Berean Studies / Ber08 - Evil speaking and Evil Surmising

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Single Click a triangle below to see the references CT Russell selected for the associated question. The study questions (with the references) are also included as an attached Adobe PDF file at the bottom of this page.

Show details for 1. What is evil speaking?1. What is evil speaking?

Show details for 2. How prevalent is this fault among even those who profess to be Christians?2. How prevalent is this fault among even those who profess to be Christians?

Show details for 3. What is the power of the tongue?3. What is the power of the tongue?

Show details for 4. What is meant by a ‘tongue set on fire of gehenna’?4. What is meant by a ‘tongue set on fire of gehenna’?

Show details for 5. What are the baneful influences of evil speaking, and what are some of the excuses and subterfuges offered 5. What are the baneful influences of evil speaking, and what are some of the excuses and subterfuges offered by the fallen ...

Show details for 6. What is evil surmising and what is its relation to evil speaking?6. What is evil surmising and what is its relation to evil speaking?

Show details for 7. What are ‘secret faults,’ and of what two kinds are they?7. What are ‘secret faults,’ and of what two kinds are they?

Show details for 8. Is an evil suggestion a sin, and how does it become a secret fault?8. Is an evil suggestion a sin, and how does it become a secret fault?

Show details for 9. What is a ‘presumptuous sin,’ and when does a secret fault become a presumptuous sin?9. What is a ‘presumptuous sin,’ and when does a secret fault become a presumptuous sin?

Show details for 10. What is the ‘great transgression’ to which these sins lead?10. What is the ‘great transgression’ to which these sins lead?

Show details for 11. How may we purify and keep our hearts pure from these sins?11. How may we purify and keep our hearts pure from these sins?

Show details for 12. How is the Lord judging us?12. How is the Lord judging us?

Show details for 13. Why should we render to God a daily account of any ‘idle’ (pernicious) words?13. Why should we render to God a daily account of any ‘idle’ (pernicious) words?

Show details for 14. How are words the index of our hearts?14. How are words the index of our hearts?

Show details for 15. What does purity of heart signify?15. What does purity of heart signify?

Show details for 16. What is the importance of a pure heart?16. What is the importance of a pure heart?

Show details for 17. How may purity of heart be attained?17. How may purity of heart be attained?

Show details for 18. How do we know our motive is pure, since ‘the heart is deceitful above all things’?18. How do we know our motive is pure, since ‘the heart is deceitful above all things’?

Show details for 19. What is the relation between our conscience and purity of heart?19. What is the relation between our conscience and purity of heart?

Show details for 20. Might telling the truth be evil speaking?20. Might telling the truth be evil speaking?

Show details for 21. Is it always necessary to tell all we know about every affair?21. Is it always necessary to tell all we know about every affair?

Show details for 22. Is an uncomplimentary remark evil speaking?22. Is an uncomplimentary remark evil speaking?

Show details for 23. Would it be evil speaking to criticize doctrines publicly uttered?23. Would it be evil speaking to criticize doctrines publicly uttered?

Show details for 24. What is a slanderer?24. What is a slanderer?

Show details for 25. What is ‘false witness,’ and is it possible to bear false witness without uttering a word?25. What is ‘false witness,’ and is it possible to bear false witness without uttering a word?

Show details for 26. How should we deal with a brother or sister who begins to relate an evil report?26. How should we deal with a brother or sister who begins to relate an evil report?

Show details for 27. How should we deal with persons of the world who do evil speaking?27. How should we deal with persons of the world who do evil speaking?

Show details for 28. Is evil speaking against a brother in Christ more culpable than against one of the world?28. Is evil speaking against a brother in Christ more culpable than against one of the world?

Show details for 29. In order to avoid gossip, slander and evil speaking, what is the only proper and Scriptural way of redress29. In order to avoid gossip, slander and evil speaking, what is the only proper and Scriptural way of redress for grievanc...

Hide details for 30. How should we deal in a matter of evil speaking against an Elder?30. How should we deal in a matter of evil speaking against an Elder?

1 Timothy 5:19 - Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.

F293-294 - Accusations Against Elders

"Against an Elder receive not an accusation, except at the mouth of two or three witnesses." 1 Tim. 5:19, R.V.

The Apostle in this statement recognizes two principles. (1) That an Elder has already been recognized by the congregation as possessing a good and noble character, and as being specially earnest for the Truth, and devoted to God. (2) That such persons, by reason of their prominence in the Church, would be marked by the Adversary as special objects for his attacks--objects of envy, malice, hatred and strife on the part of some, even as our Lord forewarned-- "Marvel not if the world hate you"; "ye know that it hated me before it hated you"; "If they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household!" (Matt. 10:25; 1 Jno. 3:13; Jno. 15:18) The more faithful and capable the brother, the more nearly a copy of his Master, the more proper his choice as an Elder; and the more faithful the Elder, the more sure he will be to have as enemies--not Satan and his messengers only, but as many also as Satan can delude and mislead.

These reasons should guarantee an Elder against condemnation on the word of any one person, if otherwise his life appeared consistent. As for hearsay or rumor, they were not to be considered at all; because no true yokefellow, cognizant of the Lord's rule (Matt. 18:15), would circulate rumors or have confidence in the word of those who would thus disregard the Master's directions. To be heard at all, the accusers must profess to have been witnesses. And even if two or more witnesses made charges there would be no other way of hearing the case than that already defined. Any one person charging wrong against the Elder, should, after personal conference failing, have taken with him two or three others who would thus become witnesses to the contumacy. Then the matter, still unamended, might be brought by Timothy or anyone before the Church, etc.

Indeed, this accusation before two or three witnesses, being the requirement as respects all of the members, leaves room for the supposition that the Apostle was merely claiming that an Elder should have every right and privilege guaranteed to any of the brethren. It may be that some were inclined to hold that since an Elder must be "well reported," not only in the Church, but out of it, an Elder should be arraigned upon the slightest charges, because of his influential position. But the Apostle's words settle it that an Elder's opportunities must equal those of others.

This matter of witnesses needs to be deeply engraved on the mind of every New Creature. What others claim to know and what they slanderously tell is not even to be heeded--not to be received. If two or three, following the Lord's directions, bring charges against anyone--not back-bitingly and slanderously but as instructed--before the Church, they are not even then to be believed; but then will be the proper time for the Church to hear the matter--hear both sides, in each other's presence; and then give a godly decision and admonition, so phrased as to help the wrongdoer back to righteousness and not to push him off into outer darkness.

F418 1, 2 - It might be the same as in the individual grievance, if the sin were not public property. But if the matter were publicly known, it would be the duty of the elders to cite the offender before the Church for trial, without the preliminary private visits; because the publicity had taken it beyond any private settlement. Likewise, if it were a case of slander against the elders or any of them, the hearing should be by the Church and not privately; because the slanderers, if they conscientiously thought they had a good cause, yet had neglected the Lord's rule ("Go to him alone," and afterward "Take with thee two or three others") and had spread scandalous and defamatory tales, had thereby carried the matter beyond the power of individual rectification and made it a matter for the Church.

In such cases it would be proper for the slandered Elder to call together the Board of Elders as representatives of the Church, and to deny the calumnies and ask that the slanderers be indicted to answer charges of slander and false-witnessing before the Church; because their offense was toward the Church (1) in that it was contrary to the rules laid down by the Head of the Church and contrary to decency and good morals; and (2) because the slander being against an Elder chosen by the Church was thus a slander against the entire Church selecting him. The slanderers should be condemned and rebuked and required to acknowledge their error; but after doing this they would have a right to proceed against the Elder supposed to be in error, just as they should have done at first.

Show details for 31. Why is ‘a bridled tongue’ a chief essential in an Elder?31. Why is ‘a bridled tongue’ a chief essential in an Elder?

Show details for 32. How may we ask advice and not do evil speaking?32. How may we ask advice and not do evil speaking?

Show details for 33. What is the relation between ‘busy- bodying’ and evil speaking?33. What is the relation between ‘busy- bodying’ and evil speaking?

Show details for 34. How should the Golden Rule help us to overcome evil speaking and evil surmising?34. How should the Golden Rule help us to overcome evil speaking and evil surmising?

Show details for 35. What is the sole exception to this rule, ‘Speak evil of no man’?35. What is the sole exception to this rule, ‘Speak evil of no man’?

Show details for 36. What inspiration should we receive from Jesus’ example?36. What inspiration should we receive from Jesus’ example?

Show details for 37. How can we overcome evil surmisings and evil speaking?37. How can we overcome evil surmisings and evil speaking?

38. What additional thoughts are found in index of Heavenly Manna under ‘Evil’?

39. What special experiences and practices have helped you to overcome evil surmisings to some extent?

40. As we realize how insidious this foe of the ‘new creature,’ what should be our daily prayer?

Psalms 19:12-14 - Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. (13) Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. (14) Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.


EVIL_SPEAKING.pdf