A Systematic Expository Study of the Word of God
THE NECESSITY OF DISCERNMENT AND WISDOM IN MINISTRY
Your browser does not support the audio element.
Give not that which is holy unto the
dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine ...
Many Christians find this verse difficult
to understand. And still, many more find it difficult to apply.
Are the words, that which is holy, pearls,
dogs, swine literal or symbolic? They
are symbolic. Obviously, that which is holy is
sacred and pearls are precious,
peculiar treasures. There are sacred, precious, peculiar treasures that will
not be recognized, appreciated or even needed by dogs and pigs that they
will trample under their feet.
Throwing such treasures to them will also arouse their wild nature so they
will turn again and rend you.
Apart from that which
is holy or a sacred thing which dogs do not recognize, appreciate
or need, are there things we can give to dogs? Any
flesh that is torn of beasts in the field; ye shall cast it to the dogs.
The dogs... eat of the childrens crumbs. Everyone that
lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set
by himself (Exodus 22:31; Mark 7:28; Judges 7:5). The dogs need and
appreciate food and water and these common necessities we can give to the
dogs. A jewel of gold in a swines snout
(Proverbs 11:22) will be ridiculous and unsightly but
the husks that the swine did eat (Luke 15:15,16) are
necessary for their sustenance. We must not give that which is holy or
sacred to dogs, neither should we cast our pearls or precious treasures to
swine but we cannot deny them bread and water. The love of God compels us to
present the bread of life and the water of life to everyone while the deep
mysteries of the Kingdom are kept only for the children of the King.
DESCRIPTION OF MEN AS DOGS
Matthew 7:6; Philippians
3:2; 2 Kings 8:11-13; Psalm 22:16-18; Isaiah 56:10-12; Psalm 59:2-7; 2 Peter
2:20-22; Matthew 15:21-28; 10:5,6,11-20; Revelation 22:15-17.
Give not that which is holy unto the
dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine.
It is very important
and significant to identify who the dogs and swine represent. But before we
do this, we must remember that we are to preach the gospel to every
creature; Jesus tasted death for every man; Christ
died for the ungodly; The Lord is not willing that any
should perish, but that all should come to repentance; I am
debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; the gospel
of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.
If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink.
We must not withhold food and water from anyone, neither should we
deny anyone the privilege of hearing the gospel. Christ, the Bread of Life
and the Water of Life is for everyone (John 6:48-51; 4:10,14; Revelation
22:17). Special, sacred, deep mysteries of the Kingdom, the great doctrines
of Gods Word are not for strangers outside the Kingdom, but all must hear
the gospel of salvation.
To the Israelites, dogs and swine are
unclean animals. The dog was the scavenger of the village and was generally
fierce and dangerous. The swine was also regarded as dirty and unclean in
every way. So, dogs signify men who are still in their sins, who delight in
their foolishness and wickedness, unashamedly practising what decent people
detest (Proverbs 26:11). The swine also denote men of iniquity and impurity
who have no mind or sense of dignity. Their understanding is so darkened
that they glory in their shame, they
wallow in the mire. Dogs and swine, these men of corrupt
mind and deadened conscience, have no appreciation for holy things and
pearls they trample them under their feet.
Their nature is vile and violent, like wild dogs and vile swine, they
would rather rend, tear or persecute ministers of the
mystery of Christ and proclaimers of the unsearchable riches
of Christ (Ephesians 3:4-13).
DISCERNMENT IN MINISTRY
TOWARDS DANGEROUS SINNERS
Matthew 7:6; Exodus 29:32,33; Leviticus 22:10; 1 Samuel
21:3-6; Matthew 2:7-13; Mark 6:17-28;
Acts 13:45-47; 18:5-11; Jude
22,23; 2 Corinthians 12:1-4.
Matthew chapter seven, verse six is
beautifully set and arranged: Give not that which is
holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they
(the swine) trample them under their feet, and turn again
(that is, the dogs) and rend you. The Lord is
instructing us to be wise and discerning in ministering to different kinds
of people. We are not to offer the great doctrines of Gods Word to violent,
unconverted men who would curse and blaspheme, nor to peculiarly debased and
profligate people who would not perceive their value.
No son of Aaron would think of giving the
holy things of the sanctuary or the shewbread from the holy place to an
unclean or common person. No servant of Christ, our great High Priest,
should give the holy thing or the peculiar treasures of the Kingdom to dogs
and swine, to unclean, unconverted people. Let us
also remember that the holy thing,
the emblem of Christs body and blood must not be given to
unconverted men and women (1 Corinthians 11:23-29).
He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and
drinketh damnation to himself.
Wisdom and discernment on the part of
preachers, ministers and Christs witnesses and ambassadors demand that we
limit ourselves to the basic fundamentals of the gospel when preaching to
sinners. Even new converts are to be fed with the milk of the Word (John
16:12,13; 1 Corinthians 3:1,2; Hebrews 5:13;1 Peter 2:2). Strong meat
belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have
their senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Hebrews
DECLARATION OF THE MASTER
TO HIS DISCIPLES AND SERVANTS
7:6; Genesis 37:5-20; Judges 16:6,15-21; Proverbs 31:3; 5:9-13; Acts
8:18-24; Psalm 50:16-22; Ezra 4:1-6; Nehemiah 13:28-30; Matthew 17:1-9.
Give not that which is holy
unto the dogs.
This is Christs command to all His disciples and servants in all
generations of believers. The command has a very wide application. He does
not restrict our ministering to the world but He calls us to spiritual
discernment and discretion as we preach the gospel to every creature. Our
Lord is concerned about preserving that which is holy
and the pearls of the gospel. He
also gives us this command for the preservation of His ministers and His
Church, lest they turn again and rend us.
Herod rejected the message of John the Baptist, imprisoned him, thereby
hindering his ministry to those who desired the Truth, and eventually killed
We are not to give that
which is holy to dogs and swine,
that is, to the unclean, the unrighteous. What does the Scripture regard
as that which is holy? (1) Great, deep
truths of Gods Law (Hosea 8:12; Romans 7:12). (2) Sacred privilege of
priesthood, reserved only for the called, cleansed and consecrated (Nehemiah
7:64). (3) Special service of the Levites that no stranger is permitted to
intrude into (Numbers 4:4,19). (4) The gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 8:18-24;
1 Timothy 5:22). (5) The ministry to which only the sanctified are
commissioned (Acts 1:17,21-26; 2 Timothy 2:21). (6) Work and service in the
church (Acts 6:2-4). (7) Water baptism and the Lords Supper (Acts 8:36-39;
1 Corinthians 11:23-29). A commentary on the Gospels says, In particular,
the early Church was very careful about whom it admitted to the Lords
Table, and this text became associated with the Lords Table. The Lords
Supper began with the announcement: Holy things for holy
and swine, men and women whose nature and lives have not been changed and
transformed do not know the spiritual value of holy things and pearls of the
Kingdom. The frightening consequence of giving holy things and pearls to
dogs and swine is that truth is trampled upon, the sanctuary is polluted and
the believers and ministers are rent and destroyed (Lamentations 1:10;
Ezekiel 44:7-9; Isaiah 59:14,15; Jeremiah 7:28).
If you are blessed by these bible study outlines, we' d like to hear from
You can email the
firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments