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Be Wise as Serpents / Harmless as Doves

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Be Wise as Serpents -
Harmless as Doves

Michael Bradley

One of the first rules of true spiritual warfare is to know where you can tread in this life and where you cannot. God, in His word, very clearly and very plainly sets out the boundary lines of where we can go in this life and where we cannot go.
Since we have opened up this website, we have received many interesting emails from people all around the world. One of the things that has really come to our attention is the hunger that many people are having for knowledge in the area of spiritual warfare.

We have received quite a few emails from people who have unknowingly treaded into very dangerous territory - all because they were never taught that some of these areas were enemy territory by some of the churches they were raised up in.
One of the areas people have fallen victim to is some of the areas having to do with the Occult and New Age Movement. Many of the verses having to do with the Occult are back in the Old Testament. If you have not read much of the Bible, you will have very little knowledge on this subject unless the church you belong to is specifically teaching you about some of these things.

Some of the people we have heard from have been caught in such things as getting involved with mediums, fortunetellers, psychics, hypnotism, cults and other false religious beliefs. Many of them found the truth later on - but for some of them, there were some serious consequences that occurred as a result of falling into some of these dangerous dark side areas.
One girl wrote us, saying that if she had only known that what she was treading into was forbidden territory by God from His Word, that she would have never crossed over into this area to begin with.

Many of the churches are afraid to talk about some of these topics for fear of giving the devil his due. They are afraid if they start talking and teaching about some of these things, that too much attention will be given to the devil and people will start to get out of balance with all of it. As a result, they have taken one end of an extreme position on all of this, and have decided to talk very rarely, if at all, on these kinds of topics. As a result, some of their flock have fallen into some very dangerous dark side waters and have been severely hurt or wounded.
Some pastors have also taken too much for granted. They think their flock should already know that some of these areas are dangerous to begin with. As a result, they very seldom ever teach on any of these topics - not realizing that there are many who do not have the basic knowledge on these topics or a full understanding of why these areas are so dangerous to begin with.

The Bible says that God's people will perish and go into captivity for having lack of knowledge - and not teaching the flock the basics of true spiritual warfare and areas where they should not be going into is a perfect example of all of this.
In this article, I will give you several key basic verses pointing out some of the areas that God does not want any of us treading into. As you will see in the very first Scripture verse I will list, the Bible is telling us that we are to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

To be wise as a serpent means to have basic and fundamental knowledge of what areas you can go into and what areas you cannot go into - and to always be on your guard against the snares, traps, and deceptions that the dark side will try and throw at you in order to try and knock you off course, or try to enslave you into a dark area or into a dark side group of people.
Believe it or not, there are some Christians who have fallen into some very dangerous cults who are experts in the area of brainwashing and mind control. Others have fallen into areas of the occult such as witchcraft and consulting mediums for séances trying to contact their dear departed loved ones. Witchcraft is continuing to grow in popularity, especially among our young teenage girls.

Some of these sheep are being led right into a slaughter - all because their parents and their churches did not give them the basic and fundamental knowledge from God's Word on some of these issues as they were growing up. As a result, a very weak spiritual foundation was laid causing many of them to become very easy targets and prey for the dark side.
To try and ignore Satan and the areas in which he likes to operate in this life is spiritual suicide. People need to be taught the basics on spiritual warfare so they can at least have a full and complete understanding of all of it and exactly why these areas are so dangerous to begin with.

Then if they do decide to cross over and experiment with some of these dark side areas - they won't be able to plead ignorance as an excuse on their day of judgment with the Lord. At least they will have been fully warned by the Lord Himself as to what His opinion really is on some of these areas, and exactly why He doesn't want them crossing over into some of these areas to begin with.
These verses are major basic foundational verses that should be taught to each and every Christian as they are being brought up in the ways and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Not to teach some of these basic principles is withholding very valuable and needed knowledge from the flock - especially in the day and age in which we now live in with the dark side growing stronger and an antichrist spirit starting to envelope the entire world.

1. Be Wise as Serpents - Harmless as Doves

These first three verses perfectly set the stage in this area of spiritual warfare. The first two verses are from Jesus Himself. He says that we are to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves because He is sending us out as sheeps and lambs in the midst of wolves. The third verse comes from 1 Peter where it says that we are to be sober and vigilant because our adversary, the devil, walks about this earth seeking who he is going to try and devour next.

Put all three of these verses together, and God is telling all of us loud and clear that we have to be wise, be smart, be sober, be vigilant and be on guard against Satan, his horde of demonic spirits, and all of the bad and evil people who are living this life on the dark side.
As I've said numerous times in my other articles, whether we like it or not - we have all been born into a cursed and fallen world as a result of what happened in the story of Adam and Eve - and we are all stuck with having to deal with the reality of a dark side by way of demonic spirits and other people who are living this life out of the dark desires of their flesh.
Burn these first three verses into your memory banks and do not ever forget the solemn warning that our Lord is giving to us about the dark side of this life.

"Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves." (Matthew 10:16)

"Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves." (Luke 10:3)

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." (1 Peter 5:8)

Now the rest of the verses I will give you in this article, along with some of the commentary off of these verses, will give you some of the specific things and areas that you will need to avoid in this life.
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2. Beware of Dogs and Evil Workers

These next four verses are really driving home the point that we are to avoid and stay way from people that are considered to be dogs, evil workers and unbelievers. When the Bible uses the words "dogs" and "evil workers," you know it is referring to the people who are living this life out on the darker side of things.
These types of people are the ones who are selling drugs to your kids in school, forming and running out the different types of hate groups, trying to work themselves into your families so they can gain your trust to either fleece you out of all your hard earned money or to try and set things up where they can molest your kids.

Many of the pedophiles are masters at manipulation and deception and gaining the trust of you and your child so they can set things up to do their thing. If more parents would have been more alert, more vigilant, more sensitive to the promptings and leadings of the Holy Spirit - many of these pedophiles could have been stopped dead in their tracks before they even got close enough to get to your child.
The words "evil workers" are referring to those who are working evil - to those who are doing bad and evil things to whoever they can get away in doing it with. These people are your rapists, your scammers, your criminals, your pedophiles and your verbal and physical abusers. Many of these types of people are apples that have gone seriously bad and they have embarked on a path of violence, corruption and total self-destruction with the kinds of acts they are committing.

As bad as these people obviously are, it is quite amazing how many people, including some Christians, will get sucked into them and their evil way of living in this life. The verbal and/or physical abusers are also masters at luring women into their web - and then once they have them, they will then start all of their verbal and/or physical abuse on them. The same goes for all of the criminal scammers and swindlers. Everyday someone is getting cheated or fleeced right out of a lot of their hard earned money because people are not using good common sense to check out who they are dealing with.

The Bible is giving all of us fair warning in the way these verses are worded in that these types of people will always be with us in this life until Jesus comes back to set up His millennium kingdom. Until Jesus comes back, and all of these types of people are thrown into hell for the length of the millennium kingdom - we are all going to have to keep our radars up and watch out for these types of people - not only for ourselves, but also for our friends and other family members.
These next 4 verses should also be burned into your memory banks - and always be sensitive to any leadings, promptings or warnings that the Holy Spirit may want to give you with the different people that will come into your life.

1..."Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation!" (Philippians 3:2)

2..."Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of God." (2 Corinthians 6:14)

3..."For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light ... And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light." (Ephesians 5:8)

4..."The righteous should chose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray." (Proverbs 12:26)

All four of these verses from the Lord are telling everyone to draw their battle lines in the sand - and have nothing to do with the bad apples and unbelievers of this world.
The last verse sums everything up very nicely when it says that we should choose our friends very carefully in this life - and that if we don't, and we get hooked up with the wrong people or the wrong crowd - that these wicked people can lead us astray from our God, from our family, and from our real friends in this life.

Our world is littered with the casualties of people who have got caught up with the dogs and evil workers of this life. And sadly, many of these people who have been hurt or killed by these types of people have also been Christians. This is why the very first verse is starting out with the word "beware."
The word "beware" is a very intense word being used by the Lord. He is telling all of us, loud and clear, that we are to be sober, that we are to be vigilant, and that we should always be on our guard and lookout for these types of people who will try and work and seduce themselves into our lives. Many Christians are getting torpedoed in this life as a result of not following the basics of what these four verses are telling us to do.
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3. Do Not Get Carried Away With Strange Doctrines

The very first verse I will list as the first of seven verses in this section is another major powerful foundational verse to burn into your memory banks. This first verse will tell us not to be carried about with various and strange doctrines.
When the Bible uses the words "various and strange doctrines," I believe this is an all inclusive type word - and that it will cover everything from false religions, cults, the occult to all of the other various and weird man-made doctrines that are out there.

As I said at the top of this article, many Christians have fallen prey to the false doctrines of many of the other false religions of this world such as Islam, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Buddhism, Hinduism and Taoism. Others have fallen victim to many of the different occult arts such as witchcraft, satanism, mediums and spiritists, fortunetellers and psychics.
Then you have others who have fallen into some of the weird cults who will brainwash them and seek total control of them and everything in their lives like with what you have with the Moonies and Hare Krishnas. Then others have fallen into some of the newer Hollywood crazes such as Scientology and the Kabbalah.

Jesus says that He, and He alone, is the way and the truth in this life. Any doctrine that does not preach His truth and His way of living in this life cannot be accepted and followed by Christians.
Many of these other false doctrines will try and trick you into thinking and believing that you are a god yourself, and that you have the ability and potential to realize and attain this state of godness in this lifetime. However, our Bible tells us that we are all sinners and that every single one of us has fallen way short of the glory of our God. This means that no one will ever become the fourth person of the Holy Trinity - either in this life or the next life to come.
However, some of these other false doctrines, especially those of the New Age Movement, will try and tell you otherwise. They will try and tell you that you are not a sinner and that you do not need a Savior because you have the ability and potential within your own being to become a god yourself.

Bottom line - each Christian needs to know his Bible and the basics of who they really are in Christ. If each Christian had a firm and solid grasp of the Bible and who they really are in Christ - then more Christians would not be so easily led right out of their faith and right off the end of some of these cliffs into some of these other false belief systems.
This is why the first verse I will list below uses the words that we are not to be carried away with other strange doctrines. Many Christians are following right long with whatever false doctrine that may blow their way - without stopping to examine and analyze exactly what they are walking into.

You have the knowledge from the Word and the help from the Holy Spirit on the inside of you to help you sort through all of this - and to make sure you don't chase and follow after other false doctrines that the Lord would not want you to follow in this life.
Here are 7 very good verses warning all of us not to be duped into following some of these false doctrines and belief systems.

"Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines." (Hebrews 13:9)

"If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds." (2 John 1:10)

"Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons." (1 Timothy 4:1)

"For false christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect." (Matthew 24:24)

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits." (Matthew 7:15)

"Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ." (Colossians 2:8)

"Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them." (Ephesians 5:6)

Again, notice some of the intense wording God is using in some of these verses when He is telling us not to be partakers with these kinds of people, and that we are not to even let them step foot into our houses. Once again, the Lord is asking us to draw a major battle line in the sand. He is telling all of us to stay on our side of the fence and that we are not to have fellowship or hang out with these kinds of people, groups or beliefs.
This is not to say that we can't witness to them to try and get them saved as the Holy Spirit will lead - but we still have to stay on our side of the fence until we can get them saved and brought out and delivered from the bondage they have been in all of this time. You can witness to someone who may be living in a false cult - but that doesn't mean you have to be going to their meetings, to their churches or to the actual organizations they may belong to.

Notice in the verse from 1 Timothy 4:1 that it says that the Holy Spirit is giving us fair warning that in the latter days there will be some Christians who will be falling into some of these false doctrines and beliefs, and that they will literally be falling away from their faith in the Lord Himself. The verse from Matthew 24:24 says that the signs and wonders coming in from some of these false prophets and false christs will be so good, that even some of the elect are going to be fooled and duped.

All of this is enemy territory - and any believer who starts to follow after any of these other false doctrines and belief systems will not only be opening up the door to demonic activity to start coming into their lives - but they will also incur the wrath of God Almighty Himself on them and their lives. The very last verse specifically says that the "sons of disobedience" will have the wrath of God come upon them if they start to partake in any of these kinds of activities.
Once again, God the Father could not make things any more clear than by the way that He has worded all of the above Scripture verses
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4. Specific False Religions and Cults to Avoid

Here is a basic list of some of the false religions and cults that all Christians have to stay away from. Down the road, I will be doing specific articles on many of these false religions and cults giving you some basic information as to when and how they started and the main differences between their system of beliefs and ours.

Every single of one of these false religions and cults do not have the basic tenets of true Christianity in them - and they in no way can be accepted as anything that God the Father will honor and accept based upon the revelation and knowledge that is in His Word.

Jehovah's Witnesses
Christian Science
Hare Krishna
Unification Church
The Children of God
The Forum
The Way International
The Worldwide Church of God

There are many others, but the ones listed above are some of the major ones that are still in operation in this world today.
Again, every single one of these false belief systems are extremely dangerous grounds for any Christian to be attempting to cross over into - which also includes experimenting or dabbling with in any way, shape or form.

All of these false religions and cults are major enemy-demonic territory - and you will risk incurring the wrath of God Almighty Himself on you and your life if you decide that you are going to change camps on your one and only Savior Jesus Christ.

5. Specific Occult Activities to Avoid

In the Spiritual Warfare section of our site, we have an article titled "Dangers of the Occult." In this article, I give you the main verses from Scripture that deal with the areas of the occult that we are to avoid like the plague. I then list in this article some of the specific occult activities that you are to stay away from.

For the sake of this article, and so that you can have all of this information right at your fingertips as you are reading this article, I will go ahead and once more list all of the areas of the occult that we are to stay way from and avoid like the plague.

Again, as with all of the false religions and cults mentioned above, every single one of these areas of the occult are extremely dangerous grounds for any Christian to be treading into. Many of these areas are demonic strongholds, and you will literally be crossing over into enemy-demonic territory if you start to seek into any of these specific areas.

Fortunetelling of any kind
Tarot Cards
Ouija Boards
Seances and any involvement with mediums and spiritists
Astrology and any form of horoscopes
I Ching
Transcendental Meditation or any type of Far Eastern Meditation
Wicca and Witchcraft
Astral Projection
Dungeons and Dragons - role playing games
New Age Movement and Techniques
Silva mind control

For those of you who have not read our article titled "Dangers of the Occult," I would highly recommend that you read the specific verses from Scripture that I have listed in this article. Once again, God the Father is using some very intense language in the way that He has worded some of these verses.

Many Christians are not fully aware of the dangers of the occult since many of these verses are back in the Old Testament. This is why every single Christian Church has to preach and teach on some of these basic areas - especially with us now possibly living in the latter days where the Bible is specifically telling us that some of the believers themselves are going to be falling into some of these demonic doctrines and false belief systems.

As I have stated at the top of this article, we have run into quite a few well meaning Christians who simply did not have the basic 101 knowledge on this subject and as a result, they fell into some very heavy and dangerous dark side demonic waters. Several of them are still dealing with the consequences of getting splashed and contaminated with the demonic forces that were operating through some of these occult areas and false religious systems.
Recommended Reading

For those of you who would like some additional detailed information on some of the false religions, cults and occult activities mentioned in the above captions - here are 5 really good books that I would highly recommend.

Each of these books will give you a very good detailed summary on how each of these false religions and cults started, who founded and started these movements, and what some of the main differences are between their system of false beliefs and those of true Christianity.

Handbook of Today's Religions
By Josh McDowell & Don Stewart

Another Gospel: Cults, Alternative Religions, and the New Age Movement
By Ruth A. Tucker

"Encyclopedia of Cults and New False Religions" by John Ankerberg and John Weldon

Larson's Book of World Religions and Alternative Spirituality
By Bob Larson

"Larson's New Book of Cults" by Bob Larson
To be forewarned is to be properly armed. Our enemy is not going to be going away in this life until Jesus comes back to set up His millennium kingdom. And until that event happens, each and every Christian, and each and every Christian church, should be learning the basics of true spiritual warfare so they cannot only have it for themselves, but so they can also have it to teach to their friends and the flocks of their churches.

Too many of the sheep are being lost to some of the above cults and false religions - and in many of these cases, all as a result of someone not taking enough time to properly educate them in the demonic deception that is going on behind the scenes in all of these false belief systems.

To any of you who may know someone who is starting to fall or who may have already fallen into one of the above cults or false religions - go to God the Father in prayer, and ask Him to start to move in on that person to help show them the errors of their thinking and the demonic deception that has already set in on them.

Ask God to break down the deceptive walls of the enemy so that the light of His truth can start to bolt in to set them free. Ask God the Father, and be led by the Holy Spirit, as to how much of a part you should be playing in witnessing and counseling with this person - depending on how close you are to this person and their current situation.
The Holy Spirit will really start to move, wrestle and strive after any Christian who has started to fall into any of the above cults and false belief systems. Be led by the Holy Spirit as to what part and how much of a part you should be playing in the wrestling match that will start to occur between this person and the Lord.

God will either choose you or others who may be close to this person to start talking and wrestling through in order to try and reach this person before they possibly reach some kind of point of no return. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit will not strive with a man forever. There is a limit to God's patience, mercy and grace.
Many of these areas, as a result of the heavy demonic forces and strongholds that are operating through them, will eventually try and get that Christian to renounce all of his basic beliefs in his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

They will try and tell you that Jesus is not the only way to God and heaven, that He was just a man and a good prophet, and that either you or the god they are worshipping can give you the actual spiritual enlightenment that you will need to reach their idea of what heaven may be like. They will try and tell you that you can reach this state of heaven or this state of eternal bliss by your own good works or by your own effort to sanctify and purify yourself.

This is why Jesus has told all of us loud and clear in His Word - that He, and only He, is the way, the truth and the life that will lead us to His Father and to His dwelling place, heaven. There is no other way and no other truth that can lead any man or any woman into true eternal salvation with the one and only true God of this universe - God the Father.
Every single one of these false religions and cults have one goal and one thing in common - to lead every nonbeliever away from the real truth that can only be found in Jesus Christ - and to lead every single Christian that they can sink their claws into away from the saving grace that they were already walking in before they started to stray.

This is why the first Scripture verse I listed in this article and the actual title of this article itself - that we are to be wise as serpents - is so important in the day and age in which we are now all living in. Satan, his horde of demonic spirits, false prophets, false teachers, and evil workers and dogs are all prowling this earth seeking who they are going to try and devour next.

This is why each and every Christian, and each and every Christian church, should be fully armed to the teeth with the knowledge of our enemies and how they operate, and how they will try to ensnare their victims into their webs of deceits and lies.
The very first rule of any type of warfare - whether it be natural or spiritual type of warfare - is to know your enemy. And these two verses from Scripture - in that we are to be wise as serpents, and that we are to be sober and vigilant and to be constantly on our guard against the wiles and schemes of our enemies, is telling us to do exactly that!

As we head further into these end time waters, things are really going to start to heat up. The Bible has already told us that in the latter days men well become lovers of self, brutal and without self-control. This may help explain some of the more random and senseless types of killings and murders we are now seeing more of on a regular and consistent basis on our local and world news channels.

Pedophiles and rapists are no longer just molesting, raping and assaulting their victims - they are now killing and murdering their victims in cold blood. We are all now starting to see pure evil released upon this earth in a way and with an intensity that we have never seen before. Twenty-thirty years ago people use to be able to leave their front doors unlocked. We used to be able to let our children play out in the neighborhoods without having to worry who may be lurking around that next corner.

We now have brazen and out-of-control criminals who are literally breaking into people's homes right in the middle of broad daylight to abduct or kill those people they had earlier targeted. We now have an antichrist spirit that has now infiltrated and seeped into every part of our society - from our schools, to our courts and legal systems, and now into every part of our media.
The battle lines are now being drawn. The dark side is getting stronger with what they are able to get away with - with all of it eventually leading up to a real live Antichrist who will literally be ruling this entire world. Now, more than ever, God is looking to raise up spiritual warriors who will not be afraid to stand up and fight against some of our enemies.

God is looking to counterbalance some of the increase in evil that we have seen in the last 10 years. And one of the ways that He is going to counterbalance some of this evil activity is to anoint some of His soldiers to engage and fight with the enemy when needed.
The choice is yours. You can either choose to remain passive, sit on the sidelines, and watch some of your close friends and loved ones, and possibly even yourself, get hammered and beaten up by some of these attacks from the dark side - or you can choose to rise up, learn how to walk with the anointing and power that God can flow through you, and take your enemies head on like David did with Goliath.

As I have stated in many of my other articles, our God is a mighty Man of War - and He will go into battle to protect you and your loved ones if you will learn how to draw close to Him in your own personal relationship with Him - and then start to seek after His knowledge in the ways that He will operate. And one of the areas that He will definitely help you with is in the area of spiritual warfare.
I have been approached by a moonie once, knowing nothing about them i remained open to the teachings. but i've always felt something weird that Jesus was not the only thing to focus on. so i left them. but why do i have a feeling that bad things are happening to the people i care about?
i'm faithful to God, and ever since this had happened i fought even harder to keep my faith alive and will continue to do so because it is burning in my heart.
I guess i need some words of guidance about this.
Thank you