Speak to Your Rock! Pt 2 – Do Idle Words Keep You Out of The Promise Land?
(Ver 1.6) Today is the second lesson on the subject of the significance of our spoken words. I know this is a very controversial subject and one that many Christians do now subscribe to believe in. However, regardless of what we believe about it, our beliefs do not change what God and the Bible says and the results that we get from the God’s established Spiritual Laws that are found within the Bible. In the last lesson on this subject, we learned about “Why Moses Didn’t Enter Into Promise Land”. God said it was because of Moses’ unbelief, He told him that he would not be able to lead God’s people into the promised land that He had already given to them. Unbelief is one of a Christian’s greatest enemies in receiving a promise from God. This can include the unbelief of what the Bible says or the unbelief of what the Spirit of God is leading us to do. It could even be the unbelief of what a Bible teacher teaches us from the Bible. I am not saying that I am anything important personally in you hearing from God, unless I say what the Bible says and that should make what is said important. All we need to do is read the Bible and see what it says and then believe it, to see that what is written is true or not (Acts 17:11). People should recognize that there are crazy people on the internet doing the same thing that I am doing to help people, many automatically discount what is said as being the same crazy ramblings. By automatically dismissing what someone says, many people at times miss what God had wanted them to know. Not everyone on the internet is crazy, and some of them have some very profound deep things to teach if we are open to them. Learn to judge every teacher by the Word of God and remain open and prepared to change your thinking and beliefs. God is doing some really great things in the world today and those who are open to them will enjoy their benefits. If you would like to read this series from the beginning, I would suggest that you go back and start with “Part 1“.
So today I want to discuss more about the Bible topic of “Spoken Words”! But not just any spoken words, let’s talk about those that Jesus called “Idle Words”. What are “Idle Words”? Let’s start by reading the lesson’s foundation Bible verse.
Mat 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
Wow! That is an amazingly strong statement from Jesus. Jesus is obviously directing our attention at our spoken words. But, not just any spoken word, but rather one specific type. God tells us personally that the “idle words” that we speak will be judged by God on judgment day. I mean that could be a very scary statement for some people to even think about. Obviously I can see too many people do not believe what Jesus said or either they do not understand what the verse means. Otherwise, they would probably keep silent more often. In today’s world idle words are all around us, on our cell phones, on our tablets in our emails, on internet websites, on Facebook and Twitter on TV, on radio, raining down from our satellites, printed in our magazines, news papers and fictional books. I mean we are bombarded by idle words coming at us from a multitude of different ways. How many of these text messages that we get or send can be considered idle words? Try to examine your Facebook experience and see how many words are crossing your path that can be called idle words. I know of some people and I won’t mention any names that appear like they are never quiet. To hold a phone conversation with them is impossible, because they are the only one speaking and you just have time to say “yea” or “uh?” occasionally. Some people spend hours and hours on the phone talking to everybody about everything. How many of these kind of people do you know? I pray that you are not one of them. It would appear on judgment day that we may have to sit or stand around and listen to everything that people said on this earth for a very long time. Doesn’t that sound fun? No! I do not think any of us will be very happy on judgment day.
I am generally a quiet person. It has been my personality to listen more than to speak. If you knew me, I believe that you would agree. I know many Other people are different, I know that and I do not fault them for being different. But, nevertheless I believe we need to learn what the Bible says about the definition of “Idle Words”. These are the words that God says we will personally have to account for, so what are they? It would appear that we need to learn to avoid these types of “idle words” like the plague. But that can only begin with us first learning about what they are. Here is the definition of the word from Strong’s:
From G1 (as a negative particle) and G2041; inactive, that is, unemployed; (by implication) lazy, useless: – barren, idle, slow.
The concepts given to us in the Bible can so easily go over our heads. Because we don’t understand them, we may simply ignore them. This Greek word G692 means “unemployed” or “inactive”. That is a concept that most Christians do not have a clue what it means. The Greek word is the combination of the negative particle combine with the Greek word G2041 that literally means to work or toil.
I’m not going to do any jokes right here either, because that would be an example of more idle words. You see idle words are contrasted to be opposite to “employed” words “productive” words, “active” words or “working” words. These are all employment, work and job related terminologies but now they are being related to us in association to what we speak. God is saying that our words ought to be working for us and not just be idle or lazy. What we should learn are working words change things. God used His working words to change darkness to light in Genesis 1. Does God expect us to do the same? The answer is Yes! So how do we get our words work for us? Working words are a concept found in the Bible word “edification”, where we use our words to build up like as in a construction project. In the last lesson about Moses’ big mistake, God told Moses to Speak to the Rock and this is an example of working words. Instead of obeying Moses spoke to the people and called them rebellious. God said to Moses to speak to the Rock and get the answer and instead Moses spoke the problem and did not enter into the Promise Land. If you did not read this lesson you should, it is one of the best ones that God has given to me up to this time. What Moses did was an example of “Idle Unemployed Words”. Instead of using his words to work for him and get the answer, Moses spoke the problem and failed to enter into the promise land.
So we can start to understand now that God says every, lazy, idle, useless, unemployed, inactive,and non-constructive word that we speak we will be judged for all of them. How many words in the course of day do we “employ” that are “productive” to get good “results”? The clear implication to this verse is for us to change what we say to words that “work” for us! As Christians we should become aware of the words that we speak. We should think about what we say before we say it. Just because a thought comes into our mind, that doesn’t mean that we should speak it out. This is a common trick of the devil. Satan gives people thoughts in an attempt to get them to speak them out. Why is this so important for Satan to do this? Believe it or not your spoken words gives Satan entrance to come in and kill steal and destroy from you.
People do not understand what God said in Numbers 14:28, that whatever I hear you say that is what I will do to you. People do not realize that God is listening to what they say. People do not realize that God does to them whatever comes out of their mouths good or evil. That is very strong! Many times people like to think that God is in complete and total control of everything that happens to them. In their thinking they do not believe that they have anything to do with what happens in their lives. They believe that it was either bad luck, or just a coincidence, or an accident or just an unfortunate set of circumstances that they are faced with. But, God has established and given to us spiritual laws in the Bible and this is one of them that every believer needs to grasp immediately. You can very easily discount what God says and what the Bible says. But, if you do that it still does not mean that what happened to you is not something that you at least contributed to making it happen.
Let me give you another New Testament verse that repeats what Numbers 14:28 says. This is a Bible verse that is obviously very controversial and hard for many believers to grasp and believe. This verse is found in Mark chapter 11:
Mar 11:23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
Jesus gives us the spiritual definition of Numbers 14:28 and clarifies a few details that were not clearly given to Moses. Many times we will learn that God teaches things in progressive stages. He will give us a little bit in one place and let us take it in in small parts and then He will give us a little bit more as we are able to chew and swallow it. This way we are not overwhelmed or choked with too much of the new Words of God. Paul taught this way also. Paul told some I wanted to feed you meat but you were unable to partake and I fed you just soft milk (1 Cor 3:2). So God teaches us a few meaty things in Mark 11:23 about how the spiritual law of spoken words work. I guess I should start by giving you the context of this verse in Mark 11. Jesus was traveling through the countryside and He sees a fig tree with leafs on it. Jesus then goes up to the fig tree looking for figs to eat. Finding none, Jesus speaks to the fig tree to curse it and the disciples heard Him. The next day they all walk by the same fig tree. Suddenly one of the disciples notices that the tree was withered and dried up from the roots upward. So what was Jesus doing? Was Jesus just mad or upset at the tree because it didn’t have any fruit on it? No, I do not think so. Was Jesus showing off and saying to them “look what I can do and not you”? No, I do not think so. Did Jesus say “This happened because I’m God and you are not”? Again, No, I don’t think so. Or was Jesus teaching them and all of us an object lesson on the spiritual law of spoken words? I believe that Jesus was telling them a spiritual secret and demonstrating the spiritual law of spoken words to His disciples so that they would learn a valuable lesson in life. You’ll have to make up your own mind in what you believe and figure it out if Jesus was talking to you also. I would personally pray and ask Him to show you what it means. Jesus is no respecter of persons and what He did for one he will do for everyone.
You can see that a “disciple” of Christ is a word that means a student, a learner, a pupil. Are you one of these? Maybe you think you know everything and you are the master? If you do you are in trouble and being covered and blinded by your ignorance. If you are a Christian you must be a Christ follower forever, a student of Christ forever, or in other words His disciple forever. Only He knows everything and we don’t. So whatever Jesus says to Matthew, Mark, Luke or John, I believe He is talking to you and I also! Please do not think that you know more than they do. Learn what Jesus was trying to teach them and we will become what He wanted us to become, more like Him.
So what was the lesson of Mark 11:23? Jesus told them and us that if we would speak to the mountain and believe that what we say would happen, we would get exactly what we say. There are so many lessons to learn from this one verse that I cannot teach them all, nor do I claim to know them all. A mountain is a symbolic representation of a negative situation or set of circumstances that we are facing, possibly an obstacle, either physical, mental, spiritual, financial or whatever we are faced with that appears to be a challenge. Jesus told us to speak to it and tell it to be removed and it would obey us, if we believe. Why is it necessary for us to both speak and believe? What we say and what we believe represents us putting our faith to work. That is the opposite of being idle or unemployed. All people both speak and believe either positively or negatively about things that around them. They either speak an expect good things to happen or speak and expect bad things to happen to them. Speaking and believing involves a decision that we make that even though the problem looks big and impossible to move, Jesus said that it would have to obey us and what we said to it would have to be done!
How many Christians believe this truth? I can see there are a growing number, are you one of them. If you are not one of the ones that believes the LORD JESUS then begin to notice what you say and believe and see if it is not what you get eventually. This principle works for you or against in the positive or the negative, because it is a spiritual law! I know this boggles the minds of religious unbeliever who do not believe what Jesus said. You see I did not write these verses in the Bible, I’m just a news reporter doing my best to show them to you with a greater emphasis of importance. These verses have been in the Bible for hundreds of years and people have just ignored them. We are responsible for the information that they say and how they apply to our life. God told Moses in Numbers that the Rock would obey his spoken working words, but Moses spoke to the people and called them “rebels”. God told him his words would bring the answer and he ended up enlarging the problem. Moses didn’t believe God and didn’t enter into the promise land and this is definitely a lesson for us all today.
Let’s look at some more example verses with the Greek word G692 translated as “idle” just to obtain a greater subject knowledge. This Greek word occurs only in 6 verses and is only used 8 times in the N.T. Jesus used this word in describing the man in the parable that went out to hire workers in his field. He goes to men and asks them why are you idle? They answer no one has hired us and then they go to work for the man. It is self-evident what the word means by studying this parable in Matthew 20:1-6. Not working is the definition of “idle”. Therefore, here is another verse in the N.T. that contains this same word:
2Pe 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Greek word for “Idle” is found in this verse in 2 Peter 1:8. However, it was translated as “barren” in this verse. “barren” might mean the basic same thing as inactive or unproductive. But, I believe that God is seeking that we should avoid this situation of unemployed word from occurring in our life. I know it does not directly say “words” in this verse, but think about what the verse is saying, “in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus”? Isn’t that words? Isn’t “knowledge” obtained by words and we can’t say anything unless we have knowledge to do so” Also it would seem that “Idle” could be considered to be synonymous to being “unfruitful”. God is telling us in this verse in 2 Peter that we should not be either of these. You see to be “barren” can also mean to not bear any fruit. Jesus cursed the fig tree in Mark 11 because it was barren. Do you think he was symbolically giving us some valuable clues to spiritual things? It is also interesting to see the context of this verse. Let’s look back at a preceding verse:
2Pe 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
The promised land, symbolically represents these “exceeding great and precious promises” that God has given to us in His word. As this verse says, that these promises have already been given, we are now required to possess them. To become a partaker is the same as to become a possessor. God had given Moses and Israel the promise land and told them to “partake” of it. They did not believe God and therefore failed to obtain what was freely given. The promise land represents the blessings of God. The promises of God also represent the blessings of God. Because Moses did not believe he remained in the curses in the wilderness and died there. This is a powerful type and shadow of what we have facing us today. There are giants in our spiritual promise land today trying to intimidate us and keep us out of possessing it. How do we do this? We speak only words that are “useful”, “employed”, “working”, “productive”, “active”, “positive” and “fruitful” words. Then we avoid all spoken words that are “idle”, “unproductive”, “inactive”, “negative” and “unfruitful” words. This is the lesson of Moses found in Numbers 14 and Jesus and the fig tree in Mark 11. These are the words of Jesus found in Matthew. Avoid these “Idle Words” and you will be very glad when it comes to the judgment day and you have a much better opportunity to possess the promises of God in your life today. Thank you for studying the Bible on this website and please leave a comment if you would like to share your experiences in this area of life. God Bless!
If you would like to continue to read this series of lessons on spoken words, you can go to “Part 3“.
Posted on May 5, 2010, in Bible Study, Understanding, Words and tagged Bible, Christianity, Church, God, Holy Spirit, Interpretation, Jesus, Prophecy, Religion, Revelation, Satan, Truth, understanding, Words. Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.
Enjoying these articles. Learning and renewing my mind. Thank you.
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Thank you reading. God bless you.
Thanks for writing this series. I will keep reading. I always look for to new articles. You strengthen me through your Words of God. You are annointed. Thanks again.
Thanks for writing this series. I will keep reading. I always look for to new articles. You strengthen me through your Words of God. You are annointed.
Thank you brother AgapeGeek, these are amazing revelations from our Heavenly Father to us, whose desire is to make us enjoy the abundant life while we wait for transition. See my full comment after Part 10.
Enjoyed this very much. Thank you I will watch my words.
Thank you for your comment and for reading and studying the Bible on this website. God Bless.
I just happened to stumble upon this blog looking something up online…yes I have found it
to be alerting, eye opening and of good teaching….
I definitely need to grow in God’s word…meaning, understanding and applying.
I get very confused with understanding scripture about what we say and what we do and the whole “JUDGEMENT DAY” as far as, as Christians “our sins are forgiven”…”He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west”…etc. etc.. scriptures like this…But the bible talks about “judgement day”… and giving account …So I don’t understand…?…Thank you for the teaching
So glad I found this. What an anointing you are flowing in. Thank you.
I have learnt,thanks so much
I love seeing God’s hand at work. He gave you this blog post about four years ago, knowing that my family would need this reminder today. Thank you for being faithful to share what He’s revealing to you!
Well, we all need reminding about our words. Thanks. But I am surprised at your interpretation of the mountain into the sea bit. Since when are ‘mountains’ ‘problems’ in prophetic utterance? Mountains are usually places of religious import or temples/high places, and the sea is usually ‘nations.’ I just think Jesus was saying that believers cries to God would see the jewish temple thrown to the nations. or, the temple would no longer be situated where the Jews took such great pride in it, but in the hearts of all men. This verse has been the downfall of many innocent/foolish people who suddenly take it upon themselves to test their faith, and say to a literal mountain ‘be ye moved.’ and there it sits. Or, as in the case of my friend, decides to ask Jesus to help him run through the wall, and gives himself a bad head ache by trying a few too many times because he thought his faith was small! and speaking of words, you did give me your word about something that you have yet to do.
The mountain is interpreted based upon the context of the words spoken. Jesus was teaching the disciples a faith lesson. Jesus had just spoken to a fig tree and cursed it because it had to fruit to feed them and it died. Therefore when Jesus said to speak to your mountain and it will be removed it was a lesson about removing problems from your life. I hope that helps. God Bless!!!
This is a very important question to me, does this mean that if I tell a joke or say something silly for fun, or type ha ha or say just something singular its a sin or idle? I’m just a funny kind of guy, its my personality, I also like being random and making people laugh at my randomness but I’m not some goof ball who doesn’t know when to take things serious and God/Jesus/Bible stuff is defiantly serious You might say that you cover this in your blog but I didn’t fully understand what idle words meant. I hope and pray I haven’t said any idle words in this letter….
I would suggest that if you are asking this question that it might have been a prompting by the Holy Spirit to help you to watch what you say. Check your spirit and see if there is a tugging at your heart when you tell a joke or are trying to be funny. If you feel funny on the inside that is God trying to say you shouldn’t have said that. The problem with joking words are that if they are negative or a put downs on yourself or others and they become abundantly planted in our hearts, that is what we will eventually believe and they will come to pass in our future. Your words have more power than you realize and they will predict your future. Your words can also have positive or negative influence upon all those that you meet and talk to. God very clearly says to us in Proverbs “Death and Life are in the power of the tongue”. I don’t know how we can ignore that and not take it more seriously.
My personality is much different than yours. I am a quiet soft spoken man with few words if you meet me in person. I like to listen to people and find out what I can learn. If I am the one doing all of the speaking I learn nothing since I know everything I know already. Now, having said that I know that not everyone is like me, and I’m fine with that. God is fine with that. If God wanted you different he would have created you differently. We are all given certain gifts and personalities that we should not change but we should use them correctly in the right ways to help others. Some of the best preachers I know are very funny. They can say things in funny ways that help people let down their defensive guards to allow the gospel to just come in so easily. Why don’t you try to direct your humor in ways that help people? The Bible says “A merry heart does good like a medicine” (Prov 17:22). The Bible also says in Psalms 126 that God will turn our captivity so that our mouth is filled with laughter. So being a funny joyful preacher is a great sign they have been set free from a life of darkness. Use your gift for God but also use wisdom in what you say and how you say it. There are a lot of hurting people in the world that can use your gift. Don’t waste it, use it!
Ok so let me get this straight. Taking and just having a conversation with someone/bantering is not idle words? Its when you use your words to hurt people they are idle? So if im talking to bring up a topic thats not God related its not idle??? IM just confused as to what Idle means exactly… and I dont think I was being convicted into asking because of something ive said, I just thought that idle meant that just talking in general is idle, which Im assuming it isnt… please reply to help bring me some clarity please…
I understand your point and your question. You want me to define every kind of idle word but that would be me giving you a legalism set of rules to follow. Being led by the Spirit of God is never us following legalistic rules, laws or definitions. God teaches us that it is a privilege to be led by the Spirit of God and that this shows us to be His children. There has been a popular saying created in the last few years that goes by 4 initials and it is referred to as “WWJD”. What Would Jesus Do? Perhaps you have heard this before but it applies to your question. Before you speak a word ask Jesus would you say that? You see if I give you my definition to follow and I’m wrong then you are following me and I never tell people to follow me. I always point people to Jesus and ask them to follow His examples. Go through the Gospels and see what Jesus said. I call this reading the words in Red Ink! We know from the Bible that these are not all of the words that were spoken but they are examples for us to learn from. The Bible says in John 21:25 that the world could not contain the books that could be written about Jesus if everything was included. So we know Jesus spoke many other words that were not recorded but none of those words would have contradicted or been different than the examples given because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8).
However, also realize that our Jesus was God in the form of a real man who did real things like every other man on the planet being tempted to do or say wrong things but He was without sin (Heb 4:15). He ate, he drank, he slept and all the other things we do. He is recorded as having dinner with people and even many conversations are mentioned that he spoke. If Jesus did not commit any sins according to the Bible, then he did not speak in idle words at any time. Did you just hear what I said? That is why I said to analyze his speech and model what you say after His words. Jesus’ words always had purpose! Meaning they were spoken for a caused directive that would produce a result. That means they were productive and alive and accomplished something.
If you are defining bantering as shooting your mouth off without cause or purpose then I believe those could be considered idle words based upon what Jesus spoke and didn’t speak. I have a real problem with the word “bantering”. Some of the synonyms are “mocking” and “teasing” and those are definitely not Christ like actions or words. That is what they did to Jesus hanging on the cross naked and Jesus turned and said “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”. I hope this answer was clearer for you, but if not you are welcome to try again if you still did not understand what I have said. God Bless.
Sorry but I just dont agree with your interpretation of scripture in this case, I dont mean that to be rude. Because what it sounds like is that if I have a conversation about a movie I just watched that doesn’t lead anywhere but its just there for talking about the movie and giving our thoughts its idle. or if I’m at school and I’m just joking back and forth with buddy’s or discussing our day good and bad its idle. all over scripture we hear not to use our tongues for evil or to put people down. That’s what I get out of this passage which is also what Moses did to his people, he not only disobeyed God but he rebuked the people without even being constructive about it. Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites but he didn’t just use that as his only valid point, he gave reasons why. If you claim a movie you saw was terrible and give no reason why, your point is idle and unproductive. So I cant see any reason why just playfully talking to people or just having a conversation or being silly to get someone to smile is wrong. Therefore that’s what I conclude from the idle words passage and I hope you can look a it from my perspective as I have from yours… again I hope this message does not come off as jerky
I do not think you understood what I said. I’ll be a little more direct. God is not going to use your definition for idle word or mine when the judgment comes and it will come. All I suggested you do was to follow the model that Jesus provided and not use your opinion to what He was saying. The Bible very clearly says Jesus was tempted in every way like us but was without sin. Therefore He set the model for us to follow. That is all I said and you are free to believe whatever you like. God Bless!
This blog is excellent. Those who heed this Word will avoid missing their promised land. I, too, believe we need to watch not only what we say but what we think. The Word tells us we need to take every thought captive.. and we need to seek the renewing of our minds.. and get the mind of Christ.. let this mind be in you.. and so on. Personally, each day I rebuke and bind my flesh, as I feel it rearing up; and rebuke and bind my mind daily at any time as well. I’ve found this practice invaluable to keeping my focus and remaining in the Spirit. After all my mind is a member and it is under my control as a Christian to be beat into subjection. One last thought, I’ve learned that if we praise God aloud through song and word throughout the day; He will come and inhabit those praises and release our breakthrough!!! So instead of murmuring and complaining as I would naturally do, I’ve learned to use my mouth instead to say Hallelujah, thank you Jesus!!! Thank you so very much for this blog.. keep doing what you’re doing dear sir, knowing your labor is most definitely not in vain. Thank you and be blessed!!!
Thank you for sharing your time and comments. God Bless!
Wow this blog is awesome. I was research some scripture online for my sermon and started reading your blog and it was empowering. I thank God for using you as a willing vessel to spread God words and teachings for those of us that are willing to open our heart,mind,spirit, and ears to hear.
I thank you sir for you kindness and for being led by the Spirit of God. You are blessing and it is nice to call you friend. God Bless!
Thank you, for reminding me of the power of our words that we speak.
Powerful teaching; I will remember this lesson today for the rest of my life and speak active, productive, positive, and fruitful words.
Thanks for commenting. You have been a blessing!
I am always on the lookout for typology in God’s Word and you have one of the most powerful ones here in this blog. I think your examination of the text is simple and straight forward teaching us that God doesn’t complicate things for us. He has given us His Word that is understandable and all we need is rational thinking. I will be using some of your thoughts in a sermon this Sunday. I disagree with you slightly in the assertion you made regarding what we say will come true. but that’s a huge discussion for another day perhaps. I just want to hear from you, are you a scholar or minister or? The reason I am asking is that I was really enjoying your thoughts as I read through but then you used the words “pissed off” regarding Jesus and the fig tree. It shocked me since where I come from that is a terribe way of speech. Just thought to let you know. Thank you for the blog, great stuff!
Very powerful blog. Thank you for reminding me to watch what I speak. I even believe that we should watch what we think!
Good point, thanks for taking the time to read my blog. I think many times it is good to cast down the vain imaginations that we think, but to eliminate them would mean you would have to eliminate Satan and he is here by right until his time is up. Jesus also warned us, “Take no thought saying…”. So even when we can’t always control every thought from coming, we can control what we say and do from them.