The next group of commands have to do with various WARNINGS for the Body of Christ.
187, 188, 189. “BEWARE” of dogs. BEWARE of evil workers, BEWARE of the concision”: Phil.3,2
190. BEWARE lest any man spoil you trough philosophy and vain deceit, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ”: Col.2,8.
The same Greek word is used four times here, and it means basically “to see, look. ”It is used with the ides of looking so that it can be avoided, so that “Beware, take heed” can also be the meaning of this word. We are to beware of the following:
- Dogs-a derogatory term used to describe the Judaizers;
- Evil workers-those who specialize in evil, and also those in religious positions who are not saved: 2.Cor.11,13.
- Concision-refers to the Judaizers also. They mutilated the gospel of grace by adding the Law to it;
- Philosophy and vain deceit-those systems of thought that deify humanize God.
We need to aware of those who dilute the message of pure grace with the commandments of men.. A little leaven leavened the whole lump: 1.Cor.5,6.
- “Of whom BEWARE THOU ALSO. For he hath greatly withstood our words”: 2.Tim.4,15.
“Beware” means “to watch, guard, protect.” Timothy was commanded to be on guard against those who oppose the message of grace. Alexander is mentioned as an example of this kind of opposition (see 1.Tim.1,20.) He cold have been a religious man, for the real opposition to the message of grace comes from religious people.
- “B not ye therefore partakers with them”: Eph.5,7.
We are commanded not to be joint-partakers with the children of disobedience, that is,, the unsaved. We have nothing in common with them. They belong Satan; we belong to Christ.
193, 194. “And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, NOTE that man, and Have no COMPANY WITH him, that he may be ashamed”: 2.Thes.3,24.
“Note” means “to mark, note, distinguish by marking” (used once in the New Testament. Those who would not obey the words of Apostle Paul were to be singled out by the other believers and dissociated with. There was to be no fellowship with the disobedient believers. “Company with” means “associate with, to keep company with, mix together with,” and is used in only two other verses (1.Cor.5,9,11). Shaming a person was a form od discipline; godly sorrow works repentance (2.Cor. 7,9,10.) The disobedient were not to be considered as enemies but brothers in the Lord, though out of fellowship. If this happens today, the disobedient Christian usually runs off to another church where he is welcomed with open arms, so that this type of chastening becomes ineffectual.
- “Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof. From such TURN AWAY”: 2.Tim.3,5.
“Turn away” means “ to turn one’s self away , to shun, avoid” (used once in the New Testament). This verse I set in the context of Pauline prophecy relating to the last days of this dispensation. Verses 2-4 describe what kind of people will predominate in these days, and Timothy was commanded to turn himself away from them so he wouldn’t get mixed up with them. This command refutes the popular that you have to be like the world in order to win them to Christ.
- “Perverse disputing of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness. From such WHITHDRAW thyself”: 1.Tim.6,5.
This command is found in Berry’s Greek text. “Withdraw” means “to shun, flee from, depart remove.” We are commanded to avoid people that have the attitude that much money and material blessings represent godliness. This a false idea. Godliness is being like God, and God is holy and righteous. Godliness begins with salvation..
- “But foolish and unlearned questions AVOID, knowing that they do gender strifes”: 2.Tim.2,23.
- “A man that is a heretic after the first and second admonition REJECT”: Titus 3.10.
- “But REFUSE profane and old wives´ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness”: 1.Tim.4,7.
- “But the younger windows REFUSE. For when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry”: 1.Tim.5,11.
The Greek word used in these four commands means “to refuse, decline, shun avoid, reject.” Notice the subjects we are command to avoid.
- Foolish and unlearn questions-are questions that come from untrained minds. They are not logical questions. They tend to cause trouble among believers.
- Hereticks- those who choose for themselves what they want to believe, whether its in the Bible or not. So those who reject Biblical authority. Free thinks. Those who go after human philosophies that degrade God;
- Profane (common) and old wives´ fables-myths, stories of the Greek gods and Jewish inventions that were prevalent in Paul’s day. Evolution would come under this heading.
- Younger windows- “wax wanton” means “to feel the impulses of sexual desire.” Timothy was to avoid these kind of women so that he wouldn’t get involved with them. They had turned their backs on serving Christ. See verses 12,13.
- “But AVOID foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and striving about the law. For they are unprofitable and vain”: Titus.3,9.
- “But SHUN profane and vain babblings. For they will increase unto more ungodliness”: 2.Tim.2,16.
The same Greek word is used in both commands, and means “to turn one’s self about for the purpose of avoiding something, to shun, avoid.” These two commands are self-explanatory, and repeat what has been said before, but notice the one addition in Titus 3.9- the law. If this is the Law of Moses (there is no article “the” in the Greek), then it is set in a bad light and becomes another proof that this Law has been abolished. See 1.Tim.1,4.
- “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned. And AVOID them”: Rom.16,17.
“Avoid” means “to turn away from, keep aloof from, to shun.” Believers are commanded to turn away from those who do not proclaim the doctrine that Paul taught the churches. We are to avoid those who do not proclaim the gospel of the grace of God as it is set forth according to the Mystery revealed to the Apostle Paul. The Gospel of the Kingdom and other religious philosophy causes divisions in the church, and does not serve the cause of Christ: Rom.16,18.
- But if ye bite and devour one another. TAKE HEED that ye be not consumed one of another”: Gal.5,15.
- “BEHOLD Israel after the flesh. Are not they which car of the sacrifices partakers?”: 1.Cor.10,18.
- “Wherefore let him thinketh he standsse TAKE HEED lest he fall”: 1.Cor.10,12.
- “But TAKE HEED lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak”: 1.Cor.8,9.
- “SEE THEN that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise”:Eph.5,15.
The Greek word used here five times means basically “to see, to look”; and in warnings such these, it means “to look out” for somethings. Guards are sometimes called “look-outs.” Some of the areas we are to be watchful of are:
- quarrelling and fighting with believers. We should not get carried away with so that we hurt one another. However, if this happens, we can always go to another church;
- fleshly desires. Israel is presented as an illustration for the Christian. We should not follow the example of Israel in the Old Testament. What was written down about this nation is for our learning: that we should not follow them in their lusting after evil things: 1.Cor.10,6-11.
- Of being too sure of ourselves. If we don’t learn from Israel’s experiences, then we will fall;
- Of hindering other believers. We are not to cause other believers to fall into sin or impede their spiritual growth in Christ.
- Our walk. We are to be certain that our walk is accurate according to the commands of grace.
- “Let no man, therefore, JUDGE you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days”: Col.2,16.
- “I speak as to wise men. JUDGE ye what I say”: 1.Cor.10,15.
- “Therefore JUDGE nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts. And then shall every man have praise of God”: 1.Cor.4,5.
- “Let us not, therefore, judge one another any more But JUDGE this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way”: Rom.14,13.
The Greek word for “judge” is used four times here, and means “to pronounce an opinion concerning right or wrong, to pronounce judgment, to subject to censure.” Christians like to judge one another, but please notice the areas in relation to judging:
- Religious ceremonies- We are not to be judged by others in these matters. The religious ceremonies and days observed by the church today have been taken from Judaism and heathen religions. They are not a part of Christianity. See Gal.4,10-11.
- The teachings of Paul-We need to weigh the evidence of what Paul wrote as being the spokesman for the Lord Jesus Christ for this age;
- Judging others-We are not to judge others. Only the Lord Jesus Christ is qualified to judge believers, and this He will do at the judgement seat of Christ: 2.Cor.5,10-11.
- Christian liberty-Judging can cause obstacles to be put in the way of believers that would cause them to fall into sin.
- “Let no man DESPISE thy youth. But be thou an example of the believers in word, in conversation, in charity (love), I spirit, in faith, in purity”:1.Tim.4,12.
“Despise” means “disdain, contempt, think little of, think nothing of, scorn.” Timothy was a young man, probably in his mid-twenties. He was to preach with authority. He was not to let people push him around. He was to be firm and strong in the Lord.
- “These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man DESPISE thee”: Titus 2,15.
“Despise” means “to look down upon,” and is used once in the New Testament. Titus was commanded to let no one think he was inferior as he served the Lord.
- “Be not DECEIVED. God is not mocked. For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”: Gal.6,7.
- “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not DECEIVED. Neither fornicators, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God”: 1.Cor.6,9-10.
- “Be not DECEIVED. Evil communications corrupt good manners”: 1.Cor.15,33.
The Greek words for “deceived” is used three times here, and means “to lead astray, to into error, to mislead, deceive, wander”. Believers are commanded not to be into error in respect to the following:
- That good works need to be done in the energy of the Holy Spirit; and that the flesh only produces fleshly works that will corrupt sooner or later. Sin produces sin. See 1.Cor.3,13-15.
- No matter how good the unsaved are before their fellow man, they will not go to heaven. They have to be saved by Christ first;
- If you manners you have learned as a Christian. The unsaved are basically corrupt.
- “let no man DECEIVE himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world (age), let him become a fool, that he may be wise”: 1.Cor.3,18.
“Deceive” means “ to deceive thoroughly, to delude.” This command is set in the context of the judgment seat of Christ, and of the truth that believers are the temple of God. We are not to be deceived or deluded concerning our conduct as members of that temple. Our conduct is not based on the wisdom of the world but on the wisdom of God.
- “Let no man DECEIVE you with vain words. For because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience”: Eph.5,6.
“Deceive” means “ to cheat, beguile.” Vain words are empty words. These kind of words are listed in verse 4-foolish talking, jesting, and dirty talking. They are words that would cheat us out of our spiritual blessings in Christ.
- “Neither MURMUR YE, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer”: 1.Cor.10,10.
“Murmur” means “ to grumble, mutter, say anything in a low tone or voice.” Believers are commanded not to grumble or complain. This was one of Israel’s worst, and all Christians do it, too. This verse refers back to Numbers 14,2-4, 27-30. Their murmurings, which indicated unbelief, caused Israel to wander in the wilderness for forty years before they could enter into the promised land. Only Caleb and Joshua believed the Lord (Numbers 26,65). Every one of us can thank God we is not judging us because of our unbelief. God is indeed gracious to His own
- “Neither GIVE place to the devil”: Eph.4,27.
“Give” means “to grant, bestow.” Believers are commanded nor to give ground to the devil. He is our main adversary. We are not to let devil run us or influence us. We are to be victorious over him. If we resist him, he will flee from us (James 4,7.). Don’t give the devil an inch or he’ll take a mile.
- “BE CAREFUL FOR nothing. But in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God” – Phil.4,6.
“Be careful for” means “to be anxious, to be troubled with cares.” We are commanded not to be anxious about anything. We are not to worry about problems. We are to STOP worrying! Psychologists and psychiatrists have made millions of dollars concerning this subject because people in general and Christians in particular do not know how to face the circumstances that come into their lives nor how to face the future. For the Christian, there should be no problem. If a believer does have problems, he should go to his pastor for advice: 1.Cor.7,25. The Lord tells us not to worry. He is to be the Master of our lies. We are know His will and to follow it. We are to talk to Him in prayer and leave the results with Him. And then we will experience the peace of God in oru hearts as never before. Compare Matt.6,25-34.
- “And be not DRUNK with wine, wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit”: Eph.5,18.
“Drunk” means make drunk, to intoxicate.” The attitude of the Bible toward alcoholic beverages is definitely negative (Proverbs 20,1; 23,29-32; Isaiah 28,7.) We are commanded not to get drunk on wine, which is an alcoholic drink. Beer and whiskey can be included here also, for they can make you as drunk as wine. We should not even take a drink for social reasons because it I too easy to abuse liquor. See Rom.14,21. Possibly the only exception would be 1.Tim.5,23, under certain conditions (Command 31a). Many Christians resort to liquor as a means of escape their problems, but only create other problems. If you want to be filled with anything, be filled with the Holy Spirit and with the knowledge of God as contained in the Bible, and you’ll be a happy Christian with a song in your heart.
- “Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. BE not wise in your own conceits”: Rom.12,16.
We are commanded not to be wise in our own selves. In other words, we are not to rely mainly on our own wisdom or the wisdom of the world to solve our problems. If we do this, it is possible that we will neglect God’s wisdom altogether, and fail to trust Him who died for us. If we put too much emphasis on our own opinions, we will certainly be misled one way or another. We are to be wise in Christ.
- “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemed to be wise in this world (age), let him BEC a fool, that he may be wise”: 1. Cor.3,18
If anybody wants to learn about the wisdom of God, he must start at the bottom. Every Christian who knows something about the Lord has started at the bottom and worked his way up the ladder of spirituality. This is called “growing in grace.” You have to be willing to be taught of the Holy Spirit and to have a teachable mind. You have to be willing to “unlearn some things in favour of other Biblical truth that is more precious to the soul. I can tell you from experience, that the wisdom nad knowledge of God as contained in the Bible and revealed especially to the Apostle Paul is the greatest wisdom that can be know by mortal man. It is simply marvellous and grand.
- “NEGLECT not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on the hands of the presbytery”: 1.Tim.4,14.
“Neglect” means “to be careless of, negligent”; translated “made light of” in Matt.22,5. We are commanded not to be careless concerning the gift we might have. Every believer has at least one gift, and we are to use that gift to the fullest extent of our ability. Many evangelists and preachers are guilty of this command by being too careless n the use of their gift. They manage to turn the into a stage in order to show off their ability before an audience. If you don’t what gift you have, find out by checking the two lists of gifts in Rom.12,6-15. and Eph.4,11, and then use it for the Lord Jesus Christ.
- “Let not then your good BE EVIL SPOKEN OF” : Rom.14,16.
This Greek word means “to speak reproachfully, rail at, revile, to utter blasphemy.” This verse is in the context of Christian liberty, and if our Christian liberty is well balanced, it becomes good. We should not be borderline Christians. Our Christianity should be above reproach.
- “LOOK not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others”: Phil.2,4.
This command is found only in Berry’s Greek text. “Look” means “to look at, observe, contemplate, consider.” We are commanded not to be selfish, not to think just of our own little world. But take an interest in other believers. We are to help each other when necessary . However, this verse does not teach that we are to covet what other believers have. There is a middle ground. I believe this verse is limited to Christians people. This verse can also be applied to missionaries.
- “Let no man SEEK his own, but every man another’s wealth”: 1.Cor.10,24.
“Seek” means “to seek in order to find, seek after, seek for, aim at, strive after.” The word “wealth” is in italic which shows that it is not in the Greek text, and so becomes misleading. We are not supposed to seek after other people’s money, but we are to seek to further the advantage of others, referring to Christian people, primarily. This verse is not to be used as a reason to compel Christians to give of their money. There are commands for that purpose. This command is much more like the command in Phil.2,4. See 1.Cor.10,33.
- “GIUVE none offence, neither to the Jews nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God”: 1.Cor.10,32.
“Give” means “to become:” The translation could read, “Be ye without offence both to Jews and Gentiles and to the church of God.” “Without offence” means “not leading others into sin by one’s mode of life.” We are to be examples of Spirit filled Christians to everyone regardless of race, so that some might be led to Christ (verse 33). See also 1.Cor.9,20-22: 2.Cor.6,3; Rom.11,14.
231, 232, 233. “Brethren, BE not children in understanding. Howbeit (But) in malice BE YE CHILDREN, but in understanding BE men”: 1.Cor.14,20.
We have three commands here that fit together very well. “Be” is the same Greek word, but “be ye children” is another Greek word that is used only once in the New Testament. It means “to be a babe, infant,” and is plural “babes.” So let’s see what this verse says we are to be and what not to be:
- We are not to be children in over minds. A child’s mind is not developed. We are not to think, speak, or understand as a child: 1.Cor.13,11. A child is unskilful in the word of righteousness: hebr.5,13.;
- We are to be babes in regard to only thing-malice. Malice is badness in quality, wickedness, depravity, ill will. Infants are sweet and innocent, so they are more or less lacking malice;
- We are to be full grown in our minds. Our minds are to be fully developed spiritually by the Holy Spirit so that right decisions can be made: Hebr.5,14.
This verse is set in the context of the gifts of the Holy Spirit that prevailed during the time covered by the book off Acts. The brethren were acting like little children with new toys. The gifts were like new to days, and the operations of the gifts were much abused. In fact, many of the believers at Corinth were babes in Christ: 1.Cor.3,1-4, and the sign gifts didn’t help matters any. So Paul commanded them to use some intelligence in using the gifts.
However, I do believe this verse is relevant for today, even though the sign gifts have passed away. So many of God’s dear children are babes in Christ with no desire to grow in Christ. They are satisfied with the idea of just getting to heaven, and with material things. My friend, I hope you are not in that class but have a sincere desire to grow spiritually in the Lord. Obey the commands here, and become full grown in your understanding of life and how it is be lived for Christ.
- “Yet COUNT him not as an enemy but admonish him as a brother”: 2.Tim.3,5.
“Count” means “to consider, deem, think.” This refers to a belief resting on external circumstances, and denotes a careful and deliberate judgment. The one here is still a believer but out of fellowship, and one who needs some training and advice concerning the Word of God.