Picking up then with abusing the Word, creatures or anything contained under the name of God in charms or sinful lusts and practices:
Using God’s name, or anything God has revealed, or anything by which He has revealed Himself, or anything He has created as a “good luck piece” or a “lucky charm,” in an attempt to control the present and future, to satisfy sinful desires, to accomplish things or to explain and justify sinful practices is particularly evil and obviously a transgression of the Third Commandment. (397)
A false prophet is one who seeks, by the occult, to communicate with the unseen world by unlawful means; and who seeks to predict and control the future by unlawful means in defiance of God and His Biblical revelation. Why are these unlawful means—witchcraft, sorcery, magic, divination, etc.—forbidden and detested by God? (1) The true believer is to walk by faith in the Word of God and not by sight, and the occult is an effort to deny that basic principle. (2) The occult assumes that God can be forced or persuaded to act in certain predicted ways through magic, trickery, and rituals of various sorts, ways originating in the fallen, depraved human imagination determined to rebel against God and to live by power obtained “from below.” (3) It assumes that the real and superior power is somewhere other than in the God of the Bible, that even He is influenced by a great, mysterious power, that He cannot fully control, and that pervades the entire universe. (4) It involves, by implication, the belief that Satan is that ultimate power. (5) Since Biblical Law has as its foundation the one true God, false prophets, in ignoring His Word, assault the foundation of society, thereby becoming guilty of treason, idolatry and blasphemy. (401)
Biblical Law is the one God-ordained way to predict and plan for the future. The central purpose of this whole section of Deuteronomy is to provide God’s people with a true means of predicting and preparing for the future in the unchanging Law of God. If men disobey that Law, certain curses will result; and if they obey, blessings will result (Deut. 28; Lev. 26).
The gospel preaching of Paul and Barnabas was having great success in Antioch....so the Jewish leaders openly tried to contradict the apostolic gospel, “and cast abusive aspersions on the two apostles, perhaps including the name of Jesus in their defamatory remarks.”211 They would revile the apostles as heretics and their gospel as heresy, “blaspheming Christ Himself as an impostor and a false Messiah.”212 Such maligning of God’s name, i.e., of His gospel, His Son, and His apostles as vehicles of God’s revelation, is a clear transgression of the Third Commandment.
211. Bruce, Commentary on the Book of the Acts, 281.
212. J. A. Alexander, Acts of the Apostles (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust  1991), 40.
In the Bible a “scoffer” or “the scornful” are those who are full of indifference, intolerance or hatred for the “name of God,” for revealed truth and revealed religion and anything connected with it. They think of God and treat Christianity with contempt, as they suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18f). (407-408)
Hence, to malign Christians or their life-transforming gospel is to take the name of the Lord in vain. This hostility of the pagan to the Christian often results in a campaign of insult and slander against the Christian to discredit him, his Bible and his God. The reason for this hostility is given by Jesus in John 15:18–19: “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (410)
To oppose the preaching of the revealed truth of God, to try to resist and defy the overtures and purposes of the gospel of God’s grace, and to stand in opposition to any of the ways of God with man, is to oppose God Himself. It is to oppose, resist, and defy the revelation of His name to man which is man’s salvation. Such opposition is to oppose the only name by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12). Hence, it is a transgression of the Third Commandment. (411)
The Bible describes those who make such hypocritical professions of faith as “lovers of self…holding to a form of godliness although they have denied its power.” They live to please and satisfy the desires and goals of self, not of God. (417)
Being ashamed to confess Christ and His divinely-revealed religion as the only true Savior and only true religion, before a hostile and wicked culture is taking the Lord’s name in vain. It is rooted in unbelief and cowardice. It is so heinous in the sight of the Lord Himself that He will be “ashamed” of those who are ashamed of
Him, at His glorious Second Coming. (420)
[By Uncomfortable Walking]
A life that does not conform to one’s Christian profession or to the Word of God is a transgression of the Third Commandment. It is to profess the name of Christ, and to bear that name as “Christian,” and then to live in disregard for the claims of Christ on one’s life or in conformity to the implications and demands of that name
which is above all other names (Phil. 2:9), by which name alone we are saved (Acts 4:12). (421)
[By Unwise Walking]
Failure to walk wisely and carefully before a watching world brings shame on Christ and Christianity and is therefore a breach of the Third Commandment. To be “careful” in how one walks is to walk strictly by the rule of God’s Word without deviating by a hair’s breath. To walk as a “wise” person is to walk as one who possesses divine truth, “understand[ing] what the will of God is,” and who lives in the “light” of that truth, and not as those who live in “darkness.” (423)
[By Unfruitful Walking]
Someone whose life does not “bear fruit for God” (Rom. 7:4), by that fruitlessness, betrays his Christian profession and takes the Lord’s name, which he professes and bears, in vain....What is the fruit that our union with Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit enables us to bear for God? It is a life of obedience to Christ and love for others (John 15:7–12). It is a life of holiness (Rom. 6:22). It is “the fruit of the Spirit…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal. 5:22–23). True believers “bear” the fruit of Christ-likeness and “gather” fruit in the church and world (Rom. 1:13), i.e., are effective in ministering the gospel to other people. Fruit confirms one’s profession and keeps him from bringing shame to that Christian profession: “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree produce good fruit.… So then, you will know them by their fruits” (Matt. 18–20). (424)
[By Offensive Walking]
Any bringing of shame or dishonor of God’s revealed name, i.e., Biblical Christianity, is a breaking of the Third Commandment, and it is most certain that we bring shame to Christ and dishonor to Christianity by professed Christians walking offensively, i.e., by teaching others to live godly lives, but failing to teach ourselves to do so, by preaching that one should not steal or commit adultery or
idolatry, and then by stealing, committing adultery or idolatry ourselves (Rom. 2:21–22). We live offensively if we boast that we are Christians, who believe the Bible, and that the Law of God is that one and only righteous standard by which we must live or be judged by God, and yet through our breaking or disregarding of the demands of the Law dishonor God and His name which we profess to bear (Rom. 2:23). (427-428)
Although it is impossible to be lost again after being regenerated by the Holy Spirit, it is possible for true believers to backslide for a time from a correct understanding of the Bible because of ignorance, negligence, confusion, or allowing oneself to be swayed from the truth by the eloquence or persuasion of a false teacher. Such backsliding in the understanding of truth leads to backsliding in the practice of truth. (429)
We are to obey the Third Commandment simply because God commands it. We are the creatures of the Creator, subjects of the Lord, and children of the Redeemer, and because of all those relations with God, we want to obey whatever He commands....We will not wait until God gives us reasons for His commandments. We don’t need reasons in order to obey. And because God is not accountable to us, He often commands but does not give us any reasons behind His commands, other than that He commanded it: “Why do you complain against Him that He does not
give an account of all His doings?” (Job 33:13). And yet in mercy and in grace, God condescends to our need and often reveals the reasons behind His commands or gives us motives to encourage us to be faithful in the keeping of them. (434-435)
We want to obey the Third Commandment because the One who gave it is “the Lord,” Jehovah, the God of the Covenant, who is in complete control of His creation, who reveals Himself, i.e., “My name,” to His people, and who is present with His people to fellowship with them and to guide them, and who is self-existent and all sufficient in and of Himself: “I am that I am.”...Therefore, we want to obey this commandment because we love the Lord who gave it. (435)
But, the Lord who gave us this commandment also refers to Himself as “your God.” We are not to take in vain the name of “your God” (Ex. 20:7), of “our God” (Ex. 5:3), of “my God” (Ps. 22:10). It would be audacious of us to use these terms with reference to the transcendent Creator of the universe, if He had not brought us into
intimate union and eternal communion with Himself by His Covenant. It is because of His promise which we believe that we call the infinite God “our God.”...Matthew says of the birth of Jesus that it was the fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name IMMANUEL, which translated means, GOD WITH US” (Matt. 1:23). Therefore, we obey the Third Commandment because the God who gave it is “our God,” our Friend, our Savior. He is God with us in Jesus Christ. The strength and motivation we need to obey it we find in this vital union we have with Him. (435-436)
God motivates us to obey the Third Commandment by means of a solemn threat which implies that: (1) A Day of Judgment is coming when all human beings “shall have all their conduct investigated with the scrutiny of omniscience, shall all be found innocent or guilty, and shall all be condemned or acquitted.”243 (2) On that Day of Reckoning we will have to answer to God for every irreverent thought, feeling, word or action, for every infraction of this commandment, and of all others. (3) God will by no means clear those who are found guilty on that Day or leave them unpunished. (4) No mercy shall be shown to those who are found guilty on that Day. 243. Plumer, The Law of God, 286. (436-437)