originally posted by: Caroline13456
a reply to: EdgeofParadise
Lol, you really like rubbing it in don't cha, whose side you're on.
Matthew 10:16, 17
16 “Look! I am sending you out as sheep among wolves; so prove yourselves cautious as serpents and yet innocent as doves. 17 Be on your guard
against men, for they will hand you over to local courts and they will scourge you in their synagogues.
A sheep among wolves has little power of its own to protect itself against being devoured. A sheep, therefore, must rely upon its shepherd to protect
it against wolves. It wants to serve the good purposes of its shepherd and not be devoured by ravenous wolves. So it obeys its shepherd’s voice.
Wolfishness is displayed by many leading men who ought to be sheeplike because they claim to be Christians. If a man claims to be a Christian he is a
hypocrite if he is really a wolf in sheep’s covering, disguised to take advantage of sheeplike persons. Jesus Christ likened his true followers to
sheep and himself to a shepherd that protects them against voracious wolves. He preserves them to serve his good purposes, and they must obey his
voice in order to enjoy his protection, provision and service. To his twelve special representatives, his twelve apostles, he said: “Look! I am
sending you forth as sheep amidst wolves.” And to seventy others besides those apostles he said similarly: “Look! I am sending you forth as lambs
in among wolves.”—Matt. 10:16 and Luke 10:3, NW
Jesus was sending them forth to preach good news, which should have been grabbed at by people that had became disgusted with human governments: “As
you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.’” “Also, wherever you enter into a city and they receive you, eat the
things set before you, and cure the sick ones in it, and go on telling them: ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’” (Matt. 10:7 and Luke
10:8, 9, NW
) And yet sending them out to preach such a winsome message would be putting them seemingly at the cruel mercy of wolves. Who, then,
were the wolves?
A wolf or wolfish person is an enemy not only of the sheep but also of their Right Shepherd. The wolf does not gather the sheep with the shepherd but
scatters them; he is not for the Right Shepherd Jesus but against him. (Luke 11:23) The wolf does not believe in the unity of the Christian flock but
scatters them to pick them off one by one and devour them to satisfy his greed. Inasmuch as Jesus was then sending forth the Kingdom preachers among
the Jewish people exclusively, these wolves were to be found among the Jews who claimed to be God’s people, the most religious people then on earth.
They were religious wolves, who preyed upon the “lost sheep of the house of Israel.”—Matt. 10:6.
That the wolves in his day included religious persons opposed to the preaching of the good news of God’s kingdom and persecuting his sheeplike
followers for preaching it, Jesus showed in his further words to those whom he sent forth: “Be on your guard against men; for they will deliver you
up to local courts and they will scourge you in their synagogues. Why, you will be haled before governors and kings for my sake for the purpose of a
witness to them and the nations. When they persecute you in one city, flee to another; . . . And do not become fearful of those who kill the body but
can not kill the soul; but rather be in fear of him that can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.” (Matt. 10:17, 18, 23, 28, NW
) When told
that King Herod Antipas wanted to kill him, Jesus called him a “fox.” (Luke 13:31, 32) Before Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 (A.D.) the wolves
attacked Jesus’ sheep, killed many of them and scattered them with great persecution. But wherever the sheep were scattered they preached God’s
message. Thus the persecution helped to spread the good news instead of stamping it out. The sheep knew how to meet the attacks of the wolf
Today Jesus’ words, “Look! I am sending you forth as sheep amidst wolves,” take in also all the earth outside of the land of Israel. “This
good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for the purpose of a witness to all the nations, and then the accomplished end
will come.” (Matt. 24:14, NW
) In time, it became necessary for Jesus Christ, now enthroned in power, to act upon his very own prophecy and
send out preachers of this good news of the Kingdom. Once again he has to send out his faithful followers as sheep amidst wolves. The worst wolves and
the most wolves have proved to be in the religious land of Christendom. It has proved to be a den of wolves to the sheeplike preachers of God’s
kingdom. Ask the only ones that are preaching this good news of the newborn kingdom, Jehovah’s witnesses. They know.
How are the Kingdom preachers to survive amidst wolves and still stay sheeplike, harmless, obedient to their Shepherd’s voice? Our Shepherd has told
us how. After forewarning his disciples of the wolves all around he said: “Therefore prove yourselves cautious as serpents and yet innocent as
doves. Be on your guard against men.” (Matt. 10:16, 17, NW
) “You must be wary, then, as serpents.” (R. Knox
) “Show yourselves
therefore as sly [sharp] as serpents.”—L’École Biblique de Jérusalem
Since the unchristian wolves declare war upon the sheep and choose to make themselves “fighters actually against God,” God does not oblige us to
show the stupidity of sheep and play into the hands of our fighting enemy. We should meet the seed of the Serpent, the “offspring of vipers,” with
the cautiousness of serpents. Foreseeing danger, we should cover ourselves against the wolves that prey upon Jehovah’s flock. “Oppressive wolves
will enter in among you and will not treat the flock with tenderness, . . . Therefore keep awake,” says Paul. (Acts 20:28-31, NW
prudent man seeth the evil, and hideth himself.”—Prov. 22:3, AS
If the wolfish foes draw wrong conclusions from our maneuvers to outwit them, no harm has been done to them by the harmless sheep, innocent in their
motives as doves. The action is not out of a liar’s hatred like theirs. “The one who conceals his hatred speaks lies, and the one spreading
malicious reports* [Or “rumors.”] is stupid. A lying tongue hates those crushed by it, and a flattering mouth causes ruin.”—Prov. 10:18;