Evil Surmisings – Enemy Of Unity
By A. E. Reinschmidt
Evil surmisings are carnal speculations which come of listening to "the serpent," who is always accusing someone to someone else. He is called, "the accuser of the brethren" (Revelation 12:10).
Surmising, because it is purely speculative, is never from God. He never speculates; He knows. Surmising is evil because its source is the devil, the accuser of the brethren, and the accuser of God as well. Its source being the lying serpent, it could be nothing but evil. Surmising is having "fellowship with the works of darkness" (Ephesians 5:11), and communion with the devil and his angels.
However, not all surmisings come directly from the devil. Our fallen evil nature surmises things which are evil enough. "For from within, out of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts....all these evil things come from within, and defile the man" (Mark 7:21-23). "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jer. 17:9). Evil surmisings will proceed from our hearts until the Lord shall create in us a clean heart and renew a right spirit within us.
The purpose of surmising is to exalt ourself, by depreciating the status of others. It will even malign the character of God. The purpose behind surmising is to make things look bad for someone by misrepresentation. This is what the serpent did in the first instance of evil surmising of which we have any record: He made things look bad for God in the eyes of "the woman." Satan insinuated that God had lied to man, and that He had an ulterior motive in His commandment prohibiting them from eating of the fruit of "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" (Genesis 2:17).
When man believed the serpent’s word instead of the word of the Lord, and did accordingly, he put the devil and himself in God’s place. He put the devil’s lie in the place of God’s truth. It cost man his spiritual life, his kingdom, his garden and his fellowship with God. The purpose behind surmising is to slander someone else, misrepresent, break down confidence, cause division. This is what it did between man and his Creator, and between man and man.
One who has the habit of surmising about others is the victim of a colossal conceit. He sets himself up as a judge in the place of God--above and independent of God. He judges everybody’s matters, and proudly makes unfair comparisons between himself and every person whom he surmises about. He even sits in judgment on the acts of God Himself, as did the serpent and the woman in the garden. He will speculate about many things which God alone could know, and he never suspects the devilish conceit that prompts him in it all.
The Fruit of Surmising
Surmising takes the place of faith in our hearts. It takes the place of God’s word, just as it did in the beginning. It opens the hearts of millions to the lie of the serpent, just as it opened Eve’s heart to the slander of the serpent against God.
Surmising takes the place of the spirit "of power and of love, and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7). It takes the place of peace, and the unity of the Spirit. It takes the place of that kind of agreement between two persons which would, all things being equal, enhance their prayer power, so that "as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 18:19).
Surmising wrong things about one another is general and common among us Christians. Surmising, suspicion and distrust of one another, envy, jealousy, coldness, unforgiveness and the like, hinder revival greatly in many places.
Being "born again" ought to make us "love the brethren" (1 John 3:14) and lay aside "all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings" (1 Peter 2:1). Then if there are any such things left in us, surely sanctification (1 Thessalonians 5:23) ought to cure us of them. And what about the "baptism with the Holy Ghost," which many profess? Should a man profess to have such an experience while he has an unbridled tongue in his head? (James 3:2).
Of old, the Lord complained that the hurt of His people had been only "slightly" healed (Jeremiah 6:14). Perhaps we, with all our profession of the new birth, of sanctification, of the baptism with the Spirit--have spent too little time at the altar of repentance. Perhaps we thought it was a once-for-all matter! Most of us never stayed there long enough to get even a glimpse of what submission means (James 4:6-7; Ephesians 5:21).
God has no more control over our hearts and minds and tongues than we have given Him by submitting to His word, His will and His Spirit. This is too little if we do about as we please. We still have to learn somehow that it is not a once-for-all act, but a life of submission to God and to "one another in the fear of God" before the terms, "born again," "sanctified," "filled with the Spirit," etc. can mean very much to us as spiritual experience.
There will be no surmisers in Heaven. "There shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie; but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life" (Revelation 21:27).