions. And I began wondering if God has bigger concerns than occasional slips of the tongue. You are right about digging deeper. There’s a lot more going on in this passage.

I once heard a pastor say the third command is possibly the most neglected because of “the tendency we all have to dismiss its significance.” He meant that it’s easy to let this command slide when there are other more serious-sounding infractions. All the while, the Old and New Testaments show us that what comes out of our mouths is more than a matter of words; it points to the condition of our hearts:

“Each tree is recognized by its own fruit ... A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Luke 6: 44-45).

Words reveal our substance, the truth of who we are. They testify either of our devotion to God or of a spiritual problem. We know this because the command not to take the Lord’s name in vain follows instructions to love God wholeheartedly and not to worship idols (causing spiritual malaise).

Prior to this, God has cracked down on false prophets for speaking illegitimate words in the name of the Lord. God has also cautioned His people not to listen to false prophets including those who treat the wounds of others lightly by crying, “Peace, peace when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14). The third command cautions us from proclaiming, “God told me this or that,” unless we are positive it lines up with Scripture. And words spoken in the name of the Lord never stand in the way of compassionate, practical support of those who suffer injustices.

Leviticus 19:12 says, “‘Do not swear falsely by my name and so profane the name of your God. I am the Lord.’” A seminary professor once demonstrated that the third command relates to covenant making within legal and personal situations. God opposes perjury. God wants a civil servant to keep his or her vows. God values keeping ordination vows and marriage vows. It is serious business to commit to a vow made in the name of God.  

The writer of Hebrews emphasizes the importance of worshiping God with a fully engaged heart: “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:22). Such devotion involves meaningful intention when speaking God’s name. 

Turning to James 3:11, we face a challenging question about our behaviors including our words: “Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?” Reading on, we are reminded that a fig tree does not bear olives, and a grapevine does not bear figs. Wisdom reminds us to draw upon Jesus—God’s living Word—while living and moving and having our being in Him.

It sends powerful messages when we identify with Jesus’ name. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us” (2 Corinthians 5:20). He lives in us, although—truth be told—we don’t always represent Him well. It’s never easy to hear that even our smallest actions matter. James 1:26 says this with some strong words, “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” Whether or not we follow in Jesus’ footsteps has serious ramifications.

Not taking the Lord’s name in vain entails sticking with Jesus, again and again, as the Spirit helps us overcome sin and recreates our lives. Through it all, we realize our truest identity and purposes. May the aroma of Jesus permeate our words and actions drawing others to God (2 Corinthians 2:14).

-Read as if your well-being depends upon it, because it does-

So, important is the name of God that it is guarded solemnly in the Ten Commandments by a prohibition on taking His name in vain (Ex. 20:7). Violation of this law is a capital offense: “Whoever blasphemes the name of the LORD shall surely be put to death” (Lev. 24:16). Leviticus cites a variety of examples of what such misuse of God’s name includes: offering children to Molech (18:21), swearing falsely (19:12), and priests’ shaving the edge of their beards (21:5–6). The sheer variety of infringements of the command shows that taking the Lord’s name in vain involves not merely speaking it badly, but includes living it wrongly.

It was the name of the Lord that was to be put “upon” the people of Israel, through the Aaronic blessing (Num. 6:24–27). The name was not merely a title or an epithet, but it included the character and eminence of God revealed for the salvation and sanctification of His people. By the name of God, they are saved, and by the name of God they are set apart.

These themes are evident in the life and work of Jesus. He had come to earth for us and for our salvation in the name of the Father (John 5:4310:25). He lived to glorify the name of God (12:28; 17:4) and to reveal it (17:6). In the name of God, He had preserved His people, and in that same name they would be kept forever (17:11–12).

The name of God, upon His people through baptism (Matt. 28:19), would be the name by which the Holy Spirit would come to comfort them and hear their prayers (John 14:2616:23). It is the name of God that guarantees eternal life to all who believe (20:31). And Jesus Christ has been given the job and responsibility to see that all of mankind will be drawn to God and Himself. All will be called, all will come within their own allotted time frame, and all of mankind will be saved, without one exception.

When ever we make  comments on the third commandment that “it becomes us to regulate our minds and our tongues, so as never to think or speak of God and his mysteries without reverence and great soberness, and never, in estimating his works, to have any feeling toward him but one of deep veneration” (Institutes 2.8.22). That sense of veneration in connection with God’s name is what characterizes a life of holiness and a worship that is genuine. Both in our service and in our worship, we are to think on the things of God with adoration and reverence, knowing that the fact that God has revealed Himself to us by name is itself a great act of grace.

In his study of the Ten Commandments, the famous Puritan Thomas Watson cites twelve ways in which we take God’s name in vain. Among them are using God’s name irreverently, professing His name but not living according to our profession, worshiping Him externally but not in heart, misusing His Word, falsifying our promises, and speaking without care for the honor of God. It is a sobering analysis, intended not to micromanage our behavior but to show us how the third commandment permeates the whole of life. We all need to understand, we are either part of the solution, or part of the problem. Depending upon how we use or misuse the name of God.

By naming Himself, God not only discloses who He is, but He does so in such a way that we might know Him personally. To live by the terms of the third commandment is to recognize and confess that God deserves the highest honor; that He has singled us out by putting His name on us; that we would be entirely lost were it not that for the sake of His name He keeps and protects us; and that He calls us to live after the example of Jesus, glorifying God on earth. We are the bearers of the name of God; may all our of our righteous conduct show it.

John Piper, brings this to the table of Godly wisdom and spiritual understanding, by asking this question.

How do you define the sin of taking the Lord's name in vain?

Well that's a quote from the Ten commandments: "Don't take the name of the Lord your God in vain." The idea of vanity (and I think the Hebrew carries this connotation) is "don't empty the name." So, it doesn't just refer to a certain tone of voice or a certain use of the word. It's dealing with God and speaking of God in a way that empties him of his significance. This includes both throw-away words—like "God!" or "Jesus!"—as well as speaking about him in trifling and flippant ways. Not just swear ways but cheap ways, low and insignificant ways that just treat him like a commodity.

And when you hear them you sense that there is no weight to that sentence, no corresponding emotion to that statement. It seems to have just been gutted. God, Christ, the cross, the things he is and the things he did are great, and they're weighty. And there's a certain corresponding demeanor of worship that should be there. So, I think taking the Lord's name in vain is more than "O my God!" or "Jesus Christ!" It is that plus more.

The positive way to look at it is to revere God, love God, delight in God, know God, fill up God with all that he is. And then out of the abundance of the heart the mouth will speak.

I think it is far better to take the commandments and not focus so much on the negative—that is "don't lie, don't commit adultery, don't steal, don't kill"—but rather focus on where those come from, and put the emphasis there. And here, "don't take his name in vain" would mean that you take his name in vain because he is empty to you. Your mind doesn't feel the weight and fullness of his glory. So, that's the key: vain is empty. Don't empty God of his weight and his glory. Fill it up rather than emptying it. (end quote)

The casual use of God’s name reduces our reverence, as it ignores the glory and holiness and trivializes it to the hearer by bringing God down to the “everyday” level. Some will ask, is taking the Lord’s name in vain still a big deal? Well, that depends. Is God still a big deal? If He isn’t, then don’t worry about it, but if He is, then there is a certain degree of reverence that we owe Him. But this can be a really foreign concept for us for at least two reasons. As a culture, we have lost our natural sense of reverence in general, and a sense of reverence for God’s Name in particular. We tend to honor people the less reverent they can be, take Madonna for a good example, on her message of hate, grunge, filth and disgust about our nation’s leaders on national TV. Spewing out poisonous venom to influence the multiple millions of minds and hearts of their own gullible converts, and any other weak-minded persons to be taken in.  

But reverence is simply realizing that there are greater things than me. It is realizing that the higher things aren’t meant for you and I to be looked down upon, but to make us look up and see what is really there. We have also lost the sense of the power of God’s Name. And not just the “power”, but the fact that God’s Name is sacred. I want to state that again: God’s Name is sacred. Try this: imagine that you are God and you are going to reveal to people the things they need to do and the things they need to avoid in order to live really well. Only you limit yourself to ten things (we’ll call them “commandments”). What would they be? Clearly, they would be pretty important. Don’t kill. Don’t steal. Don’t commit adultery. “You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain.” Huh? How does that fit?

Try again. Imagine you are God (still) and you are going to teach your disciples how to pray. Fast forward to the second line, “Hallowed be thy name”. It is right up there again! Maybe we should pay attention to that. Some of the ways in which we can take the Lord’s name in vain. Includes both false oaths and oaths made lightly, perjury, magical use of the divine name, and blasphemy.

Blasphemy?! People still use that word? Yup. Basically, blasphemy is “uttering against God – inwardly or outwardly – words of hatred, reproach, or defiance; in speaking ill of God; in failing in respect toward him in one’s speech; in misusing God’s name. … The prohibition of blasphemy extends to language against Christ’s Church, the saints, and sacred things. It is also blasphemy to do evil using God or religion as one’s rationale.

I want to focus in on something important here. It is something that a person can hear virtually everywhere we go. When we are talking about the “Lord’s Name”, we are dealing directly with the names God has revealed as His very own “personal” names. This refer most clearly to the sacred YHWH and the holy Name of Jesus Christ. But blasphemy also includes “speaking ill of God” and “language against…sacred things”.

What about common phrases we hear all the time, like “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph” or “Oh my G-d”? This means that the phrase we hear so often, “Oh my G-d” is blasphemy as well. Did we catch that? Not only is damning someone in God’s name blasphemous, but so is the common “Oh my G-d”. “Blasphemy is contrary to the respect due God and his holy name. It is in itself a grave sin”. Remember how serious grave sin is? That means that if I know this is grave and I freely choose to do it, this is at the level where it can kill the life of grace in my interbeing, shutting off or squelching the Holy Spirit of God within. Yes, I would say, its, kind of a big deal!

If one is honestly trying to root this grave evil out of their speech, it will happen through God’s grace. In the meantime, don’t give up. God loves you…that’s why He told you His Name: “God confides his name to those who believe in him; he reveals himself to them in his personal mystery. The gift of a name belongs to the order of trust and intimacy. “The Lord’s name is holy.” For this reason, man must not abuse it. He must keep it in mind in silent, loving adoration. He will not introduce it into his own speech except to bless, praise, and glorify it.” 

The Ten Commandments. Do you see them as a strict set of rules with a punishment for disobedience? Do you think they are outdated, without meaning for us today? Or might they be a blueprint for your life, designed by a loving and gracious God? The law that He spoke into being on the mountainside so long ago is still active and applicable to our lives now.

I have given you a little background on the seriousness of taking the name of our God and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in vain. No one within Christendom, Known as well as the Babylon of confusion, the counterfeit Christian church, the orthodox Christian church, the Catholic church, the protesting Catholic church, known now as Protestants, wants to address possibly, the most grievous, detestable, rotten to the core, nasty, anti-God use of His name that Satan could ever come up with, and then somehow cause most all of so called Christianity jump right in full bore and knee deep. To celebrate with gusto and teach it on to their own little innocent babies and children as being something good and wonderful.

The deceived church, that God identifies as the Babylon of confusion that His People, need to come out of, can be seen in Revelation 18:4. That which is all of the so called Christian churches on earth that refuse to believe that Jesus Christ is whom He claims to be. The Savior of all mankind and all of creation, that refuse to accept and believe as His truth, all which has been left recorded in the pages of His Word, the bible. Think of how it must grieve God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. That deceived men, claiming to know the truth of God, willingly under the guidance and direction of the devil and Satan, has successfully transferred the worship of God and His Son away from Them, and unto the sun.

Sun god worship 101. Christianity effectively took the name of the Son of God and transferred His awesome and glorious name onto a rank pagan festival by the name of Saturnalia, that burned their own little children alive in the arms of a red-hot iron god called Saturn. Their worship of the sun god Saturn in this way was supposed to cause his return early next spring, for a good planting season. To bring more people, more pagans into the so called Christian fold, while playing make believe in their teachings and evil attentions. It back fired big time, instead of bringing pagans into the so called Christian fold, there-by doing away with paganism. The so-called Christians instead of stomping out paganism, joined them and to this day celebrate Saturnalia now with the name changed to Christmas. The very name Christ mass ought to alert us as to whom it was that manipulated, orchestrated and put this vile disease within the Christian teaching, as the truth of God.

-Chose whom you will serve-

Joshua 24: 14-15 "Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 "If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

Christmas—Some History

So why did such a celebration begin in the 4th century? What forces or circumstances combined to inaugurate an ecclesiastical holiday which, in time, would eclipse all other celebrations within the church?

A number of factors gives us the answer to this question. First, it seems very possible that the Arian controversy of the 4th century supplied impetus for the celebration of Christ’s birth. At a time when both His humanity and deity needed to be stressed; when the virgin birth became the obvious foil against the Arian heresy; when certain leaders in the church had risen to positions of supreme authority, a celebration of the birth of Christ is ecclesiastically understandable. Secondly, the expanding church had become predominantly Gentile and the effects of paganism were very heavy within the “community of the faithful.”

Gentiles, untrained in the Scriptures, carried with them into the church many pagan customs and ideals. It cannot be coincidental that the church celebrated Christmas on December 25th (out of the wide number of dates suggested by prominent church leaders for the birth date of Christ). This date too obviously doubles as the date of a number of pagan festivals, the most significant being the Roman festival Brumalia (which was connected with Saturnalia) and the celebration of Mithra, the Iranian mystery god.

December 25 and Pagan Festivals

According to the calendar initiated by Julius Caesar in 45 BCE, December marked the winter solstice

when the mighty parent of fertility, having reached its lowest point in the heavens, began again to rise over the world with renewed power and splendor. Among Romans this was known as Brumalia ….

Eager to establish the divinity of the Emperor, the celebration of the sun was tied to the recognition that the Emperor was the embodiment of divinity upon the earth.

The great temple of the Sun which Aurelian, the son of a priestess of the deity, founded upon the Campus Martius, with its high pontiffs and stately ritual, did honor not only to the great lord of the heavenly spheres, but to the monarch who was the august image of his power upon earth and who was endued with his special grace.

Under Aurelian (270-275 CE), December 25 was decreed Dies Natalis Invictus Solis, the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun. The importance placed upon Sun worship by Aurelian was carried on by his successors Diocletian, Constantine the Great (before his conversion to the religion of the Cross), and also by Julian, champion of solar paganism.

The exact manner in which Brumalia was celebrated is not known. Historians agree, however, that it lacked the kind of religious fervor needed to attract the masses. It was this lack of ritual and religious appeal that made Mithraism an obvious adjunct to the celebration of Brumalia, for Mithra was also identified as the “Unconquered Sun.” What the Roman festival lacked by way of customs, Mithraism amply supplied with its mystical doctrines, its meaningful rites, its ties of brotherhood, and its promise of immortality.

The appeal of Mithraism was so strong in the early centuries, and considering its rapid spread throughout the length and breadth of the Empire, and its strong appeal to the minds of intelligent men, the opinion has been hazarded that if the Christian Church had been stricken with some mortal weakness, Mithraism might have become the religion of the western world. That Christmas replaced, for the church, the pagan festival of the Sun is clearly announced by Chrystom (Bishop of Constantinople 398-403) in one of his homilies:

On this day, also the Birthday of Christ was lately fixed at Rome in order that while the heathen were busy with their profane ceremonies the Christians might perform their sacred rites undisturbed. They call this (Dec. 25th or viii. Kal. Jan, as the Romans wrote it), the Birthday of the Invincible One (Mithras); but who is so invincible as the Lord? They call it the Birthday of the Solar Disc; but Christ is the Sun of Righteousness. Pay close attention to which spelling is being used here on the sun.

In addition to the worship of the sun both by the Romans and the cult of Mithra, the Festival of Saturn, called Saturnalia (December 17-24), also figures into the choice of December 25 by the church for its own festival. Saturnalia celebrated the reign of Saturn, the oldest and most benign deity in ancient Italy. It was fabled that Saturn reigned during the so called “Golden Age,” a time of peace and prosperity among man-kind which was eventually disrupted by the greed and hatred of men. The Golden Age thus gave way to the Silver, Bronze and Iron Ages, with continual declension and degeneration on the part of mankind. The celebration in honor of Saturn, then, manifests the hope extant among the Romans of a return to a Golden Age when peace and prosperity would reign. It is not difficult to understand how Gentiles who had come to faith in the True Lord of Peace would have wanted to imbue the old festival with new meaning.

Saturnalia was celebrated by a cessation of work and school was dismissed throughout the Empire. War was never declared during this season; and if hostilities were in progress they were suspended till the feast was over. Public places were decked with flowers and shrubs. The practice of giving and receiving presents was common. Mirth and frolic were indulged in by all without restraint, and often the revels were led by a mock king, rex Saturnalitius, chosen by lot and given power to issue to his subjects the most ludicrous commands which they must obey, even if it meant standing on their heads divested of all their clothing.

Even beyond the celebration, however, Saturnalia was most loved for the sense of brotherhood which the season fostered. Masters and slaves dined together as equals, living out the ideal that even the unfortunate should have a good time at least once a year. It is, once again, not difficult to understand how such a festival could easily be endowed with new meaning by those saved out of their paganism through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Rather than forsake the festivals of pagan origin, the expanding church redressed them as occasions for the worship of Christ.

Many historians agree that while the church’s plan was to provide a substitute for the pagan holidays, what actually happened was an incorporating rather than a supplanting of many pagan customs. Take, for example, decorating with evergreens. A letter of Pope Gregory 1 to Augustine of Canterbury advises him to permit, and even encourage, such harmless popular customs as were capable of a Christian inter-predation. What Augustine apparently interpreted this to mean was the use of evergreens for decorating both house and church building after the custom of the Saturnalia.

Why this was done in the Saturnalia and other mid-winter festivals is explained by the fact that such decorations invited into one’s dwelling the spirits and fairies that were supposed to haunt the leafless woods, spirits who in one way or another controlled the coming of spring. Thus, in an attempt to satisfy the masses, the church participated in the occultist symbols of their day. Interestingly, hundreds of years earlier the prophet Jeremiah spoke about the pagan nations who, in fear of the “signs of the heavens” (stars, planets, sun), attempt to placate the gods through the symbols of fertility. They bring a tree into their dwelling out of which an idol is fashioned and decorated with silver and gold.

Particularly important, along with evergreens, were the use of holly berries and mistletoe. Holly was placed in the window as a particular invitation to the forest spirits. The number of carols and Christmas tunes which mention holly attest to the long-term establishment of its use. Mistletoe, well known by readers of Virgil (in which it is known as the Golden Bough), was always felt to contain magical powers. Æneas is enabled to descend into hell and come back safely by the powers of the Golden Bough. The Druids held it a sacred plant, calling it “all-heal,” and ascribed to it all sorts of magical powers.

It not only healed every kind of disease, but also gave fertility to cattle and livestock, and kept one safe from all evil spells and enabled the bearer to see ghosts and make them speak. The Druids had a special ritual for mistletoe found growing on an oak tree, believed to be the most special of all mistletoe. A golden knife cut it, and all care was taken not to let it touch the ground. This mistletoe could calm even the most savage enemies, and all who came under it were overpowered by its spell. From such practices have come the present-day custom of kissing under the mistletoe. Because of its obvious occult attachments.

That homes of Christians continued to be decorated after the fashion of Saturnalia (even before the celebration of Christmas) is clear from a comment by Tertullian (2nd century):

Let those who have no light, light their lamps daily; let them over whom hell fire is imminent affix to their posts laurels doomed presently to burn; to them the testimonies of darkness and the omens of their penal-ties are suitable. You are a light of the world, a tree ever green; if you have renounced temples, make not your own gate a temple. 

It seems hardly in need of comment that the present-day traditions of Christmas tree, yule log, giving, holly and mistletoe owe their existence to these pagan rituals. This obvious connection of Christmas to paganism was ample reason for the early Puritans of America to outlaw it. 

Summary - The Origin of Christmas

The data seem rather conclusive—the celebration of Christmas as a recognized holiday and festival of the Christian church does not pre-date the fourth century. As far as any recorded history is concerned, for three centuries following the life of Christ on this earth, no Christian group celebrated His birth in any organized way. Furthermore, when the fourth century church decreed December 25 as the official and proper day for such a celebration, she did so under the influence and pressure of long-standing, pagan festivals celebrated at the same time.

Clearly, the impetus for celebrating the birth of Christ on December 25 was to give a substitute holiday for the masses who had not yet divested themselves completely of their pagan festivals. But though the church attempted to initiate a festival to supplant the pagan celebrations, she was not able to divest the new of the vestigial remains of the old, and many pagan customs therefore became attached to the newly formed celebration of Christ’s birth.

True Worship and Syncretism

So how do these facts affect the contemporary church? Can’t we sanctify for the Lord’s use what in history was employed for worshiping pagan gods? And furthermore, if Christmas has pagan origins, by all practical measures these have been eclipsed in our day. Ask almost anyone what Christmas stands for, and the forthcoming answer is simple: Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus. So perhaps it is irrelevant to the modern-day believer that Christmas originated as a redress of pagan celebrations.

Or is it? What does God say about borrowing pagan symbols and celebrations for His worship? And furthermore, even if for us the symbols of Christmas have lost their pagan connections, how do those spirit beings engaged in the real battle we are fighting view the use of these “refurbished” symbols, customs and rituals? What messages are the angels receiving from us as they attempt to understand God’s marvelous plan of redemption? 

The term “syncretism” means “to attempt union or reconciliation of diverse or opposite tenants or practices, especially in philosophy or religion.” In short, syncretism is mixing things that essentially differ.

From the beginning of God’s revelation to man, He has made known the simple fact that He does not accept syncretism. The central issue of holiness is bound up in the concept of separation. The Sabbath is blessed and set apart at creation, a day prepared for Israel who would also be set apart from all other peoples. Throughout the Patriarchal narratives the people who belong to God are set apart from the rest and from the pagan religions.

For anyone interested in seeking and searching out additional truth of God on this subject, one would obviously have to go outside of the organized Christian religion teaching, to do so. To me it becomes a rather simple thing to come to a logical as well as a spiritual conclusion. Jesus Christ, like His Father God, is all powerful, all knowing, has all wisdom and understanding, He is everywhere at once, nothing, not one single thing is impossible, or beyond the ability for our brother, high priest and Savior of all of mankind to be able to achieve. Yet, in the bowl full of puke celebration now having His name attached to it, calling it Christmas.

Christians by the millions celebrate it through what is being called the “nativity scene” where each year they go to the basement or attic and drag out their decrepit cardboard box that has been the home of poor little cracked and broken with age, “Little Baby Jesus” no power at all, can’t even help himself. They stick him outside with other busted up plastic figures like donkeys, dogs, crosses, shepherds and such. Then wait for him to thaw out of the snow in the spring, to be put back into his cardboard box home, until the next pagan celebration with His name attached to it.

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has effectively been slowly taken away from us by the very religion that claims to bring Him to us. Christianity has taken away Jesus Christ from us as children, and continue to take Him away from us as adults. He has been taken away from us and replaced with one of many others things, such as a big fat man in a red suit.

A figment of someone’s imagination that has taken on the characteristics of our great God of all heaven and earth. He sees you when you are sleeping and knows when you are awake. The big fat man has a big red sled about the size of Volkswagen that holds enough toys and junk for everyone on earth. And that ain’t all, it’s being pulled around the world at warp speed by eight flying deer. (and we make fun of what the Indians believe, their totem poles, medicine man, and happy hunting ground)

The flying deer are trained to stop on your roof top, as they nervously paw the shingles, while the big fat man that weighs in at about three hundred pounds, jumps out and goes down your six-inch chimney with a huge bag of plastic junk for little Johnny and Susie to destroy and throw in the corner or left underfoot for mom to pick up and take care of. People tell us it’s all for the kids, yeah, I know, teach them all one of the biggest lies ever told that uses the name of God in vain, so then they can continue to perpetuate the lie on from one generation to the next, by teaching and making it the high point of their family values.

I will guarantee all of you who have been reading this, one thing for you to consider. One of the first things that Jesus Christ is going to do at His return, is to completely do away with everything on earth that dishonors His Father God’s name or His own name. All things that put down, ridicules, makes fun of, or is in a disrespectful attitude towards Himself or His Father God. It is all going to be done away with to steer and direct us into His Kingdom here on earth. The using the name of God in vain will abruptly come to an end.

Forget your promise of pie in the sky, forever after life in heaven that the Babylon of confusion has taught you. A perpetual life of ease, comfort, laid back and relaxed life of leisure, with nothing to do for all eternity. It’s not going to happen, everyone will be taught the truth in the future. The time limit one will go through, to be taught and trained, learning the actual truth of God, will depend a lot on how stubborn and hard we resist in the learning process, to appreciate God’s righteousness and His loving care. But, it is all a good thing, we shall all be saved. The scriptures tell us, “when the judgments of God are in the earth, we shall all learn righteousness”.

-A qualifying statement is needed here-

I have a lot to say in my writings, about my brothers and sisters locked into a false teaching of the Word of God. I judge and condemn much of what they are accepting and believing as the truth of God, and I do not apologize for it, I believe that someone needs to address the failure of churches in teaching a false concept of the Word of God. Especially so, while claiming to teach and preach the truth of God. The individual church members are caught between a rock and a hard place. They follow after teachings of gross deception, being taught to them from ministers of Satan, masquerading as angels of light.

Taught that to question their man-made doctrines, is going against the Word and way of God. “You don’t believe that Christ can run His church”. Is a pat come back to discourage the rocking of the boat against those at the top whom determine for everyone else, what the truth consists of, and it’s then, symbolically chiseled in granite.

They keep their flocks on the straight and narrow according to their own doctrines and discourage, judge and condemn anyone seeking or searching for any outside sources for the truth, that could quickly throw a monkey wrench in the works. At this point you might just as well throw your bible away, for all the good it will do you. Anyone that may see a different understanding of the scripture, would be branded as a trouble maker or heretic within the congregation. To the delight of the minister in charge.

Yet, I have to stand in support of many of my spiritual brothers and sisters for all of the good that they are involved in within our communities around the world. My neighbors, friends and acquaintances enhance our communities, they uplift, are quick to lend a helping hand, I enjoy interacting and being around those identifying themselves as Christian. Their conversation for the most part is free from the filth and vulgar that has become so prevalent within our society.

They appear to be morally sound and sincere in their life dealings with others. They feed the poor and destitute, go out of their way being out going and friendly, they are quick to step up when needed, being encouraging to others and offer up prayers to God for the sake of others. They talk about God in a positive way and promote Jesus Christ, the Word of God. They are good neighbors.  

Be all of that as it is, at the return of Jesus Christ to begin His rule and reign here on earth, and the first resurrection to life for those having been selected as the elect of God. To rule and reign here on earth with Him, those identified as the first fruits, many will assume that they belong in that number too. They will reason themselves as the followers of God and Jesus Christ, that have done many good works, to belong in those identified as the first fruits of God. But how does Christ respond to their plea? 

-A tree and its fruit-

Matthew 7: 22 - 24 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.’24 Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. Then again in Luke 13:25. After the master of the house gets up and shuts the door, you will stand outside knocking and saying, 'Lord, open the door for us.' But he will reply, 'I do not know where you are from.'

Why did Christ respond the way He did to these people? (and will it be the same to us too?) They were in truth and in fact His People. Doing much good in His name, casting out demons and such. Why was the door closed up tight and shut behind them, and being refused to be opened to His people?

For starters, we know that they were His people. They may suddenly have  remembered at that time, the command to them from God in Revelation 18:3-5

-Babylon has fallen- 

The Babylon of confusion, the counterfeit Christian church, the mainstream Christian church, the orthodox Christian church, all of them having turned their backs upon the truth of God and began to follow after the custom, ritual and traditions of men, instead of following after the true Word and way of God. Revelation 18…3-5 All the nations have drunk the wine of the passion of her immorality. The kings of the earth were immoral with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown wealthy through the extravagance of her luxury.” 4 Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins or contract any of her plagues. 5 For her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.  

This doesn’t leave any question in my mind as to why the people of God was being rejected from being in the first fruits of God to rule and reign with Jesus Christ for the next thousand years, at the return of Christ. All of mankind will be saved at the second resurrection, known too as the great white throne judgment. His people, that refused to accept and to believe His Word, the ones that had the door shut to them at that time, will all come up in the 2nd resurrection. All will be called of God. All will come, and all of mankind will be saved. God will then become all, in all.

-The order of the resurrections: 

1 Corinthians 15: 27-29 For “God has put everything under His feet.” Now when it says that everything has been put under Him, this clearly does not include the One who put everything under Him. 28 And when all things have been subjected to Him, then the Son Himself will be made subject to Him who put all things under Him, so that God may be all, in all. 29 If these things are not so, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them?

-A parting shot to my brothers and sisters in Christ-

I hope that the people of God have been listening and paying attention to what has been discussed in this paper. I hope some eyes and ears have been opened to a better understanding of what it means, to use the name of God in vain. How one reacts or responds to this message of truth, could have either positive or negative effects upon our life in the not too distant future. May the God of all heaven and earth bless you greatly, with an open and eager mind for His truth.

Leith Lyman Cunningham                                                                                                                                        6/24/2017