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Summary: Be prepared for trouble to come.

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Behold I Am Sending You Out

Matthew 10:16-23 (AMP)

16 Behold, I am sending you out like sheep in the midst of wolves; be wary and wise as serpents, and be innocent (harmless, guileless, and without falsity) as doves.

17 Be on guard against men [whose way or nature is to act in opposition to God]; for they will deliver you up to councils and flog you in their synagogues,

18 And you will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a witness to bear testimony before them and to the Gentiles (the nations).

19 But when they deliver you up, do not be anxious about how or what you are to speak; for what you are to say will be given you in that very hour and moment,

20 For it is not you who are speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

21 Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child; and children will take a stand against their parents and will have them put to death.

22 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake, but he who perseveres and endures to the end will be saved [from spiritual disease and death in the world to come].

23 When they persecute you in one town [that is, pursue you in a manner that would injure you and cause you to suffer because of your belief], flee to another town; for truly I tell you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

All who go ‘out’ to spread the Gospel message are always going out as sheep. Jesus’ disciples know one thing for certain: love for Christ, and love for others is the whole and complete motivation for what they do. People that are motivated by love are harmless to others. They can not be offensive. They must treat those they go to with care, and compassion. Even without bringing the Gospel message with you, someone who goes into the world motivated by love is easy prey for those looking for easy targets. When you add to your motivation, the Gospel message of Christ, there are many who will stop at nothing to cause you to fail at what you want to do. Jesus knows that the world is cruel, cold and dangerous. You will be as sheep among wolves because you are going out in a spirit of love, compassion and mercy into a world that sees those traits as signs of weakness.

He says to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Serpents are known to be cautious when danger approaches. They are swift to retreat. Jesus says we must go out as He would go out: harmless, but full of caution, watching every step, prepared to retreat swiftly if we are threatened.

Matthew 10:17-18 (AMP)

17 Be on guard against men [whose way or nature is to act in opposition to God]; for they will deliver you up to councils and flog you in their synagogues,

18 And you will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a witness to bear testimony before them and to the Gentiles (the nations).

Be on guard against men. What men? Those whose very nature is to be in opposition against God. In other words, the unsaved and the lost of the world. Some just don’t want to hear the words of God, but there are many who despise God and anything having to do with Him. They will be a danger to the children of God, even to the point of persecuting them and killing them.


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