Description: So many professing Christians today are gossips, busybodies, and evil speakers. They take a few verses of Scripture for seeming justification of their wicked and Spiritless actions, but they fail to rightly divide the word of truth and set themselves up against Christ, and speaking for the devil. Some will claim that because their evil speech about another contains partial truths that it makes it somehow not gossip to spread it around or not evil speech. These people are lacking the love of Christ, lacking the Spirit of Grace, and lacking the wisdom of God. In this video you will learn the common arguments the children of the wicked one use to speak forth his words and how you, as a child of God, should speak.
Brother Hicks Speaking: Hello brothers and sisters, today I want to talk to you about gossips and busybodies and people who speak evil of others [and how] they have no part with Christ! This is a very common issue today.
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Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. (Titus 3:1-2)
Many people do not believe the truth on this. They will, instead, speak evil of people, and they gossip, and they are busybodies, and they are doing all these things that are clearly forbidden in the Scripture. What is worse is that many people actually take verses, out of context, and use them as an excuse for gossiping, for speaking evil, and for doing all these things; but I am going to show you some of these verses and show you what they are actually saying and something that most people have NEVER seen in these verses. I have heard people quote these verses many, many times to make excuses for their unlawful actions, for their disobedience to Christ, their refusal to obey what Jesus says, and their refusal to live in a holy way.
Let’s see some of these verses: 2nd Timothy chapter 4, verses 14 through 15, “Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.”
Now this is interesting because people will quote this and say, “See, we have to warn people,” and you do have to warn people, and there is a valid reason to warn individuals about people they are going to be coming in contact with that might do them wrong as well. The important thing to note here is who is Paul writing to? He is writing to Timothy, he is writing to an individual. Now we have it in the Bible and we all read it publicly, but this was written to an individual. So, writing to an individual, Paul said, “Listen [Timothy], this man did me evil, beware of him.” He didn’t go beyond [that] and start speaking a bunch of evil about the man and going into every single detail, he just said, “Beware.”
2nd Timothy chapter 2, verses 16 through 18 says, “But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. “
Once again, this verse is used [by some] to speak evil about others, and to gossip, and backbite, and to be busybodies. This is Paul writing to Timothy, to an individual, and warns about people who Timothy is going to be coming in contact with, about their false doctrine. Jesus did this as well when He warned about the leaven of the Pharisees (Mark 8:15).
You notice in all this how these are very quick points, to the point, and they are factual. It should be noted that these [sayings] are simple and to the point. They are not going beyond to start speaking evil of them and railing against them and making all kinds of accusations, this is real simple and to the point. These people had false doctrine, they said the resurrection is past already, and overthrow the faith of some. That’s it. It’s also written to an individual. We are going to see later how when Paul writes about people who need to be called out and rebuked, when he is writing to a whole church, he does something different.
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Notice how when Jesus warns publically about people he warns about a group (Luke 12:1; Mark 8:15), not the individual Pharisees and scribes. When dealing with individuals He speaks about them directly to their faces (Matthew 23), or directly to them through their messengers (Luke 13:32).
1st Timothy chapter 1, verses 18 through 20, once again this is written to one man, one individual, Timothy: “This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.”
So once again, Paul says these people have been delivered unto Satan, they have been pushed, they have been rejected, they have been marked and avoided; and he is warning Timothy about these individuals. He doesn’t go beyond [this] and start speaking a bunch of evil of them. He just gives a quick warning to an individual.
2nd Timothy chapter 1, verse 15, “This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes”
Now, what is interesting to note here is that he just mentions two people that turned away from him. That’s it. He does not go into any details, he does not speak evil of them. He is once again warning Timothy his brother, who he calls his son in the faith. He doesn’t go beyond the simple facts that are enough to warn this brother of individuals that need to be watched, that need to be marked and avoided.
1st Peter chapter 4, verses 14 through 15, “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.”
This is so important. Christians should never, it should never be named among them, that you are suffering because you are busybodies, because you are getting into other people’s matters, because you are gossiping, because you are speaking evil of others. This should not be something that has any place in your life if you are truly a Christian. We suffer for the faith of Jesus Christ. We suffer for the Lord. We should NEVER suffer for wrongdoing, for evil, for being a murderer, for being a thief, for being an evildoer, for being a busybody in other men’s matters. Many of you, under the guise of “praying for people,” are gossips and busybodies. “Well, did you hear what so-and-so did? Oh, we need to pray for them.” But really you are using prayer as a guise for being a busybody and getting in other people’s matters, and gossiping, and slandering, and speaking evil of other people. I have even seen in “prayer,” and they are “praying” gossip, slander, and evil speech. Then they say things like, “Oh God, you know __________________” and then they go into a “laundry list” of somebody’s sins, things that maybe should be dealt with on an individual basis, things that never should be mentioned publicly; but that person is merely using prayer as a form of gossip.
When you need to pray about an individual and some evil they have done you need to take that between you and God privately. Don’t stand up publicly airing other people’s sins, [for] love covereth sin [Proverbs 10:12; 1 Peter 4:8]. Do not go and speak evil of people and be a busybody and a gossip. Do not go beyond what you have to. If you have to speak about someone in a negative light do not go beyond what you absolutely have to. For example, when Paul is warning about Alexander the coppersmith what does he say, “the Lord reward him according to his works: Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words” (2 Timothy 4:14-15). He gets to the point, he has withstood our words, beware of him. He doesn’t go into a long discourse about all the evil Alexander the coppersmith has done and all this. No. Get to the point and be very specific and factual. Don’t get emotional. Don’t start determining their character, [saying], “Well, they are evil because of this, this and this, and they did this…” and all this “laundry list” of stuff.
That is not walking in love and it is not the life Jesus Christ has called you to. It is not the Christian character. We as Christians are to speak good, godly, edifying words: words of peace and words of wisdom (Ephesians 4:29; Colossians 4:6). We are to speak as the oracles of God, as 1st Peter chapter 4, verse 11 says. You need to follow the Scripture. There is never a time it is going to be some benefit to speak evil and slander and all of these things about individuals, and to gossip about them. It simply doesn’t help. If you need to warn [then] warn the individual, but you have no place and no right to speak evil of others.
1st Timothy chapter 5, verses 11 through 13, “But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry; Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith. And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.”
Once again, as we saw in these verses they are “but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.” These tattlers telling on people’s issues. These busybodies getting into other people’s matters. This should not be part of your Christian life. You can make all the excuses you want. You can talk about “warning people” and all these nonsense excuses you try to make for your evil, but when you are tattling, when you are being a busybody, when you are being a gossip, when you are reviling, when you are railing, when you are speaking evil of people, you are not a Christian. You are an evildoer. You don’t know Christ. You are walking and living in speaking the words of the devil, and he is your father (1 John 3:8; John 8:44).
Now I also want to point something out: being a busybody is a form of witchcraft. You may say, “Brother Hicks, a form of witchcraft?!” Yes! In 1st Timothy chapter 5, verse 13, the word where we get “busybody” from is translated in Acts chapter 19, verse 19, "curious arts.” Can’t you see how being a busybody is a form of witchcraft? It is, my brothers and sisters. Being a busybody is a form of witchcraft and sorcery. It is not of God, it is of the evil one.
3rd John chapter 1, there is only one chapter, verses 9 through 10, “I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.”
So here is a man that has taken over the authority of a church and he is doing much evil, and John is saying that he is going to straighten this out once he gets there; but once again, and this needs to be noted, he is writing to an individual. 3rd John is written to an individual.
Do you notice a pattern? All these verses that people use as their excuse for speaking evil of people publicly, for doing all this gossip and being a busybody, every one of these verses was written to an individual, it wasn’t written to the church. Let us see what happens when an individual is mentioned and it is going to the church. This is an example, the man in 1st Corinthians chapter 5, he was having relations with his father’s wife. The Scripture says this, 1st Corinthians chapter 5, verse 1, “It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.” Then verse 5, “To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” And then verse 13, “But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.”
Even in this matter Paul doesn’t mention the man by name, he just deals with the facts, that this is a grave sin that is not even named among the Gentiles. You need to cast this person out and get rid of him and put him from amongst yourselves, that is for the destruction of the flesh, because they get out of the church and out from under the protection of the body of Christ. You cast them out and prayerfully they will come back to the Lord. Prayerfully they will repent. And this man actually did as we see in 2 Corinthians [chapter 2].
But once again notice that this is a very short, little mention of this man and his actual sin, and Paul is not going into details, additional details and long diatribes about it, and then start speaking evil and slandering the man. Can you see how you ought to speak if you have to warn of somebody? Paul faced GREAT persecution: all kinds of false brethren and evil people coming against him, but we have only a few mentions of people in the Scripture. Paul had numerous people come against him and there is only a few people mentioned that he directly mentions [by name]. Why is that? Because when he was dealing with individuals like Timothy he was only mentioning individuals that Timothy may come in contact with and needed to be warned about. He wasn’t mentioning people that were a hundred miles away that Timothy was never going to meet and never would have to deal with, because he wasn’t being a gossip, he wasn’t being a busybody, he wasn’t getting into other men’s matters. He wasn’t just telling Timothy things just to tell him, rather he was warning him in love.
So if you are “warning people” about individuals they are never going to meet, and you are “warning” publicly and slandering and speaking evil of these people, you are ungodly. You are not following the character of Scripture. You are not following the Spirit of God and how He leads you. You are following the spirit of this world, “the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2), the spirit of Satan.
James chapter 3, verses 8 through 12, “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.”
You can’t have a right spirit, a good heart, and have evil speaking come from it. What needs to be noted here is that it says, “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” This is true, but what needs to be noted is that God can tame it! He tames it when you receive the baptism in the Spirit and speak in tongues, because He takes control of your tongue. God can tame your tongue if you are willing to give it over to Him. Speak forth as the oracles of God, do what He says, and obey Him and your tongue can be tamed. It is only going to be tamed when you submit to the Lord Jesus Christ and get true salvation through Jesus Christ. That is the only way your tongues is going to be tamed. If your tongue is not tamed and you are speaking evil , and you as this fountain are trying to yield both salt water and fresh, it can’t happen.
The fruit you display. The words of your mouth, the fruit of your mouth, show who you really are. You can pray all you want, you can read the Scripture all you want, and talk about how you are saved, but when your words are evil about others, when you slander others, when you are speaking evil, when you are gossiping, when you are being a busybody, you do not know Him. You do not have that new spirit where all the old sin and filthiness and unrighteousness is washed away, and you are a new person. You don’t have that, not if that is you, not if you are speaking evil of others, not if your tongue is untamed. These things ought not so to be, my brothers and sisters. If you are a Christian, behave like one, speak like one, be one!
1st Thessalonians chapter 4, verses 11 through 12, “And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.”
Study to be quiet, my friends. This is very important. “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin” (Proverbs 10:19). You would do so well to limit your words, to not speak so much. If you are getting on the phone and you are talking to people and having long conversations about nothing you are going to get into sin. If you are talking about the Scripture that is another thing, but if you are just talking [about nothing] and babbling you are going to get into sin. Do as this Scripture says and study to be quiet.
2 Thessalonians chapter 3, verses 11 through 12, “For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.”
Once again that is stressed: quietness, not being a busybody, but being quiet. This [being a busybody] is evil, it is disorderly, it is against the doctrines of Christ, it is not of God when you are a busybody, when you are gossiping, when you are doing all of these things. Control your tongue, my brothers and sisters, get in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Romans chapter 1, verses 29 through 32, “Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”
My brothers and sisters, none of these things should be named among a brother or sister in the Lord. You are not in the Lord if these things make up your character. Being a whisper, being a backbiter, being full of debate? These things are not of a brother or sister in the Lord. These things are of the wicked one.
1st Corinthians chapter 6, verses 9 through 10, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers [also known as “railers”], nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
See, we talk about these other sins like idolatry, adultery, fornication, abusers of themselves with mankind or sodomites. We talk about these things like thieves, drunkards, but how many times do you hear people talking about being a reviler, being a railer, someone that is abusive when they speak, you speak evil of other people? That sin will keep you out of the kingdom of God. Don’t think that this is just some issue that “I have to clean up later.” If you do not repent of this and get your heart right with God, you will not see Him. You will be cast into the lake of fire. It is that simple.
1st Corinthians chapter 5, verse 11, “But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.”
If someone is a railer you are not to keep company with them, not to even eat with them. This is a sin that you will spend eternity in hell for, if you are a railer, if you are a busybody, if you are speaking evil of other people, these are all things we are commanded against [doing] and if you do them you will have no part with the Lord Jesus Christ! I encourage you to watch my other teaching on speaking evil of others as that will help you as well.
My brothers and sisters, you need to get control over your tongue and you do that by submitting to Him. Seek the baptism in the Spirit, where the Lord takes control of your tongue, that unruly member, and He gives you the words to speak and you flow in that beautiful language. Let Him take control of your tongue, through that, through the spiritual gift when He gives you tongues when you are baptized in the Spirit, but also by repenting and believing the gospel. That is the first step: repent and believe. You have to cast off all this nonsense: this idea that you have to speak evil of others, and here is another important thing, if other people are speaking evil of others to you and they are gossiping to you, so that you are not actually gossiping, but you are listening to it and receiving the gossip, you need to repent. You need to rebuke them, and you need to stop fellowshipping with them. A railer is somebody to not have fellowship with. You are not to even eat with them. You need to get rid of these people, these people that would do evil and would speak evil.
Here is a practical reason as well, if someone is speaking evil about somebody else to you and they are gossiping about somebody else to you, do you not understand that they will be speaking evil about you as well and they will gossip to others about you? Anything they find out about you they are going to take and spread it to somebody else. That is the nature of that evil. That is the nature of busybodies, they are in other men’s secrets, and they are revealing and they are blabbing and they are doing all this evil. You learn to keep quiet. You in quietness work, and eat your own bread. Don’t speak evil of other people. Don’t gossip. Don’t be a busybody. Don’t backbite. Don’t be a whisperer. But just speak as the oracles of God. May the Lord Jesus bless you!