"Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh."
“Look out” is a command given to us that means we are to be vigilant so we are not hurt by dogs, evildoers, and those who mutilate the flesh. It means we are to stand guard so none of the three can sneak up on us and cause us harm.
If I am told to be on the lookout for someone I need to know what I am looking for. Do you know what the Apostle Paul means when he tells us to look out for dogs, evildoers and mutilators of the flesh?
We need to ask two questions to know what Paul is telling us to look out for, “What did it mean to those he wrote the letter?” and “What does it mean to us now?”
First, what did it mean to those he wrote the letter?
In Philippians 3:2 and Revelation 22:15 we learn “dogs” are those “who love and practice falsehood” and say they are Christians.
In 1 Corinthians 11:13-14; 15:12, 32, 33 “evil workers” are those proclaim false teaching that leads to a life ruined by sin and eternal judgment and who claim to be Christians.
“Mutilators of the flesh” refers to false teachers that instruct men to be circumcised in order to be accepted by God or saved from the penalty of sin, which is eternal torment and claim to be Christians. “Mutilators of the flesh” instruct people to obey the Law as taught in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy in order to be saved from the penalty of sin, eternal torment.
What does it mean to us today? We are to look out for people who claim to be Christians and teach what is false.
We need special vision to spot the “dogs”, “evil workers” and “mutilators of the flesh”. We get that vision by looking through the lens of Truth, the Bible. If we don’t know the word of God then we will be unable to obey the command given to us by Jesus Christ.
What kind of vision do you have? If you don’t know the Bible, then you will not be able protect yourself, your family, your friends and those in your community.
I would encourage you to start systematically reading the Bible. Start by reading Genesis chapters 1-11. Continue by reading systematically through the New Testament. Start at Matthew and read through Revelation. Do it at least three times and then start over in Genesis and read the Old Testament.