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?

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

R3595 col. 2 1 - A slanderer is a thief according to worldly standard: as Shakespeare wrote:

He who steals my purse steals trash;
But he who filches from me my good name
Takes that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed.

R2444 col. 1 5 to col. 2 2 - Such will say,--Oh, I never tell anything for truth until I positively know it to be true--of my own observation, my own personal knowledge. Anything that I do not know of myself to be true I am always careful to so state, and say, I have heard thus and so, or, I am told thus and so; I do not vouch for the truth of it myself. Thus I am sure that I always avoid speaking evil of anyone. Perhaps there is no more common delusion on this subject than is thus expressed. The depraved taste hedges itself behind conscience, and declares that it is always right to speak the truth, and hence God cannot have meant that speaking the truth would be slander, but that in condemning evil speaking and slander, as works of the flesh and the devil, he must have meant the speaking of that which is false, untrue.

This is a great mistake: a slander is equally a slander, whether it is true or whether it is false, and is so regarded, not only in the law of God, but also in the laws of civilized men. True, in human law, if a suit were brought for slander, if it were proven that the charges made by the slanderer had some basis of fact, that would probably be considered by the Court and jury an extenuating circumstance, and would probably very much reduce the amount of the verdict for damages. A slander is anything which is uttered with the intention of injury to another, whether true or false, and the laws of men agree with the law of God, that such injury to another is wrong.

In other words, divine and human laws agree that a first wrong does not justify a second wrong. Human law says, If a wrong has been committed, the Courts are open to the injured one to seek redress or the punishment of the evil doer; but the injured one shall not be permitted to take the remedy into his own hands, either by making an assault with physical force nor by the use of the more subtle weapon, the tongue, to assassinate his character with the poisoned stiletto of envy and malice. True, many slanderers are never prosecuted; true also, the newspapers of the United States have sometimes escaped heavy damages for libelous slander by the plea that they did not publish the defamations as of malice, but simply as news, which, they claimed, properly belonged to the public as in the cases of politicians who were seeking the franchises of the people for positions of public trust. Then again, public men knowing that much of the false statements by the opposition press will be properly credited as falsehoods, consider it good policy to let any ordinary slanders go unchallenged in the Courts.

The effect is a gradual growth of slander among the people--sure to work evil to themselves and to their institutions;--for government officers and courts and everybody of influence coming under such slanders (generally, we believe, untrue) lose their influence for good over the lower classes, who are thus being helped along to greater lawlessness day by day, and preparing for the period of anarchy which the Scriptures tell us is near at hand.

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...

Show 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?

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