The Narrow Way
We must at all times remember that God decided the way that we should be
saved, not we ourselves. It sounds pretty obvious not so, but in our arrogance
many believe that it can be done by the works of the law and not by Covenant.
That we can earn salvation.
Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they
might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but
not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness,
and going about to establish their own righteousness, have
not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ
is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
We have to go through the strait gate.
We have to walk on the narrow way.
Jesus of Nazareth walked the narrow way before us. To be in Covenant with
God through our risen Saviour, we need to use the walk of Jesus as an example
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is
the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and
many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and
narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that
Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many,
I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
Matthew 7:14 shows us:
Firstly, we see that the gate is strait.
Secondly, the way is narrow.
Thirdly, few find it.
Matthew 7:13 is not dealing with unbelievers, those who are not on the
way at all, but those of us who profess to be Christians, go to church
on a regular basis, but are on the broad way.
They do not come near that strait gate because it will mean getting out
of their comfort zone.
Perhaps they do not even notice it.
What does the word "strait" actually mean?
So that the man that is tender among you, and very delicate,
his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom,
and toward the remnant of his children which he shall leave: So that he
will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall
eat: because he hath nothing left him in the siege, and in the straitness,
wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee in all thy gates. The tender
and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole
of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall
be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward
her daughter, And toward her young one that cometh out from between her
feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them
for want of all things secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith
thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates.
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I
live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall
choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to
depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide
in the flesh is more needful for you. And having this confidence,
I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance
and joy of faith; That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ
for me by my coming to you again.
I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will
I, if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism to be baptised with;
and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!
Doesn't sound too healthy does it?
There is undoubtedly distress involved as we go through that Spiritual
gate to the other side; where the King of Glory is.
We are leaving our old man behind.
We are committing ourselves, in faith, to the unknown - except that
we know that it is better than the known because we have each met
His Spiritual Presence through our, now activated, spirit. God is
who He says He is.
Take heart, beloved:
Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe? Behold, the
hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to
his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the
Father is with me. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might
have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer;
I have overcome the world.
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise
of life which is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my dearly beloved
son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus
our Lord. I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure
conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers
night and day; Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears,
that I may be filled with joy; When I call to remembrance the unfeigned
faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy
mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. Wherefore I put thee
in remembrance that thou stir
up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love,
and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of
our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions
of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called
us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according
to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before
the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour
Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality
to light through the gospel:
(2 Timothy 1:1-10)
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us,
and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto
Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that
was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down
at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such
contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint
in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing
this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience
have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting
nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to
all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like
a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
Now, to those who have squeezed through the strait gate:
Where would you like to spend your future?
Working with your Master or loafing around? (See Luke 19:12-27)
Many reborn Christians believe that they only need to endure until Christ
Jesus comes again in the clouds of heaven. After enduring, then what?
I once spoke to a man who had obtained his Springbok colours in clay pigeon
shooting, at that time being envious of his prowess with a shotgun. He
turned to me and said that after striving for his colours, his interest
in the sport started waning because he had achieved his dream, there was
nothing left to strive for, and now his team-mates expected a certain standard
from him, a standard that he was finding more difficult to maintain. Shortly
afterwards he disappeared from the shooting scene.
Jesus promised His disciples the following:
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God,
believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were
not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
You can trust the Man who died for you!
Are you, am I following the call of God; can we be called disciples?
Is the new Jerusalem meant for people who make up the twelve tribes of
Israel or for disciples?
Who are those who live outside the gates?
Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? For it
is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the
ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he
it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this
is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that
thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown unto
you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your
carnal things? If others be partakers of this power over you, are
not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all
things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. Do ye not know that
they which minister about holy things live of the things of the
temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?
Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should
live of the gospel. But I have used none of these things: neither have
I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were
better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.
(1 Corinthians 9:8-15)
This passage deals with giving, not so? Doesn't it also go a little deeper?
Have you been called by God and given heavenly gifts in a similar manner
Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all
our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were
all baptised unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the
same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they
drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown
in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we
should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters,
as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat
and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some
of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither
let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of
serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed
of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples:
and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world
are come. Wherefore let him
that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no
temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful,
who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will
with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear
it. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as
to wise men; judge ye what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is
it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break,
is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many
are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one
bread. Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices
partakers of the altar?
(1 Corinthians 10:1-18)
Are you a Gideon, a mighty man of valour, who is prepared to put out a
fleece to see what God's will is - and do it?
Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew
be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside,
then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast
Are you and I walking the path set out for us?
In the previous teaching of this series, we noticed that grace is God's
undeserved mercy to those of His creation who believe who Jesus
Christ is and repent "in sackcloth and ashes" of their previous evil ways
and take such joy in endeavouring to live a life pleasing to their newly
We also understood that God's grace continues in the lives of willing,
active, though imperfect, Christians, and that this labour is guided and
financed by the indwelling Holy Spirit of God in the fight against the
evil one, the god of this world, for the ultimate victory and glory of
God. Our participation in this ongoing and seemingly unending war is in
the form of being soldiers for our King.
For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power
of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the
power of God toward you.
(2 Corinthians 13:4)
The better we know our King, the more we love Him and the more we wish
to do for Him, not so?
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.
Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye
be reprobates? But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.
Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved,
but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.
For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.
(2 Corinthians 13:5-8)
Those employees in the world who are diligent and honest in the workplace
end up in positions of authority. Those soldiers who do the same on the
battlefield end up as generals, with other outward symbols from a grateful
Christian soldiers endure for the glory of their King and the reward does
not come into their equation until the final victory, believing
that the reward shall be deserving. Moreover, Christian soldiers are protected
while they are obedient to the instructions of their ever present General,
knowing that victory is assured.
Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one
mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.
(2 Corinthians 13:11)
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion
of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
(2 Corinthians 13:14)
Here are some relevant Scripture passages:
And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice
of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which
I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above
all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and
overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.
Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt
thou be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body,
and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase
of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Blessed shall be thy basket
and thy store. Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in,
and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. The LORD shall
cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy
face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven
ways. The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses,
and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in
the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. The LORD shall establish thee
an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt
keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways. And all
people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD;
and they shall be afraid of thee. And the LORD shall make thee plenteous
in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and
in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers
to give thee. The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven
to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work
of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not
borrow. And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou
shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken
unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day,
to observe and to do them: And thou shalt not go aside from any
of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or
to the left, to go after other gods to serve them. But it shall
come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God,
to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command
thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake
If any man trespass against his neighbour, and an oath be laid upon him
to cause him to swear, and the oath come before thine altar in this house:
Then hear thou in heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, condemning the
wicked, to bring his way upon his head; and justifying the righteous, to
give him according to his righteousness. When thy people Israel be smitten
down before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee, and shall
turn again to thee, and confess thy name, and pray, and make supplication
unto thee in this house: Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin
of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which thou gavest
unto their fathers.
(1 Kings 8:31-34)
And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD
unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. And he cried
against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar, thus
saith the LORD; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David,
Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places
that burn incense upon thee, and men's bones shall be burnt upon thee.
And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which
the LORD hath spoken; Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that
are upon it shall be poured out. And it came to pass, when king
Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the
altar in Bethel, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay
hold on him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so
that he could not pull it in again to him. The altar also was rent, and
the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man
of God had given by the word of the LORD. And the king answered and said
unto the man of God, Intreat now the face of the LORD thy God, and pray
for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God besought
the LORD, and the king's hand was restored him again, and became as it
was before. And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me,
and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward. And the man of God
said unto the king, If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go
in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place: For
so was it charged me by the word of the LORD, saying, Eat no bread, nor
drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest. So he went
another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Bethel. Now there
dwelt an old prophet in Bethel; and his sons came and told him all the
works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel: the words which
he had spoken unto the king, them they told also to their father. And their
father said unto them, What way went he? For his sons had seen what way
the man of God went, which came from Judah. And he said unto his sons,
Saddle me the ass. So they saddled him the ass: and he rode thereon, And
went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak: and he said
unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? And he
said, I am. Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread.
And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will
I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place: For it was said to
me by the word of the LORD, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there,
nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest. He said unto him, I am
a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word
of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he
may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him. So he went
back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water. And it
came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of the LORD came
unto the prophet that brought him back: And he cried unto the man of God
that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast
disobeyed the mouth of the LORD, and hast not kept the commandment which
the LORD thy God commanded thee, But camest back, and hast eaten bread
and drunk water in the place, of the which the LORD did say to thee,
Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre
of thy fathers. And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after
he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet
whom he had brought back. And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way,
and slew him: and his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass stood by
it, the lion also stood by the carcase. And, behold, men passed by, and
saw the carcase cast in the way, and the lion standing by the carcase:
and they came and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt.
And when the prophet that brought him back from the way heard thereof,
he said, It is the man of God, who was disobedient unto the word
of the LORD: therefore the LORD hath delivered him unto the lion, which
hath torn him, and slain him, according to the word of the LORD, which
he spake unto him. And he spake to his sons, saying, Saddle me the ass.
And they saddled him. And he went and found his carcase cast in
the way, and the ass and the lion standing by the carcase: the lion had
not eaten the carcase, nor torn the ass. And the prophet took up the carcase
of the man of God, and laid it upon the ass, and brought it back: and the
old prophet came to the city, to mourn and to bury him. And he laid his
carcase in his own grave; and they mourned over him, saying, Alas,
my brother! And it came to pass, after he had buried him, that he spake
to his sons, saying, When I am dead, then bury me in the sepulchre wherein
the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones: For the
saying which he cried by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel,
and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities
of Samaria, shall surely come to pass. After this thing Jeroboam returned
not from his evil way, but made again of the lowest of the people priests
of the high places: whosoever would, he consecrated him, and he became
one of the priests of the high places. And this thing became sin
unto the house of Jeroboam, even to cut it off, and to destroy it
from off the face of the earth.
(1 Kings 13:1-34)
From a previous teaching1:
He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the
living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed
art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it
unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee,
That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the
gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the
keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth
shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall
be loosed in heaven.
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father
may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will
These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will
send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to
your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will,
and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear
much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them,
Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted
unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
An example of faith:
And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin
to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
Here, dear brother and sister, is the postscript to this teaching, and
to all that has gone before on this web site2.
All you wish to know about God: - - - - search for Him and He will
be found. Ask Him yourself; don't expect His creation to be able to.
As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other
gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do
I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased
men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren,
that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither
received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation
of Jesus Christ. For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the
Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God,
and wasted it: And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals
in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of
my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's
womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that
I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with
flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles
before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the
faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might
be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for
by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if, while we seek
to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is
therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again
the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through
the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified
with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and
the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of
God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace
of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead
- Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain,
that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and
repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief,
and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few
names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall
walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same
shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out
of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and
before his angels.
- (Revelation 3:2-5)
May the Lord bless you and keep you and always turn His face to you, faithful
1 The Carnal Church. ...and the Spiritual