Beware Of Men
“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. “But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues.
“You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. “But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; “for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.
“Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. Matthew 10:16-22
Jesus Christ, who knew the hearts of men, was not blind and stupid and was more than aware of what they would do. He knew and proved the fact that they would praise Him one day and the next day murder Him. He warned His disciples that they were sheep in the midst of wolves and were to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But they were also to beware of them who would hate them and murder them. It is interesting that Apostle Peter when talking about the Jews who killed Jesus said
“The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree.” Acts 5:30
Stephen the first martyr of the church told the religious leaders who later stoned him:
“You stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. “Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.”Acts 7:51-53
Both of these true men of God called the religious leaders of their day murderers. Stephen’s word were quite on the mark about them – “You stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.”
Apostle John writing about men stated:
“And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. “But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” John 3:19-21
Evil men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. They do not come to the light lest their deeds should be exposed. They try to put out the light by murdering the messengers of God who tell the truth. This has not and will not change as long as earth remains. Yet God’s word is unchanging:
Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. “Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ “And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, ‘yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ ”
Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. “And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? “I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:1-18
God has promised to avenge speedily His own elect who cry out day and night to Him though He bears long with them just like He did with the murderers of Jesus.
Now the religious leaders in their jealousy and envy did not understand Jesus and hated Him for making people whole especially on the Sabbath. They did not care for the sheep in their care but only for their own self-preservation, which Jesus by His miracles threatened. So they sought out any method to kill Jesus and finally succeeded. But in murdering Jesus they destroyed themselves, their city and their nation. For God’s word is unchanging:
“Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? “Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, “that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. “Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! “See! Your house is left to you desolate; “for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ ” Matthew 23:34-39
Many blame the devil for negative things that happen in their lives but they would be amazed that God who has created the destroyer to destroy was in the midst of all that had happened to them. He measured to them the same measure that they measured to others. But hypocrites, blind guides, serpents, brood of vipers, and lawless ones, even though they are religious or political leaders will not escape the condemnation of hell. Jesus’ murderers did not? What happened to the wicked generation that Jesus talked about? Were the Jews blessed by God or cursed by Him for murdering innocent Jesus? Down through the centuries His blood was on them and their children and they paid for their foolishness many times over! But God vindicated Jesus Christ by raising Him from the dead and destroying His enemies, those who murdered Jesus, just like Jesus warned them about:
But Jesus, turning to them, said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!’ “Then they will begin ‘to say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” ‘ “For if they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?” Luke 23:28-30
Now God’s judgment, even in the current time of life, is never pleasant! Where is Sodom and Gomorrah or Korah and his friends, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation, men of renown, after God’s judgment, not His blessings, hit them? They all became a nonexistent thing. As a matter of fact the Dead Sea in Israel, where Sodom and Gomorrah once stood, is exactly that a dead sea. There is no life in it at all. It’s dead! It is the lowest body of water on Earth, which averages about 1,312 feet (400 m) below sea level.
God’s judgment on men for their evil and wicked deeds, including murdering innocent Jesus, is never pleasant, as Flavius Josephus in writing about “The Siege of Jerusalem, AD 70” testified:
Throughout the city people were dying of hunger in large numbers, and enduring unspeakable sufferings. In every house the merest hint of food sparked violence, and close relatives fell to blows, snatching from one another the pitiful supports of life. No respect was paid even to the dying; the ruffians [anti-Roman zealots] searched them, in case they were concealing food somewhere in their clothes, or just pretending to be near death. Gaping with hunger, like mad dogs, lawless gangs went staggering and reeling through the streets, battering upon the doors like drunkards, and so bewildered that they broke into the same house two or three times in an hour. Need drove the starving to gnaw at anything. Refuse which even animals would reject was collected and turned into food. In the end they were eating belts and shoes, and the leather stripped off their shields. Tufts of withered grass were devoured, and sold in little bundles for four drachmas.
There is a real price to be paid for rejecting truth and doing injustice, even in the current time of life, as the people of Jerusalem who murdered Jesus could testify. By 66 AD Life in Jerusalem had become a nightmare, it was so full of violence and misery. Famine and food shortages become an everyday problem.
Then in 70 AD Titus marched against the city with four legions of the Roman army. They laid siege to Jerusalem and using their battering rams they breached the walls of the city. Fleeing citizens of Jerusalem were caught by the Romans and were tortured and crucified. Later the whole city was destroyed and the people of Jerusalem paid the price for ignoring Jesus warning about what would happen to them. These kinds of things do happen even in the current time of life!
TITUS now promised that the Temple should be spared if the defenders would come forth and fight in any other place, but John and the Zealots refused to surrender it. For several days the outer cloisters and outer court were attacked with rams, but the immense and compact stones resisted the blows. As many soldiers were slain in seeking to storm the cloisters, Titus ordered the gates to be set on fire. Through that night and the next day the flames raged through the cloisters. Then, in order to save the Temple itself, he ordered the fire to be quenched. On the tenth of August, the same day of the year on which Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the Temple built by Solomon, the cry was heard that the Temple was on fire. The Jews, with cries of grief and rage, grasped their swords and rushed to take revenge on their enemies or perish in the ruins.
The slaughter was continued while the fire raged. Soon no part was left but a small portion of the outer cloisters, where 6,000 people had taken refuge, led by a false prophet who had there promised that God would deliver His people in His Temple. The soldiers set the building on fire and all perished. Titus next spent eighteen days in preparations for the attack on the upper city, which was then speedily captured. And now the Romans were not disposed to display any mercy, night alone putting an end to the carnage. During the whole of this siege of Jerusalem, 1,100,000 were slain, and the prisoners numbered 97,000.
Many hedonistic religious ones who call themselves Christians pick and choose to read and know only the nice parts of the bible. They do not want to hear about the judgments of God or the fact that those who become the enemies of God, by their own choices and actions, are not blessed by Him by rather are cursed and destroyed by Him. Nevertheless God’s word is unchanging:
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another. This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it. 2 John 1:5-6