The Tongue Destroys: Fire and Animals – Part 2 James 3:6-8

Yesterday, we began LOOKING at the 3rd illustrationthe tongue is like a fire.

Today, let’s continue LOOKING at this illustration to understand the tongue’s POWER to ‘destroy’.

Open GODcha to the Book of James.

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Let’s Pray

Oh Lord, we are hungry for Your Word of Truth. Help us see and hear Your Word to us today. Grant us the understanding we need to walk away and be transformed. Transform our tongues to be used for good, and not evil. Thank you.

LOOK at What God Says

Where does GODcha suggest we begin?

Open GODcha’s LOOK Segment >

Always Get Going By Reading

Let’s read James 3:1-12 again with purpose. 

True Faith Bridles the Tongue >

Now concentrate on James 3:5b-8.

What are the 4 Key points that James makes about the tongue being a fire?

Let’s pick up where we left off.

There are 2 more points we need to LOOK at to understand why James equates the tongue with fire

1. LOOK at: The tongue sets on fire the course of life.

What in the world is James message?

Understand God’s Words

Dictionary Tutorial >

These Key words are just a tap away.

Don’t forget the Grammar!

Sets on firephlogízō; to cause a blaze, ignite, to inflame.

Grammar: ‘sets on fire’ is present active, meaning it is continuous.

Course of our life, trochós; a wheel, a circuit of physical effects:—course.

the tongue is a fire…and continuosly sets on fire (to inflame) the course (the wheel, the circuit) of our life,”

Most scholars agree that James was suggesting that all of life is connected like a wheel, and we can’t keep things from spreading.

We LEARN: The tongue 1st stains our body, and then can damage our entire course of life and others.


The tongue not only touches you, but it touches everything you touch.

Our words spread to everyone in our life.

The tongue can stain and pollute and destroy a whole family, a whole group of people, a school, a church, a community.

THINK: A person’s entire life can be injured and/or destroyed by the tongue.

Understand: We may confess the sins of our tongue, BUT the fire keeps spreading.

2. Lastly, what sets the tongue on fire?

“And (the tongue) is set on fire by hell.”

Understand God’s Words

Dictionary Tutorial >

Let’s check out ‘hell’.

Hellgéenna of Hebrew origin; valley of (the son of) Hinnom; gehenna (or Ge-Hinnom), a valley of Jerusalem, used (figurative) as a name for the place (or state) of everlasting punishment:—hell. A noun meaning Gehenna, i.e. the place of punishment in hades or the world of the dead.

Let Truth Explain Truth About


CR-Cross References-Word Search Tutorial >

1. What do we learn from 2 Kings and Jeremiah about hell?

Note the context of 2 Kings 23: The worshipers of Moloch, M-O-L-O-C-H, worshipped a false idol by offering their children in a fire to be burned as human sacrifices.

When Josiah became the king in Judah, he went and stopped all the worshipers of Moloch from burning their children alive which occurred in the Valley of Hinnom. A place of burning flesh. (2Ki 23:10); (Jer 32:35)

2. What does Jesus tell us about hell in Matthew?

This valley became Jerusalem’s city dump, where both garbage and dead bodies would be tossed and devoured by a fire that was always burning, providing a picture for Jesus when He explained an eternal fire that was originally created for the devil and his angels and an everlasting punishment for the wicked. (Mat 25:41, 46)

Note: Hell keeps enlarging itself according to Isaiah 5:14.

3. What do we learn about this place of eternal punishment from Mark?

Jesus used this valley as a picture of hell, the place of eternal punishment and torment, where the fire is never quenched and the worm dies not. (Mar 9:42-50)

We LEARN: Hell is the place of eternal punishment, created for Satan and his angels. Satan is associated with hell.

Understand: The tongue we have can be a tool used by Satan, to defile (stain) our entire body and others, coming from the pit of hell.

“and (the tongue) is set (continuously inflamed) on fire by hell (the place of eternal punishment created for Satan and his angels).


Is my tongue continuously set on fire by hell? 

When has Satan used my tongue as a tool for his purposes?

Respond to God…LIVE it out!

Read James 3:7-8

1. What does James contrast?

What can man tame? What can’t man tame?

Animals can be tamed, BUT no one can tame the tongue.

Note: James does NOT say the tongue can’t be tamed, just that man can’t tame the tongue.

2. Why can’t man tame the tongue?

Because – “The tongue is a restless evil; and full of deadly poison.”

Let’s Stop!

LOOK At Other Truths

CR-Cross References-Word Search Tutorial >

What do you understand about the tongue being full of deadly poison?

a. The poison of asps (snakes) is under their lips. (Rom 3:13)

b. They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders’ poison is under their lips. (Psa 140:3)

We see: Poison is under the lips.

We see: The tongue is a killer that spews out deadly poison. 


What poison have I spewed from my lips? 

Respond to God…LIVE it out!

What Do We LEARN


The Tongue is a Fire

1. Is the very World of Iniquity

2. Defiles the entire body.


3. Sets on fire the course of life.

The tongue can stain and pollute and destroy us and others.

a whole family,

a whole group of people,

a school,

a church,

a community.

4. Is Set on Fire By Hell

A tool used by Satan, coming from the pit of hell.


The Tongue:

Is a Restless Evil and Deadly Poison.

CAN NOT be tamed by man!

Let’s Call It a Day

Ponder and chew on all God is saying to you through His messenger James about our tongues.

How do you use your tongue?

Why don’t you chat with God! He loves you and promises to heart you.

Note What You LEARNED

Did you journal the 4 illustrations that James gave us about the tongue?

Note your discovery about the tongue being a fire, a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

Turn What You LEARNED Into a Prayer


OH FATHER, we come to you today thanking You for Your holy word. We thank you that it is a sure Word of Truth. Oh Father, may we truly commit not to let our tongues sin and be used in any evil way, defiling us or others. Oh, help us to understand how a person’s entire life can be injured or destroyed by the tongue. May we be discerning before we speak and not allow our tongues to be a tool of the enemy for his purpose in destroying us and others.  May we confess the sins of our tongue, and fires we have caused that may still be spreading. Forgive us for the poison we have spewed. We can’t tame our restless tongues, but You can Father God! Help us to make an about face from tearing down and destroying, to building up! May we encourage, comfort, and strengthen ALL we are in contact with. You have given we who believe Your divine power to control our tongues. May we yield to You, Holy Spirit, speaking good, not evil. Oh Father, transform our tongues! We ask these things in Jesus name. Amen!

I am so proud of you! You did great today!

Next: we will LOOK at Blessing God and Cursing men’ with the same tongue.

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About the Author:

Janette has started Bible studies everywhere God has moved her—most filling up to over a 100 men, women, young adults and kids. She continues to make disciples and raise up leaders, training and teaching the Word of God.

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