Wise as Serpents


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Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. Matthew At this point, the discourse begins to address broadly the coming days of persecution and tribulation that the disciples could anticipate. How great is the sheep that stands among seventy wolves! How great is the shepherd who rescues and guards it, and who thwarts them from harming it.

Midrash Tanchuma.

He did not grant them permission to perpetrate fraud. Disciples of Yeshua should never seek out persecution or martyrdom. We should exercise prudence and caution, doing our best to live at peace with all men, in as much as it depends upon us. At the same time, we must not be willing to compromise our mission or our principles, even when under the threat of persecution. FFOZ Friends are individuals, families, or congregations who resonate with the mission and vision of First Fruits of Zion and contribute financially towards reaching our ministry objectives.

Torah Club is an interactive group Bible study that brings together disciples from diverse backgrounds to share the common ground of new discovery. This year only, Torah Clubs have the option of following the main study track commentary, Shadows of the Messiah.

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At the top of the list, he warns the disciples of deception, and follows it up with warnings of false prophets, false miracles, and the warning not to be deceived see Matthew , 11, We deduce from this last warning that false "Christian" ministers and ministries will have the capability of performing convincing lying wonders and signs.

These false ministers will demonstrate power— occult power—for the specific purpose of leading all people astray, including the most sincere believer. We have a clear warning from the apostle Paul that the battles we face on a daily basis cannot be won by conventional weapons that we can attain from the world. The weapons we must seek should be spiritual, having the power to destroy arguments and every false claim that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and God's Word II Corinthians David F.

'Be Wise as Serpents and Harmless as Doves' — Charisma Magazine

Maas The Gift of Discerning Spirits. Luke Jesus Himself interprets the parable for us. We ought to use spiritual wisdom just as shrewdly as the steward used his secular wisdom. He tells us we should "be wise as serpents and harmless as doves" Matthew Money becomes a power for evil in the hands of sinful people.

Wise and Harmless?

James warns us not to make friends of those who are worldly and unconverted James We can make friends by means of money that the unconverted covet, thereby helping God to witness to them and eventually convert them. Martin G. Collins Parable of the Unjust Steward. Romans This section begins with disfellowshipping because it is a biblical means of dealing with brethren who are trying to deceive others.

We often speak of disfellowshipping those who cause division. Any kind of deception will cause division.

Three Ways to be Both Wise as Serpents and Harmless as Doves

After a while, deceived people do not believe the same things as the rest, and this difference causes separation. Those who are disfellowshipped, who are causing divisions and offenses , are doing things contrary to true doctrine. So, Paul says we must avoid them. This is part of the effort, the diligence, that it takes to keep from being deceived ourselves. We must especially avoid them in situations where they have the opportunity to influence our beliefs. Now, if we should meet them on the street, a polite, social "hello" would be fine.

But we should avoid getting into a conversation, argument, or discussion about doctrine.

Reading Between the Lines 232 - Wise as Serpents Innocent as Doves

We need to keep that away from ourselves because it is part of our effort to keep from being deceived. We should not let it even touch us, if we possibly can, because we are supposed to be keeping ourselves pure spiritually and physically. We especially do not want false ideas to get into our heads and begin doing their dangerous work. Paul says that such deceptive people are serving, not God , but their own belly.

This may sound like all they are doing is trying to get food or trying to "live off of" the saints. But what it means is that they are stoking their own desires. It is a symbol of a person doing something for his own gratification. They were deceiving to please themselves in some way. They are not doing it to please God, obviously, because if they were, they would be telling the truth. But since they are telling falsehoods and lies, deceiving the brethren and causing divisions, they are obviously not pleasing God in any way. What they are gratifying in themselves could be anything.

Because what they are saying is contrary to what God teaches, he says that they have to use smooth words and flattering speech—or, we could say "plausible arguments" and "a neat turn of phrase. Some people can do this without even knowing that they are doing it. They couch things in such a "nice" way that it makes it sound good. And before we know it, we are thinking, " He could be right. He's such a nice guy. I had him over for dinner one time; and he just regaled us with stories. He always thanks you, and he compliments everything you do. He's just such a great person.

And, you know, I can't understand how such a nice guy could be saying anything that is 'bad' because he's so 'good. He has used smooth or flattering speech. He comes across well. He dresses nicely, and his arguments seem plausible.

Be Wise as Serpents

So, as it says here, the simple are taken in. Paul means the innocent, those who are not looking for evil. They are guileless, and they think everybody else is as guileless as they are.


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They are harmless, like doves, and unsophisticated. They do not see "bad" in anyone. This is how we are supposed to be! A few of the qualities of love mentioned in I Corinthians 13 are concerned with this. Christians should be willing to believe all things, hope all things, endure all things.


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This is why we are so gullible at times because we do not have a core of steel in our beliefs. We have allowed it to soften into a core of marshmallow, so that we are easily bent in the wind. Remember, we need to be wise as serpents and simultaneously harmless as doves. Paul's advice comes in verse "Be wise in what is good and simple concerning evil.

In doing so, we are "wise. It is very practical.

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