The word BEWARE Is used Judicially in scripture ... never haphazardly or just at random.
So when we come across it's use in the Bible, it is meant to arouse our attention - and in such a way - we instantly become CIRCUMSPECT of mind.!
We are being put on "NOTICE" as it were, and what follows is something spoken to us of a very pertinent nature. ( we are being both warned to take heed, and to be on gaurd )
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Having said that thus far - we need to clarify and put some definite DEFINITION on the meaning of the word itself.
The word beware means: To be cautious and to take heed, the idea comes to us - much in the way we would read signs, such as ( beware of the dog, danger do not enter into these premises as heavy equipment & machinery is in constant use )
There are about 10 references found in the New testament regarding it's use, and about 12 passages are found in the books of our old testament.
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Hear then is just a sample of some of those "Bewares" found in the pages of Scripture.
~~ Beware of the Leaven of the scribes & Pharisee
~~ Beware the DOCTRINE of the scribes & pharisee's
~~ Beware of the concision ( Jews who insisted gentile converts be circumcised according to law )
~~ Beware of evil workers, and beware of DOGS
~~ BEWARE OF FALSE PROPHETS: Who dress as sheep
~~ Beware lest that come upon you as spoken by the prophets: behold ye despiser's and wonder and perish, for i work a work in YOUR days, a work which you shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it - unto you.
~~ Beware lest any (spoil you) through philosophy and VAIN deceit.
~~ Beware of coveteousness (one for the modern prosperity teacher's of our day )
~~ Beware lest YOU being led away by the ERROR OF THE WICKED, fall from your own stedfastness.
~~ Jesus told his own disciples to "beware of men"
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Now as previously stated we find the use of the word " Beware" is quite frequently used in old testament also, which also makes for an interesting study and journey, but for the sake of time and condensing today's article - we will refrain from making any such quotes.
I guess the question at this juncture is - can we really get a handle on this thing of what a "DOG" is, with-out doing any injustice's to the Word-Of-God? hmmm.
And Without veering of course or digressing - probably the best way to get a fix on this, and just who are these "dogs" scriptures talk about is - is to refer back to a quote by the Lord Jesus Christ himself - who warned " cast not your pearl before the swine, and neither give that which is HOLY to the DOGS. Lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again - and rend you"
I don't know about anyone else, but what i get from that text is - it would be one thing to suffer the inigonomy of having what you gave them trampled under foot ... but they often don't just stop at that, they then TURN and cut you to PIECES, It's one thing to reject or not to agree with what was spoken to you, it's an entirely DIFFERENT thing though, to respond to that with agression, and a barrage of stinging words and criticism (that is taking it to A WHOLE NEW level). For anyone to loose with a tirade of "mean spirited" words, and just basically chew you up - and spit you right out ... to use a well worn phrase ...is someone who is rending you to PIECES!
Have you ever heard someone exclaim after an argument or a heated exchange of words -say- " i showed em" i really gave it to THEM , or " i really straightened him out" Well you might well have, but do you care about what happens afterwards? Or is it all about you being vindicated? and being seen to have debunked your fellow man - sucessfully?
TO ME, AND MY WAY OF THINKING THE WORD DOG IS USED GRAPHICALLY TO CHARACTERIZE CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS AND PERSONALITIES - WHO WILL SIMPLY, CUT YOU TO PIECES - AND SAVAGE YOU TO BITS.
Let's delve into this thing a little deeper and a little closer - the apostle Paul upon leaving Ephesus after spending 3 years in their company calls for the elders of the church. To give them some exhortation, and to inform them of his departure ( which they were greatly saddened to hear of ) During that great exhortation of words he makes this comment " for i KNOW this, that after my departure shall enter in grevious WOLVES (DOGS) AMONG YOU, not SPARING the flock. Paul went on to say incidently that he ceased not to WARN them day and night with tears by the space of -lo- some 3 years. ( the point being there in reply - to those who say we don't need warning preachers today ) then how do you account for this kind of preaching? hmmm
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Have you encountered a Dog or an evil worker - in your own pilgramage as a Christian?? I can recount as a young man and newly born believer how that upon going into the markets and the town square every friday nights to outreach. There were certain individuals who positioned themseves at the four entry points the town's square. Who would confront you with an icy cold blank stare, accompanied with literature that condemned the use of speaking in "tongues" as a modern day heresy.
And if you challenged that thinking or belief you put in your place and made to feel as though you were a heretic - and hell bound. I mean to say it really was that ... icy cold and hostile!
In the due course of time they were APPROPRIATELY named after the ringleaders NAME .... And warning'S were issued before YOU WENT OUT WITNESSING - TO BEWARE OF "SO AND SO" & HIS WOLVES.
The thing that became most apparent and disturbing about all that to me WAS, as a young "Christian" - was how they only seemed interested in proving their doctrine and winning arguments - they cared little or nothing about you the individual or the person. Everything seemed cold and unemotinal. This was also the perception of others at the time - and not just my own veiw - or take on the matter. Hence they became uncermoniously known in our city as wolves.
We have already learned from the book of acts wolves won't spare you. Jesus said don't give out those precious pearls - to either Dogs or swine.
If they won't spare you - would it be fair to say they have no regard to your emotional well being, or to your state-of-mind? a fair question indeed!
Basically and simply put they could-care-less. It's all about them being vindicted, proven to be right, having the last say - and the last word. this is what brings them enjoyment and satisfaction(apparently). Yeah right- win an arguement and lose a friend! That's great wisdom from above - isn't it!
Alienate and create wounds between brothers and brethren ... who no longer can look one another in the face - and no longer speak to each another.
Wolves the apostle said will show no mercy for you and will not SPARE you - if you are in their way, then they will steam roll you, and if you question them and their beliefs. It just triggers them off - and sets them off. And God help anyone for that matter that has to stand their and hear the tirade that follows, the temper tantrum, the explosive barrage of criticism and stinging words.
Have you ever met these individualds who seem so hyper-sensitive to dis-agreement or alternative conflicting veiws .... that it seems anything triggers them off? i have met a few in my time, thankfully they have been the minority and not the majority. That said - dogs is used to portay a persona of those amongst us, who do WORK - but yet work amongst us - as "evil workers"
In bringing this thing to a close what then are some chief characteristics of the "dog"
** Dogs want to win the argument at the expense of your own emotional wellbeing.
** dogs will not be happy to just reject and walk away from what you present to them, they will then turn on you, as would a pack of stray dogs would turn each other for their only survial and food - in a barren wilderness.
** Dogs are cold, hostile and argumentative and if you dare to suggest an opposing or alternitive view to them, you will invariably be shot down-in-flames.
~~ If you are in their way, you will be trampled
~~ If you oppose them ... you are rail-roaded
~~ If you answer back, you are shot down in flames