I do realize and quickly acknowledge the fact that there is a lot I don’t know about the Bible. I’m still learning things as the days pass, so forgive me if I don’t present things as a Bible scholar would. God shows me a lot and He has a way of taking something that I’ve seen and heard numerous times before and making it come alive to me, and correcting the twisted view of scriptures that I had been taught. Having said all of that, this is something I believe that God has allowed me to see. *Please note that I am always open to sound correction.
For years in church, we had Proverbs 18:21 drummed into our heads. It was one of the scriptures used to tell us that we can somewhat create our own reality by the words we speak..to “claim” things we want by speaking it. “If you want to have more money, you gotta start saying you have money! If you’re tired of being sick, start speaking health to your body! Stop speaking death into your life, and speak life into your life!” I don’t think those people have a grip on what Proverbs 18:20 is really saying. Proverbs 18:20-21 says, “A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Now having seen that, let’s jump over to Matthew 12:22-37. The situation here is that Jesus had cast out devils from a man, and the Pharisees accused Him of doing so by the power of Satan. In other words, they had blasphemed the Holy Spirit. Jesus let them know that this was one sin that was unforgivable. Thus, they faced condemnation for speaking against the Holy Spirit. Jesus tells us that a good man, out of the good treasure of his heart, brings forth good fruit, and an evil man brings forth evil fruit. Then He goes on to say that on judgment day, man shall give account of every idle word they spoke. On judgment day, they’ll be either justified or condemned by their words. The Pharisees had condemned themselves because the words they spoke were blasphemous to the Holy Spirit, which is an unforgivable sin, and that will be brought up come judgment day. Take note that in this same chapter, in verse 42, Jesus mentions Solomon’s wisdom and how He Himself is greater than Solomon. Who’s wisdom was penned in Proverbs? Yes, Solomon. This is why I believe Matthew 12:35-37 to be the explanation of Proverbs 18:20. The power of death in the tongue is the ability of man to bring condemnation upon himself by speaking foolish words, e.g. blaspheming the Holy Spirit. The power of life in the tongue is the ability of man to receive justification by his confession of Jesus Christ and acknowledging the work of the Holy Spirit, etc. And since the words we speak come from the good or evil treasure within us, we’re already justified or condemned and our words confirm it. When judgment day comes, the good man, who is justified through Christ, will have his belly filled/satisfied because of it and the evil man, who is without Christ and condemned, will have his meal of that fruit: a damning judgment. The “death” and “life” coming from the tongue being synonymous with “condemnation” and “justification”, respectively. (Proverbs 19:21) (Matt 12:37). And the part in Proverbs about loving the fruit thereof, the Pharisees loved every minute of speaking against Christ. They lusted after the opportunity to accuse Him of something. They will eat that fruit of condemnation because of their love of speaking those blasphemous words.
I could expound more on this topic, but I tend to get long-winded. I just wanted to hit on Proverbs because it was ingrained in my mind so much from the pulpit over the years, and I’ve just seen that scripture in a new light a few days ago and I wanted to touch on that a little bit. That scripture has nothing to do with “speaking things into existence” to get them to “manifest in the natural”. Speaking death and life is not the act of speaking good circumstances and bad circumstances in order to bring them to pass..you’re speaking evidence of condemnation or justification. The verdict comes on judgment day when you give account of the words you spoke. Simply stating that an inconvenience/problem is currently present in your life is not “speaking death” and will have no effect on your eternity..speaking blasphemies, scripture-twisting, using feigned words to make merchandise of God’s people, and using the same mouth to bless God and curse your neighbor, on the other hand, carries more horrid consequences. That sounds much more like the deathly power of the tongue, to me.