Are YOU Guilty of BLASPHEMY?
Good News Magazine
August 1969
Volume: Vol XVIII, No. 8
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Are YOU Guilty of BLASPHEMY?

Don't be too sure you're not. Read this article to check up on yourself.

   BLASPHEMY is a most dangerous sin. Yet many who would not think of blaspheming may be at this precise moment committing this great sin!
   Blasphemy is NOT just swearing or taking God's name in vain. There are many forms of blasphemy, and some of these ways of blasphemy bring dire consequences. Don't be ignorant. Study this article and be sure you stop every form of blasphemy now!


   Notice this Bible proof that blasphemy and swearing or cursing are not the same thing. In Lev. 24:10-16, we find the account of the Israelitish woman's son who strode through the camp and got into a fight with one of the men of Israel. And in the fight, the son of the Israelitish woman, whose father was an Egyptian, blasphemed the name of the Eternal, "and cursed." Notice that he did two things. He blasphemed AND cursed. For this terrible sin he was put to death. And this is the word that came from God: "Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin. 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" (verses 15-16).
   Again, in this law it is made clear that cursing and blaspheming are two separate offenses. Notice too, that blasphemy is an offense punishable by DEATH.
   Webster's dictionary defines blasphemy as "indignity offered to God in words, writing, or signs " "Blasphemy applies strictly to any intentional utterance defying or offering indignity to the Supreme Being." "Impious or irreverent speech" is also blasphemy. It also includes swearing and profanity.
   However, the Bible definition covers much more territory than Webster's. And the real truth as to the spirit of the law is going to surprise you.
   The Hebrew word translated "blasphemy" in Leviticus 24 means to violently poke holes through, to jab at or perforate. Other words translated "blasphemy'' concur with the English definition of the word.

Prophesied for End Time

   The God-given prophecy written by the Apostle Paul of these last days reveals the fact that blasphemy would abound. "This know also that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, BLASPHEMERS, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy" (II Tim. 3:1-2).
   Yes, our world today is filled with blasphemers. This very country which writes on its currency, "In God We Trust" is filled with blasphemers. Notice the prophesied condition that would exist now.
   "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 everyday is blasphemed" (Isaiah 52:5). How many millions of times each day do you think God's name is taken in vain, used in gutter filth, cursed as a means of venting anger?
   God says through Ezekiel, "And thou shalt know that I am the LORD, and that I have heard all thy blasphemies which thou hast spoken against the mountains of Israel saying, they are laid desolate, they are given us to consume. Thus with your mouth ye have boasted against Me, and have multiplied your words against Me: I have heard them" (Ezek. 35:12-13). This was a prophecy against Mount Seir, but God is the same in His dealing with nations and He has also heard the great blasphemies spoken against Him in this nation.
   Of this land today God says, "For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land rnourneth" (Jer. 23:10). Even the very land mourns underneath the mountain of sin caused by swearing. In the next verse God tells us that even the prophet and priest are profane in this land. Yes, even many of them swear. Swearing even occurs over television, in churches, in the so-called high society of "nice people." And even some in God's Church today are swearing and do not realize it. And remember that swearing is a form of blasphemy!

Taking God's Name in Vain

   One would think he would never hear swearing over television, especially over the "nicer" shows. However, one night on the show "LASSIE," the little boy in the show swore several times. He did not say the name of God directly, but he swore nevertheless. Brethren, it is time many of you knew that such words as "Gee," "Gosh," "Golly," "darn," and various combinations of these words are actually swearword derivatives of the names of God, Jesus Christ and of the word "damn." They are the more "polite" forms of SWEARING! And even members of God's Church use these words in their speech. We need desperately to eradicate these words from our conversation and stop this form of blasphemy!
   It is easy for us to swear or blaspheme. Why? Why is it not as easy to praise God and bless His holy name? The reason is human nature. God has put in human nature the downward pulls of sin. And one of these pulls is blasphemy. Jesus said, "For from within out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders... [and] blasphemy..." (Mark 7:21-22). It is part of human nature, then, to blaspheme. But, it is a part that must be overcome. Paul says, "But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth" (Col. 3:8).

Examples of Blasphemy

   When Hezekiah was king of Judah, Sennacherib planned to invade and conquer the nation of Judah. He boasted against Judah thus: "Let not Hezekiah deceive you: for he shall not be able to deliver you. Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD, saying, The LORD will surely deliver us: this city shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria. Hearken not to Hezekiah: for thus saith the king of Assyria... Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, The LORD will deliver us. Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? Who are they among all the gods of these lands, that have delivered their land out of my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand? (Isa. 36:14-16, 18, 20.)
   Here the king of Assyria challenged God. He tried to bring God down to the level of an idol, to that of physical things. He spoke out intentionally defying God and His power to deliver Judah and Jerusalem. God called it blasphemy.
   "And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say unto your master, Thus saith the LORD, Be not afraid of the words that thou hast heard, wherewith the servants of the king of Assyria have BLASPHEMED me" (Isa. 37:6). Again in verse 10 of this same chapter the king of Assyria blasphemed God. He accused God of trying to deceive His people. God labels this accusation blasphemy in verse 23.
   Do men or nations get away with blasphemy against the Most High God? God said He would defend Jerusalem and He accepted the challenge given by the king of Assyria. Who won? Notice: "Then the angel of the LORD went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses" (verse 36).
   Notice that this was blasphemy but that the king of Assyria never did curse God's name. But he did show irreverence and indignity to God. He did challenge God and His power.

Other Forms of Blasphemy

   Here are other misdeeds that God labels blasphemy in His Word. Let us look at them and let each analyze himself in the light of God's Word. Think over your own actions of late and see if you are blaspheming.
   In Ezekiel 20:27 we read, "Therefore, son of man, speak unto the house of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord ETERNAL; Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed me, IN THAT THEY HAVE COMMITTED A TRESPASS AGAINST ME." They blasphemed God by trespassing or sinning against Him. And this particular sin that they did was to pervert the way of worshipping God. They sacrificed to idols and established their own religion after God gave them the blessings of the land. This is happening today in the United States of America. This people has polluted the true religion of God.
   Those of us in the true Church of God must be careful that we do not detract from or add to God's Word. We must be careful that we do not participate in idolatrous worship. For that is what the Israelites did and God calls it blasphemy. IF YOU BLASPHEME GOD, YOU WILL PAY FOR IT UNLESS YOU REPENT! Those participating in pagan holidays arc having a part in the idolatrous worship condemned in Ezekiel 20:28 which God labels as a form of blasphemy.

Blasphemy by Hypocrisy

   Another form of blasphemy brought out is in Revelation 2:9. "I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan." Notice that God considers it blasphemy for people to say they are Jews spiritual Jews. What is a spiritual Jew? According to Romans 2:29 it is one who has been circumcised in the heart that is, has received the Holy Spirit and is, therefore, a Christian. There were people then saying they were Christians true spiritual Jews but who were not. God calls this blasphemy. Therefore to profess to do what is right and not to do it is blasphemy according to this principle. How many are doing this very thing?
   Are you one who by your attendance in a local church profess to be keeping God's commandments and Sabbaths and yet are not doing it at all? Are you claiming to be a member of God's true Church claiming to be a true Christian and follower of Jesus Christ; yet constantly putting up with sins that you know you have, never bothering to overcome sins and weaknesses? Are you just content with the same faults day after day yet all the time claiming to be a spiritual Jew. THIS IS BLASPHEMY!
   Another way to blaspheme God is shown in Acts 13:44-45. "And the next Sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God." Let us note right here that they were coming to hear God's Word. Jesus said the word of God was truth in John 17:17. But notice verse 45, "But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming." When they spoke against the things spoken by the apostle Paul, they did two things. They contradicted and blasphemed!
   It follows then, that when we speak against the things spoken by one of God's ministers that we are blaspheming the very God we profess. When we speak against the doctrines of God's Church which are truths of God's Word, we blaspheme. Brethren, some of you are guilty of this very thing. You don't agree with a doctrine of God's Church and you speak out against it. Perhaps you just cannot understand it at the time. It does not say that it is blasphemy if you don't agree or can't understand. BUT IT IS BLASPHEMY TO SPEAK AGAINST THE WORD OF GOD, SPOKEN BY HIS MINISTERS!
   When you blaspheme you border on the most dangerous sin of all. You are getting close to the cliff that will topple you into the lake of fire. If you don't understand something spoken by a minister, then ask the minister about it. Pray about it. Search your own heart to make sure you are not deceiving yourself. But above all, don't speak against it. To do this IS BLASPHEMY!

Causing Blasphemy

   You may be one who is not blaspheming directly yourself. But you may be the cause of blasphemy to God and His Word. If you are, then you are at least 50% guilty of the sin of blasphemy. If by your actions you cause others to blaspheme the name of God perhaps you are more guilty than they of this sin.
   The Apostle Paul condemned the Jews for this very thing. "You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? For, as it is written, 'THE NAME OF GOD IS BLASPHEMED AMONG THE GENTILES BECAUSE OF YOU'" (Rom. 2:23-24, RSV). Yes, the Jews were responsible for causing God's name to be blasphemed. With their bad examples and sin-filled lives they caused the Gentiles to blaspheme the very name of God Almighty.
   Let us look at ourselves today. How is your example in front of unconverted neighbors and relatives? What kind of example did you set the world on your way to the Feast of Tabernacles? And while you were at the feast, many of you stayed in private homes in surrounding communities. What kind of example did you set! Were you clean? Or did you leave the place dirty and filthy? Some stayed in rented trailers. When you returned your trailer was it dirty and messy inside? Did you give it back in better shape than you had taken it?
   Many of those from whom you rented trailers and rooms knew that you were going to a religious festival. Some even knew the name of the Church. Did you by your example cause or give occasion for those people to blaspheme the God we worship the only true and living God? Were you impolite to the unconverted people in nearby towns or to the merchants? Did you give occasion for them to speak against the Church of God the very Body of Jesus Christ? If you did, YOU HAVE PARTICIPATED IN THE SIN OF BLASPHEMY!
   Notice what it cost King David, a man after God's own heart, for doing what some of us have done. After being told of his terrible sin of adultery and murder, David said, "I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, the LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. Howbeit, because by this deed [his sins) thou hast given great occasion [opportunity] to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die" (II Sam. 12:13-14). It cost David his son because he participated in this sin of blasphemy by giving the enemies of God the opportunity to speak against the religion and way of God. What will some of us have to pay to learn this lesson?
   Let us set a right and holy example before the world by keeping God's commandments. And also by being polite, thoughtful, kind, neat, and clean in all our ways. Why do we always insist on paying a dear price to learn the consequences of sin?

Women Blaspheme

   Here are two specific Bible ways in which we can cause others to blaspheme. First, for the women in God's Church. Here are God's instructions and the reason for them. God says "to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, THAT THE WORD OF GOD BE NOT BLASPHEMED" (Titus 2:5). If you disobey your husbands, if you are not discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good mothers and wives, you are causing God's Word to be blasphemed indeed you are blaspheming it yourself!
   Through this whole article so far we have also been showing the punishment that one will reap when he blasphemes. We will reap what we sow.
   Women who have husbands who are not members have a great responsibility. If you are not the right kind of wife, if you are disrespectful, sloppy, and otherwise setting a bad Christian example you are giving "great occasion" for your non-member husband to speak blasphemously against God's Word, and Church.
   Has your husband ever said, "Why don't you throw that Bible away? And don't ever talk to me about God, Jesus Christ or religion. I don't want any part with God or religion if THAT'S the way Christians act." Actually those are words of blasphemy, said in ignorance, of course. And some husbands have even said more blasphemous things than that.
   Stop and think. On His great throne, God Almighty hears every word uttered. He hears the blasphemy of atheists, skeptics, etc. He has heard Khrushchev's blasphemy and that of all the atheistic Communists. God is sick of it! And then, we, by our misdeeds and foolish actions, cause more blasphemy. Blasphemy that would otherwise never have been spoken. What sin! Are we not more guilty in one sense than those who do the actual blaspheming? We who profess to do God's will and then cause others to blaspheme our God because of our foolishness and wrong actions. This form of blasphemy must be stopped!

Blasphemy on the Job?

   God gives warning to most of the men of the church. "Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and His doctrine be not blasphemed" (I Tim. 6:1). In modern day terminology this applies to those men who work for an employer. They are to give that employer the honor due him. And part of the way to do this is to perform your work well.
   Your employer will know that you belong to God's Church. You tell him you must have the Sabbath day off, Holy Days, etc. Then, if you do sloppy, half-hearted work, you will give occasion for him to blaspheme. Plus, you yourself are actually blaspheming. You are professing to do God's will and are not. God says that His name and His doctrine will be blasphemed if you do not honor your employer properly. Part of His doctrine is "whatsoever your hand findeth to do, do it with thy might."

Leads to Unpardonable Sin

   Blasphemy is dangerous. And it ought to be considered so because one form of blasphemy is the unpardonable sin. Let us understand this. The case of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is shown in Matthew 12:22-32. "Then was brought unto Him one possessed with a demon, blind, and dumb: and He healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. 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; And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils by the SPIRIT OF GOD, then the Kingdom of God is come unto you." Then Jesus said in verse 31, "Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men...."
   Notice in this statement that Jesus said there were different manners or kinds of blasphemy just as there were different kinds of sin. All the other types of blasphemy can be forgiven. The Apostle Paul was one who was forgiven of blasphemy that he had done in ignorance. See I Timothy 1:13.
   "But," Jesus went on in verse 31 and 32, "the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven unto men. And... whosoever speaketh against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come."
   What did the Pharisees do or say against the Holy Spirit that Christ should say this to them? Let us notice.
   In verse 23, after the people saw the miracle, "And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?" The people let the work performed by the Holy Spirit in this miracle prick their hearts. They were ready to acknowledge that God was working through His Son Jesus Christ. And that Jesus was not just an ordinary man but that He truly was the Messiah who was prophesied to come. They let the manifested power of the Holy Spirit convict them, and begin to bring them to repentance.
   But the Pharisees, who saw the same miracle, who saw the blind and dumb man speak and see, did not allow the work of the Holy Spirit to convict them. They hardened their hearts. They probably had a feeling that they should give God glory. They knew that what Jesus did was an act of God that it was good and right. But instead of allowing this wonderful work to soften their hearts and bring them to repentance, they hardened themselves and spoke against the miracle done by the Holy Spirit.
   They said, "This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils [or demons)." This was blasphemy! They called a work done by the Holy Spirit a work done to bring them to repentance the work of Satan the Devil. Instead of repenting, they struck back at God's Holy Spirit which is the power that brings us to repentance. They spoke against and blasphemed the only power that could make them repent. They therefore seared their consciences and hardened their hearts to the point they could never repent. Therefore they could never be forgiven.
   If we get into a habit of blaspheming God, His Word, His doctrine by our words and misdeeds, we are only a step away from blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. We are walking the cliff, so to speak. It is a dangerous walk, for one slip could mean our eternal end.
   Let us put away all forms of blasphemy. Let us eradicate even such terms from our speech as "Gee," "Gosh," etc., which are polite forms of swearing. Let us not profess RIGHTEOUSNESS and then commit SIN! Let us not claim to be spiritual Jews when we are not. We also must be careful about speaking against the word of God as spoken by His ministers. And we need to be careful of the example we set in front of others in the home and at work.
   All these things are included in the sin of blasphemy. And above all, let us never attribute work done by and through the power of God's Holy Spirit as being the work of Satan the Devil. For if we harden our hearts to this extent we shall have committed the sin of which Jesus Christ said, " shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come."

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Good News MagazineAugust 1969Vol XVIII, No. 8