DogsBro. David Chancellor
12/25/2005 6:00 PM
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
“For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie…” These are they that are without (or outside) of the city (heaven). “For without are dogs…” Who are these “dogs”? How we have lived will determine what our reward will be.
Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord; yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
At this time Jesus was focusing on Israel. It would seem that he referred to her as a dog, but she persisted and got her need met. The Jews called the Gentiles, “dogs,” but this isn’t what Revelation was referring to. Jesus came for all mankind. This is recorded as a picture of humility and faith, and perhaps to show the disciples that the Jewish prejudice against the Gentiles was wrong. Jesus did not send her away empty-handed. The words in Revelation weren’t a continuation of that prejudice, but have a different meaning.
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
David was praying in his distress, and portions of it seem to prophesy of Jesus. These verses bring a tie between the wicked and the dogs. Some who were there when Jesus was crucified were among the “dogs.” Jesus had done many things to benefit people, but they turned and crucified him because they were envious. We don’t want to be as these were.
All ye beasts of the field, come to devour, yea, all ye beasts in the forest. 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. Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.
This refers to the leaders of that day by saying, “they are all ignorant.” It’s one thing to lack intelligence, and another to be too lazy to find out. We don’t want to be lazy. “…they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter…” We don’t want to be focused on what we want out of life. If something interferes with God’s plan for us, we should put it aside.
In our worship, if we worship men, we become a dog. There is a Greek word that has this thought. In the Middle English, when someone is called a dog, it means that he is worshipping another man. The thought in Revelation refers to those who worship something or someone other than God. We need to keep our eyes on God, and not become a dog crouched at his master’s feet (where the master is some man). Worship God, not man. In many cases and religions, the people are following men. The “men worshippers” will be without. This isn’t about becoming part of a group, but about following Jesus. Our focus should be, “What would God have me to do?” For heinous acts to happen, people have to give up personal responsibility for their actions. We all still have personal responsibility for our actions. Bad things can follow when someone says, “Do what I say whether you agree with it or not.” People could fall into something evil and wicked when they override their conscience to worship and follow a man.
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.
“Beware of dogs…” This wasn’t talking about Jesus, but about people following others. This refers to blindly following others: “My preacher says it’s okay…” Check it out and make sure that God is okay with it. When we stand before God, it won’t be a “group” thing. It will be either “well, done” or “depart” based on the decisions you made and the path you took. Keep your eyes on Jesus and follow him. A good answer to “You need to…” is “when God shows me, I’ll do it.”
And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering. And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.
The people marveled at Peter and John. Peter was quick to point them to Jesus instead. He pointed out that this was done by the one that the people had killed because they were blindly following their leaders. Peter recognized that they had done it through ignorance, and told them how to find salvation. If you’ve been worshipping man, this is the answer: Come to God and find your help, and then keep your eyes on God.
Some of the sixth seal brethren had to give the same message - put your faith in God, not in me. We have to keep our eyes on God. The great things that some have accomplished were done because of the working of God. God is what people need. We need to keep our eyes on him.
1 Corinthians 2:1-8
And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that we come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
Paul didn’t come with great eloquence, but with great concern for the souls of the people. People like to quote great people and give the name of the one that said it. The word of God doesn’t have to have some “great” one’s name for added emphasis. The truth is powerful enough to stand on its own. We need to keep our eyes on God. He’s the one that we need to worship. When we keep our eyes on him, he’ll bring us through.