Beware Of The Dogs
By Pastor Tony Butler
If you were to come up to a fence gate with a sign that says, “Beware of the Dogs,” and there were four Doberman Pincers snarling on the other side, would you open the gate and go into that yard? The answer to the question is obvious; you would not enter that yard. There is, however, a yard that many will enter into, even though there are vicious dogs, and a “Beware of the Dogs” sign in place. The Apostle Paul put up such a sign in 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. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”
The “dogs” Paul was talking about were false teachers, who believed that Jesus was the Messiah, but taught that salvation was not by faith in Jesus, Alone. They were teaching that each person had to be circumcised to be saved. They were saying what so many false teachers say today, declaring that what Jesus did for us on the cross is not sufficient to save, that the works of sinful man are also required. Paul could not agree less and had tremendous disputes with these dogs. Acts 15:1,2 “And certain men which came down from Judea taught the brethren, and said, except you be circumcised after the manner of Moses, you cannot be saved. When, therefore, Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them.”
When one adds works to the gospel of Christ, it becomes a false gospel that is cursed of God. The people who preach and teach it are cursed, as well. Gal. 1:6-8 “I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”
Beloved, God has strong words for those that would dare teach that the work of Jesus on the cross is not sufficient to save a person. Yet many in our day still teach that it is “Jesus plus,” Jesus plus Baptism, Jesus plus the Ten Commandments, Jesus plus whatever religious rules a group states, but the Bible teaches that it is JESUS PLUS NOTHING. One merely places his or her faith in what Jesus did for them on the cross, and receives His salvation as a gift. The Bible says in Ephesians 2:8,9 “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” If a man is trusting in any work of his own hand to get to heaven, he will never be able to do enough. For righteousness comes not by the work of man, but by faith in the work of God. II Corinthians 5:21 “For He (God) has made Him (Jesus) to be sin for us, Who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” Works are commanded of God, but never are they to be done to get saved; they are to be done because we are already saved (Ephesians 2:10).
Beware of those evil dogs, and don’t go in their back yard. They are not servants of God, but messengers of Satan. II Corinthians 11:14, 15 “And no marvel; for Satan, himself, is transformed into an angel of light. There, it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” On the outward, they are kind, loving, and good people, but God measures a man differently than we do. God sees the false teacher that would pervert His gospel as an evil worker sowing the lies of Satan. Those that put their trust in their perverted gospel will be accursed by God. Hear the names that God calls false teachers that oppose His Truth: snakes – hypocrite – blind guides – whited walls full of dead men’s bones – evil workers – fools – clouds that hold no water – brute beasts – liars – filthy dreamers, children of Satan.
Anyone who speaks like that today in our politically correct society is seen as intolerable, unreasonable, and narrow. Well, narrow is the way, and few there are that will walk its path. Let God be true and every man a liar. God has called us to grace in His Son. We are fully accepted by Him when we trust in Him, Alone, for our salvation. Don’t be fooled by Satan’s ministers. Stay out of their yard by heeding God’s warning, “Beware of the dogs.”