SPEAK EVIL OF DIGNITIES
2 Peter 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: 10 ¶ But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. 11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. 12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; 13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; 14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:
This lesson will expose a very blatant sin that is blanketing our nation and therefore has made its way into the religious realm as well. Even true believers are guilty of this sin, with no mind to defeat it in their lives. ‘Social media’ has given great rise to it, allowing even true believers to be swept into it as “everybody is doing it.” Therefore it has become the thing to do to trash anyone and everyone with whom we do not agree! But we must take notice that this sin of “Speaking Evil of Dignities” is listed among the characteristics of the reprobate! They despise all authority over them. They walk in the lust of uncleanness. They are selfwilled. And yet all the while they presume they are righteous while they trash those to whom they should be showing respect.
That word, “dignities” is the same Greek word translated, “honour” in John 5:41 & 44. And it is also translated as “glory” in 2 Peter 3:18. If you have ever attended a courtroom and heard the judge addressed as “your honor,” that is how this word is used.
But there is a great problem in that James informs us that the tongue cannot be tamed by human effort alone. James 3:8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Yet he informs us that unless the tongue is brought under control, there is no true religion in that person! James 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. And the writings of Mark reveal that regenerating grace is the one hope of conquering this little member which is set of fire of hell! Mark 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
James 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
This is such a serious matter that the seraphim who touched Isaiah’s tongue with the purging coal from the sacrificial, cleansing altar informed him that all his sin was purged. Isaiah realized that he was entirely unclean due to the fact that his mouth was not under the Lord’s control. Therefore the purging fire from the altar cleansed him completely when only touching his mouth! Isaiah 6:5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. 6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: 7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.
And the reason that he was correct in being entirely “undone” due to his “unclean lips,” is because the mouth can only speak forth that which is in the heart! Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
Therefore comes the necessity of the confession “unto salvation” when once the heart “believeth unto righteousness!” Romans 10:8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. And this is so important for Christ’s response from heaven to that sinner is directly connected to the sinner’s confession upon earth! Matthew 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
The Lord revealed to Moses that he is the creator of the mouth, so he is never far from the mouth of the regenerate believer. Exodus 4:10 And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. 11 And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say. Proverbs 16:1 The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.
And this never fails with the adoption of the lost sinner into the family of the redeemed. Just as the delivering physician spanks the infant to cause him to gasp for breath in order to cry out, so it is in the new birth! The same spirit which adopted him always gives him the breath of life to cry out that God is his Father! For they begin to immediately speak with their new tongue. Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Galatians 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Proverbs 13:3 He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction. 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
The Apostle Paul’s instruction to those whom he wished to increase more and more in the development of grace included that they “study to be quiet.” 1 Thessalonians 4:10 And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; 11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
And those who have the inner unction that makes them aware of the presence of God will always cease to speak. Habakkuk 2:20 But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him. But today’s religious church has no inner, spiritual revelation of the voice of God, as they cannot cease to chatter!
When once the prophet heard “the voice of silent stillness” he covered his face and did not speak until spoken to! 1 Kings 19:12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. 13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?
And we fail to see that one of the main issues in the afflictions of Job was concerning his speech! That was what Satan told God Job would do! That was what Satan wanted Job to do! Job 1:11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 2:5 But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.
And that was the suggestion of Job’s wife as the manner in which Job should commit suicide! Job 2:9 Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. 10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
The human spirit, when especially connected with the hypocritical spirit of religion, will strongly justify itself in trashing dignities! For they have been deceived into thinking that their politics and their patriotism are but strong parts of their salvation and Christianity. And not being able to have the clear mind of Christ they cannot discern the difference between the office of the dignity from the officer! We have not the liberty to speak evil due to the bad behavior of the officer.
The scribes and Pharisees sat in Moses seat. But the Lord informs us we must get beyond the sitter, remembering God’s appointment of the seat! Matthew 23:1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, 2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: 3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
And we cannot pick and choose which laws we shall obey, due to our dislike of personalities in government. For God has ordained authorities for the general good of mankind. Therefore to resist the order of governmental authority is to resist God! Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers (civil authorities). For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers (civil authorities) are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
Consider the account of Daniel as he responded to the king’s inquiry concerning his wellbeing after a night in the den of lions. Daniel 6:20 And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions? 21 Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. 22 My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt. 23 Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.
Please take careful notice of Daniel’s response as recorded in that verse 22. The hungry lions, agents of the Babylonian destructive punishment would not harm this man who respected the civil authority. But consider what happened to those who did not bow to God’s order. (And remember that those lions were just as hungry and ferocious when it was Daniel in their den!) Daniel 6:24 And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.
And why was it that Moses was not allowed to go over into the promised land? You say, “Because he smote the rock.” Yes. He did. But that is not the charge listed against him in the scriptures. Psalm 106:32 They angered him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill with Moses for their sakes: 33 Because they provoked his spirit, so that he spake unadvisedly with his lips. It was his mouth speaking evil of dignities that kept him out! Listen to what he said concerning those people with who angered him with constant complaining, yet they were the Lord’s people. And this time the Lord did not instruct him to smite the rock. Numbers 20:8 Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink. 9 And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him. 10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? 11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. 12 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
James 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
Pastor Gene Breed
March 17, 2022