Berean Studies / Ber08 - Evil speaking and Evil Surmising

(Use your Browser's "Find" or "Search" option to search within this page)


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 ...

Hide 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?

R3594 col. 1 1- 5 - Do not be touchy and easily offended. Take a kindly, charitable view of the words and acts of others. A trifling slight or rebuff could well be passed unnoticed--covered with the mantle of generosity and love. A serious offense should be assumed to be unintentional, and inquiry should be kindly made in words that would not stir up anger, but in "speech seasoned with grace." In a majority of cases it will prove that no offense was meant.

This rule in the Scriptures comes under the instructions not to indulge in "evil surmisings,"--imagining evil intentions and motives behind the words and acts of others. "Evil surmisings" is ranked by the Apostle as contrary to the words of our Lord Jesus, opposed to godliness, and of the same spirit as envy and strife--of a corrupt mind, works of the flesh and the devil.--`1 Tim. 6:3-5`; `Gal. 5:19-21`.

LOVE THE LAW OF THE SPIRIT.

The other side of this subject is brought out by the Apostle's injunction respecting the elements of the spirit of love, of which God's people are begotten and which they are to cultivate daily,--the development of which is one of the chief proofs of their being "overcomers." He says, "Love suffereth long and is kind, ...is not easily offended, thinketh no evil,...beareth all things, believeth all things [favorably], hopeth all things, endureth all things."

It may be urged that such a disposition would be imposed upon frequently, by the evilly disposed. We reply that those who possess this spirit of love are not necessarily obtuse nor soft: their experiences in cultivating this degree of love have served to develop them and make them of "quick understanding in the fear of the Lord." They will be cautious where there is even the appearance of evil, even while avoiding the imputation of evil intentions until forced to concede them by indisputable evidence. Besides, it would be better far to take some trifling risks and suffer some slight losses, many times, than to accuse even one innocent person. And the Lord who has directed this course is abundantly able to compensate us for any losses experienced in following his counsel. He is both able and willing to make all such experiences work together for good to those who love him. He places obedience to his arrangements first (even before sacrifice) saying, "Ye are my disciples, if ye do whatsoever I command you."

Whoever neglects the Lord's commands along this line of "evil surmisings" weaves a web for his own ensnarement, however "circumspectly" he may walk as respects other matters; for a heart impregnated with doubt and suspicion toward fellow creatures is more than half prepared to doubt God; the spirit of sourness and bitterness implied is at war with the spirit of the Lord, the spirit of love. Either the one or the other will conquer. The wrong spirit must be gotten rid of, or it will defile the new creature and make of him a "castaway." On the contrary, if the new nature conquer, as an "overcomer," it will be along this line: if evil surmisings are overcome, half the battle against present difficulties and besetments is won. The surmisings are from the heart, and lead us either to good words and acts, or to evil words and acts.

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...

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?

Hide 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?

James 3:2 - For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.

R2447 col. 2 2 - The public servants of the Church are to some extent specially its "tongues," and what an influence they wield for good or for evil, in the blessing and upbuilding of the Lord's people, or for their injury--cursing! How necessary that all the tongue-servants of the Lord's Body be such, and such only, as are of his spirit! Their influence not only extends to those who are in the Church, but in considerable measure they are mouthpieces heard outside. And the same principle applies to every individual member of the Church, in his use of his member, his tongue. He may use it wisely or unwisely, with heavenly wisdom or with earthly wisdom. He may use it for strife, and tearing down the faith and character of the brethren, in overthrowing love and confidence, or he may use it in building up these graces of the spirit. How many have proved the truth of the Apostle's words, that the tongue has great possibilities, either for defiling the whole body, the Church, and setting on fire the course of nature, by stirring up the evil poisons and propensities of the fallen nature! How few amongst the Lord's people have conquered the tongue to the extent of bringing it into subjection to the will of God, that they may minister good, and only good, to all with whom they come in contact! Let us, dearly beloved, be fully resolved that by divine grace (promised to assist us) the present year shall witness great progress in our control of this most important member of our bodies, bringing the same into full subjection and obedience and service to the King of kings and Lord of lords--to him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.

R2157 col. 1 1 - In the choice of leaders for meetings the "tongue" qualification, as here laid down should not be overlooked. The fiery tongued should not be chosen, but the meeker, the moderate, who "bridle" their tongues and endeavor carefully to "speak as the oracles of God" only. Such tongues constrain, while others more frequently wound and repel. The Word of the Lord is quick and powerful and sharp and cuts "to the heart" without bitter and acrimonious and uncharitable human expletives to enforce it. Hence the divine instruction that we "speak the truth in love."

F249 2 - They should be generous men, men of pure lives, having no more than one wife; and if they have children it should be noticed to what extent the parent has exercised a wholesome influence in his own family--for it should reasonably be judged that if he has been derelict in his duty toward his children, he probably would be unwise or derelict in his counsels and his general ministries amongst the Lord's children in the Ecclesia, the Church. He is not to be double-tongued or deceptive, not to be a brawler or a contentious person. He should be one of good reputation amongst those outside the Church: not that the world will ever love or rightly appreciate the saints, but that the world should, at least, be unable to point to anything derogatory to their character as respects honesty, uprightness, morality, truthfulness. There is no limitation made respecting the number of elders in a Church or Ecclesia.

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