Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. Philippians 3:1-2
What was Paul’s general admonition to the saints and overseers in Philippi? “Rejoice in the Lord.” It is a wonderful revelation of the power of Christ to realize that Paul, who was living in distressing circumstances in a military barracks, awaiting his trial before a government that had become wicked, was encouraging people who were not in prison to keep on being glad and happy in Christ. An immature saint would have been bemoaning his own circumstances, pleading continually for prayer that he would be delivered “from the devil.” How did Paul feel about his written exhortations to the saints in Philippi, and no doubt to the saints in the other churches? Paul did not become weary of admonishing the saints, and it was a safeguard for them. Of what kinds of people are the saints to beware? Dogs, people who behave like beasts, evil workers, those who are circumcised in their flesh but not in their hearts. “Dogs,” “evil workers,” and “the concision [mutilation]” may be referring to the Judaizers. The Judaizers were Jews who came to the new Christians and attempted to persuade them that part of the Law of Moses, including circumcision, was to be included in the Christian faith. Paul warned the churches, particularly the church in Galatia, to beware of such teaching. Also, there were many in the early churches who were full of adultery, the love of money, and rebellion against authority. The Books of Second Peter and Jude have much to say concerning wicked people who were gathering with the saints.
It reads inII Peter 2:1 NIV “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. “
It reads in Jude 1:4 NIV“For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. “
When Jude speaks of the coming of the saints to execute judgment, he is referring to Divine judgment upon false Christians.
It reads in Isaiah 33:14 NIV“The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? “
It reads in Jude 1:15 NIV“To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. “
The false Christians are a synagogue of Satan. In due time they shall worship God at the feet of the true saints. It reads in Revelation 3:9 NIV “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. “