Jesus Christ said, “It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer.”

The Lifestyle of the Messengers of Christ, Part 12 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 836)

Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III

TEXT: Matthew 10:16-23

16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;

18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.

19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.

20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.

22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.


In the first section of this discourse, Jesus has expressed to the first disciples how they are to go about the business of spreading the message of the kingdom of God to the Jews. Now, He warns them that the road they are embarking on will not be an easy one. They will meet much persecution and suffering along the way. Scholars have noted that, from verse 16 onward, Jesus’ discourse is not given specifically for the benefit of the disciples who are present with Him at the time. Instead, Jesus is looking ahead to all messengers who will be called to the harvest field after His ascension. In these verses, He indicates a worldwide ministry (including one to the Gentiles) and worldwide persecution. He also refers to His Second Coming which positions this passage as one that applies to contemporary believers upon whom, as Paul wrote, the end of the world has come.

Jesus continues His remarks with an ominous declaration: “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves.” This is like a general ordering his troops to lay their weapons down before sending them onto the battlefield, saying, “Behold, I send you forth as civilians against an army.” But Jesus completes His command by giving us tactics of a different nature. He says, “Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”

In ancient Israel, the wolf was a feared creature, the enemy of the shepherds and the livelihood that they worked to maintain. Thus, the wolf was representative, not only of physical danger, but a threat to economic stability and provision for the population. Jesus draws an incisive image: shepherds were used to wolves attempting to infilitrate the flock; no shepherd could imagine sending his sheep out to a pack of wolves, but that is what Jesus tells His disciples: ‘I am sending you (the sheep) out to the pack of wolves.’ The disciples will be vulnerable as His messengers. They will face life-threatening dangers. The world that they are being sent to evangelize will not be friendly to them.

However, they are not to deal with the world according to its own nature; rather, they are to deal with the world with wisdom and innocence: that is what is meant by being wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Craig Blomberg writes in his commentary, “With incisive, proverbial language, Jesus calls the Twelve to exhibit great acumen without sinful compromise. ‘Innocent’ literally means ‘unmixed’ and refers to purity of intention. Shrewdness and integrity form a crucial combination not often found in the Christian church. In fact, we more often invert the two, proving to be as guilty as serpents and as naive as doves.”

The messengers of Christ must be wise, prudent, intelligent, and keen in their dealings with the world. The world has its own form of wisdom, but the wisdom of God is far greater. We must never, however, compromise our integrity to win favor or to get out of difficult situations. Our reputation ought to be one of honesty and authenticity, where what you see is what you get. If we are faithful to our calling in Christ, the world will not always like what it sees in us, but our calling is to be faithful to the message of Christ, the faith of the Apostles, and the faith of our fathers in the face of persecution.

As Frederick W. Faber wrote:

Faith of our fathers! living still
In spite of dungeon, fire and sword,
O how our hearts beat high with joy
Whenever we hear that glorious word!
Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death!

Faith of our fathers! we will strive
To win all nations unto thee,
And through the truth that comes from God,
Mankind shall then be truly free:
Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death!

Faith of our fathers! we will love
Both friend and foe in all our strife,
And preach thee, too, as love knows how,
By kindly words and virtuous life:
Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death.


Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.