(AC) - A Disclosure of the Hidden Treasures of Heaven Contained in the Holy Scripture or Word of the Lord, Together with Amazing Things Seen in the World of Spirits and in the Heaven of Angels

AC 8882

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8882. Thou shalt not take the name of Jehovah thy God in vain.* That this signifies profanations and blasphemings of the truth and good of faith, is evident from the signification of "the name of God," as being all in the complex by which the Lord is worshiped, thus all the truth and good of faith (see n. 2724, 3006, 6674); and from the signification of "taking in vain," as being to profane and blaspheme. By "taking the name of God in vain" is properly signified to turn truth into evil, that is, to believe that it is truth, and nevertheless to live in evil; and it also denotes to turn good into falsity, that is, to live holily, and yet not to believe. Both are profanation (n. 4601), for believing is of the understanding, and living is of the will; and therefore in those who believe otherwise than they live, the thought and will are divided. But as the will continually flows into the understanding, for the understanding is the form of the will; that is, the will manifests itself there in light; therefore it is that when a man believes in one way and lives in another, truth and evil, or good and falsity, are conjoined; thus the things that are of heaven with man are conjoined with those which are of hell. This conjunction cannot be dissolved, and thereby the man be healed, except by a pulling asunder which carries away with it everything of spiritual life; and therefore these persons are sent into a hell the most grievous of all, where they are direfully tormented.
[2] This is what is meant by the words of the Lord in Matthew:
All sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy of the spirit shall not be forgiven unto men. If anyone shall say a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but he who shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this age, nor in that which is to come (Matt. 12:31, 32).
Also by these words in Luke:
When the unclean spirit hath gone out of a man, he goeth through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return into my house whence I came out. And if on coming he findeth it swept and garnished, he goeth away and taketh seven other spirits worse than himself: and they enter in and dwell there; and the man's last things become worse than the first (Luke 11:24-26).
[3] By these words is described the profanation of truth from the Lord; by "the unclean spirit when he goeth out" is meant the acknowledgment and faith of truth; by "the house swept" is meant a life contrary to truths; by "his return with seven other spirits" is meant a state of profanation. These are the things which are signified by "taking the name of God in vain." That such a state with man cannot be healed, thus cannot be forgiven, is signified also by the words which immediately follow, namely, "Jehovah will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain," by which is meant that it cannot be forgiven. (For further information about the nature of profanation, and who are guilty of it, see n. 593, 1003, 1008, 1010, 1059, 1327, 1328, 2051, 2426, 3398, 3399, 3402, 3489, 6348, 6595, 6959, 6963, 6971, 8394.)
[4] By "taking the name of God in vain" is also signified blasphemy, which takes place when those things which are of the Word, or of the doctrine of faith, thus which are holy, are held in derision, and are debased to unclean earthly things, and thus are defiled (see n. 4050, 5390). But by "taking the name of God in vain," relatively to the Israelitish nation, which did not acknowledge any good and truth of faith (which are signified by "the name of God"), is meant the applying of the name of Jehovah, and also of the commandments and statutes which were commanded them, to the worship of idols, as they did in the wilderness to the worship of the golden calf, unto which they not only offered burnt offerings and sacrifices, and ate of the things sanctified thereby, but also called the day of its celebration "a feast to Jehovah," as we read in Moses:
Aaron made of the gold a molten calf, and they said, These be thy gods, Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it, and made proclamation, and said, Tomorrow is a feast to Jehovah. And therefore they rose up in the morning of the next day, and offered burnt-offerings, and brought things eucharistic (Exod. 32:4-6).
[5] That those who thus took the name of Jehovah God in vain could not be forgiven, which is signified by their "not being held guiltless," is evident from the words of Jehovah to Moses at that time concerning them, namely:
Him that hath sinned against Me, I will blot out of My book. Nevertheless go, lead this people in unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee; but in the day of My visitation I will visit their sin upon them (Exod. 32:33, 34).
* Here in vanum, but in the head Chapter and in n. 8863 ad vanum. [REVISER.]


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