Dogs and Dangers

I. The “safe” list.

A. Paul is not “lazy” with these repetitions, he considers it necessary to make them “safe” (certain, firm) in their faith.

B. Rejoice in the Lord.

1. Philippians 1:18 -- What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice

2. Philippians 2:17 -- Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy and rejoice with you all.

3. Philippians 2:18 -- For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.

4. Philippians 2:28 -- I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful.

5. Philippians 3:1 -- Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.

6. Philippians 4:4 -- Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

7. Philippians 4:10 -- But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.

II. The “dangers” list.

A. Beware.

1. This is the general word for “look” – the ordinary observation of surroundings.

a. It does not imply a “discerning mind.”
b. It does not imply a “fixation” on any particular matter.

2. Mark 12:38 -- And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces,

3. Mark 13:2 -- And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

B. See the Dogs.

1. The assembly of the wicked.  Psalm 22:16 -- For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

2. The fool who repeats himself.   Proverbs 26:11 -- As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.

3. The blind and greedy watchmen.  Isaiah 56:10-11 -- His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.  Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.

4. The false prophets.  Matthew 7:15 -- Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

5. Other warnings about dogs.

a. Matthew 7:6 -- Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
b. 2 Peter 2:10-22 -- 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….as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; …Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;… These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever….they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonnessturn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

C. See the evil workers.

1. Consistent reference to secular leaders who teach against God.

2. Psalm 5:4-5 -- For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers iniquity.

3. Psalm 28:3-5 -- Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts….Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up.

4. Colossians 2:4, 8 -- And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words….Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

D. See the mutilators.

1. Sarcastic term for those who depend on circumcision for salvation.

2. Galatians 6:12-13 -- As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.  For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.

3. Acts 15:24 -- Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment

III. The review of these warnings is worth remembering.

A. The “dogs” are those who may appear OK but are still “wild.”

1. They were the “religious” leaders who turned on the Lord Jesus.

2. They are the “fools” who refuse to give up their evil behaviour.

3. They are the “watchmen” and “shepherds” who fail to warn their charge of the evil that is coming upon them.

a. These kinds of dogs are lazy.
b. These kinds of dogs are greedy.
c. These kinds of dogs will never understand God’s way.

4. They are the “false prophets” who teach error in the name of truth.

a. These kinds of dogs will turn and “rend” those who follow them.
b. These kinds of dogs are presumptuous and self-willed.
c. These kinds of dogs brag about their deceptions while feasting among the Saints.
d. These kinds of dogs are noisy storms that produce no “water.”

B. The “evil workers” are secular leaders who teach against God.

1. God hates them and will destroy them.

a. We should hate them too.  
b. Psalm 139:21-22 -- Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?  I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.

3. God hates them because they will not listen to His word or believe the works of His hands.

a. These kinds of dogs talk of peace but produce “mischief.”
b. These kinds of dogs openly resist the core beliefs of Scripture.
1) The recent fiat creation of the Universe
2) The authority and accuracy of the written Word of God
3) The deity of the Lord Jesus
4) The substitutionary atonement and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ
5) The necessity of repentance and faith for salvation
6) The requirement of the Twice-born of a holy lifestyle
7) The physical return of Jesus Christ at the end of the age

C. The “mutilators” require physical “marks’ as evidence of salvation.

1. Any kind of physical “holiness” is in view.

a. Many cults require such “signs”
b. Mormons require special undergarments
c. Amish refuse “modern” appliances
d. Communes demand certain behaviors

2. Any kind of special “experience” is in view.

a. Some religions require a “second blessing”
b. Some religions require a special “diet”
c. Some religions induce “visions” and promote “contact” with heavenly beings

3. Any kind of special “knowledge” is in view.

a. Jehovah’s Witnesses have a “special” Bible.
b. Most mystic religions provide “special” wisdom literature
c. Islam has the Koran
d. Christian Science has “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”
e. Witchcraft has: “Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner”

D. The more subtle danger may well be the confidence in our own accomplishments (Philippians 3:4-6).

1. Paul lists some of his extraordinary accomplishments.

a. He was born into Israel in the Tribe of Benjamin
b. He was circumcised as required of the Jewish Law
c. He was a “Hebrew of the Hebrews”
d. He was a Pharisee (a religious conservative)

2. Paul displayed his zeal by persecuting the church of the Lord Jesus

3. Paul was exemplary in his religious and legal behavior.

Psalm 19:7-14 – “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.  More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.  Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.  Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”

Series: 
Life in Christ
Lesson: 
#14
Book: 
Philippians
Verses: 
3:1-6

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