Do not give what is holy to DOGS, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
Beware of the DOGS, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision;
They are DOGS with mighty appetites;
they never have enough.
They are shepherds who lack understanding;
they all turn to their own way,
they seek their own gain.
2 Pet 2:22
Of them (false prophets and false teachers) the proverbs are true: “A DOG returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”
As described above in Isaiah 56:11, these dogs are “shepherds” who lack understanding and they seek their own gain with mighty appetites. They peddle the gospel for financial gain and are swindlers in every sense (2 Pet 2:3,14).
They will bring the way of truth into disrepute and many will follow them surprisingly. 2 Pet 2:2. Because of greed for financial gain using God’s name for ministry, they will exploit undiscerning believers with fabricated stories. 2 Pet 2:3. Another clear recognizable trait of such dogs is their boldness and arrogance in heaping abuse on demons and the devil, which even more powerful angels do not blaspheme so at all, in their “slain in the spirit” practice of driving out demons. 2 Pet 2:10-12.
They are better off not knowing the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 2 Pet 2:21. The proverb – a DOG will return to its own vomit – is true of them as they have returned to sinful ways after knowing the way of righteousness. 2 Pet 2:22.
Their fate is spelt out in Rev 22:15 : Outside are the DOGS and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.
Here are some clear commands from our Lord and His Word concerning tares (evil workers) and dogs in the church. And every genuine believer has to decide if he or she wants to obey such clear commands from our Lord to disassociate with them or risk being torn apart by them later.
- Do not give what is holy to the DOGS or they will turn to tear you apart. Matt 7:6.
- Treat the unrepentant so-called brothers as tax collectors after exhausting the due process of correcting them. Matt 18:15-17.
- Avoid people who have a form of godliness but deny its power. 2 Tim 3: 5-6; 2 John 1:10-11
- Do not fellowship with so-called brother who is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler. 1 Cor 5:11-12.
- Do not welcome false teachers and give them credibility out of your good reputation. 2 John 1:10-11.
King Saul kept the good spoils of the Amalekites and offered sacrifice to God. Though his intention seemed good apparently but God was angry over his disobedience to carry out His command to annihilate the Amalekites. 1 Sam 15. Because King Saul showed mercy to some Amalekite children, they grew up to harass Israel and kidnapped King David’s family later. 1 Sam 30.
Likewise, if we show magnanimity to dogs against our Lord’s clear commands, firstly we have disobeyed a clear command and secondly, we will face adverse consequence of these dogs turning around to tear us apart.
Though Scripture is clear on such church discipline and even mentioned that a DOG is likely to return to its own vomit (2 Pet 2:22), we are still exhorted to welcome recalcitrant believers back into church fellowship when they repent.