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.
1. What is evil speaking?
2. How prevalent is this fault among even those who profess to be Christians?
3. What is the power of the tongue?
4. What is meant by a ‘tongue set on fire of gehenna’?
5. What are the baneful influences of evil speaking, and what are some of the excuses and subterfuges offered by the fallen ...
6. What is evil surmising and what is its relation to evil speaking?
7. What are ‘secret faults,’ and of what two kinds are they?
8. Is an evil suggestion a sin, and how does it become a secret fault?
9. What is a ‘presumptuous sin,’ and when does a secret fault become a presumptuous sin?
10. What is the ‘great transgression’ to which these sins lead?
11. How may we purify and keep our hearts pure from these sins?
12. How is the Lord judging us?
13. Why should we render to God a daily account of any ‘idle’ (pernicious) words?
14. How are words the index of our hearts?
15. What does purity of heart signify?
R3114 col. 2 ¶1 - "A pure heart."--That signifies purity of will, intention or purpose, which, like the needle to the pole, always turns toward righteousness. Though some sudden or strong temptation may for an instant, through the weakness of the flesh, draw it to the right or to the left, yet quickly it recovers its normal position which is true to righteousness and truth. A pure heart loves righteousness and truth, and hates iniquity. It loves purity, and despises all that is impure and unholy. It loves cleanliness of person, of clothing, of language and of habits. It delights only in the society of the pure, and shuns all others, knowing that "evil communications corrupt good manners."
R3604 col. 1 ¶1 - Let us examine ourselves afresh to know the condition of our hearts, remembering the word of the Lord, that if we judge ourselves we would not require that he should judge us, but that if we neglect to judge ourselves he will chasten us, because we put our cause in his hand, because we are his. The word pure has in it the thought of innocent, without deceit; it has in it the thought of virtue and chastity; it contains the thought of clean, true and truthful. We cannot hope that any, either in the Church or out of it, are actually pure in the absolute sense of this word, but we do rejoice that our dear Master gave the key to a proper understanding of the matter when he said, "Blessed are the pure in heart." So long as we are in this present, mortal, imperfect condition absolute purity is impossible; for us to be pure of heart is possible--purity of intention, purity of motive.
R2250 col. 2 ¶4 - "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." We are to distinguish sharply between purity of heart, will, intention and absolute purity of every word and act of life; for the one is possible while the other is impossible, so long as we have our present mortal bodies and are surrounded by present unfavorable conditions. The standard set before us in this very sermon however is a standard not only for the heart but for all the conduct of life, "Be ye perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect." By this standard we are to measure ourselves, and that continually, and not with one another; and to this standard we are to seek to bring the conduct of our lives and the meditation of our hearts. But only our wills (hearts) have yet been transformed and renewed and purified: our present imperfect earthen vessels in which we have this treasure will not be "changed" or renewed until the resurrection. Then, and not until then, will we be perfect in the divine likeness, but now nothing short of purity of heart, will, intention, can be acceptable to God and bring the blessing here promised.
16. What is the importance of a pure heart?
17. How may purity of heart be attained?
18. How do we know our motive is pure, since ‘the heart is deceitful above all things’?
19. What is the relation between our conscience and purity of heart?
20. Might telling the truth be evil speaking?
21. Is it always necessary to tell all we know about every affair?
22. Is an uncomplimentary remark evil speaking?
23. Would it be evil speaking to criticize doctrines publicly uttered?
24. What is a slanderer?
25. What is ‘false witness,’ and is it possible to bear false witness without uttering a word?
26. How should we deal with a brother or sister who begins to relate an evil report?
27. How should we deal with persons of the world who do evil speaking?
28. Is evil speaking against a brother in Christ more culpable than against one of the world?
29. In order to avoid gossip, slander and evil speaking, what is the only proper and Scriptural way of redress for grievanc...
30. How should we deal in a matter of evil speaking against an Elder?
31. Why is ‘a bridled tongue’ a chief essential in an Elder?
32. How may we ask advice and not do evil speaking?
33. What is the relation between ‘busy- bodying’ and evil speaking?
34. How should the Golden Rule help us to overcome evil speaking and evil surmising?
35. What is the sole exception to this rule, ‘Speak evil of no man’?
36. What inspiration should we receive from Jesus’ example?
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.