The Narrow Gate


Luke 13:22 - And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. 23 - Then said one unto him, Rabbi, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, 24 - Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. 25 - When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Master, Master, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: 

One of the questions I often receive from those who are new to this walk or scoff at what we believe is, "How can it be that all of these people are deceived?". Yahushua said to strive to enter the strait/narrow gate. According to the data I have in the Encyclopedia Britannica, one out of three persons in this world profess themselves to be Christian. In light of scripture, I think the appropriate question should be "How can it be that all of these people are not deceived?" 

Deception makes its debut in the 3rd chapter of Genesis. 

Genesis 3:1 - Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which YAHWEH Elohim had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath Elohim said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2 - And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 - But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, Elohim hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 - For Elohim doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be like Elohim, knowing good and evil. 6 - And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 

Later, the woman said: 

Genesis 3:13 - And YAHWEH Elohim said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

In light of this, why should it be a surprise that there is great deception in the world today? 

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

After the fall of man, we read that there were only eight persons saved in the flood: 

1Peter 3:20 - who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. 21 - There is also an antitype which now saves us--baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward YAHWEH), through the resurrection of Yahushua the Messiah,

Yahushua said that the last days would be similar: 

Matthew 24:37 - But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 - For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 - And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Yahushua's coming will be a shock to the world because the world will be deceived. But what is the grand deception all about? What is it that all are deceived into doing? Indeed, it is a mystery. But indeed it is the same old story.  

2Thessalonians 2:7 - For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8 - And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom Yahushua shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 - Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 - And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 - And for this cause YAHWEH shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 - That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 

A couple of key phrases here: "with all deceivableness of unrighteousness" and "that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." We should not have any pleasure at all in unrighteousness. Rather, we should have a sincere love for the truth. We see that unrighteousness itself is at the core of deception. And so is truth/lies. So, in order that we are not deceived.. we need to know what righteousness is and we need to know what truth is. 

Yahushua said: 

John 17:17 - Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Here we find a trustworthy saying. Yahweh's word IS truth! 

Isaiah 55:10 - For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11 - So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. 

If we claim to love the truth, then we must have an absolute love for his word. If we love and believe in his truth/his word, then we can avoid the strong delusion we read about: 

2Thessalonians 2:10 - And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 - And for this cause YAHWEH shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 - That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

If we do not love his word, then we cannot learn what sin is:

1John 3:4 - Whoever commits sin trangresses also the law, for sin is the transgression of the law.

How can any believer say that Yahweh's Torah/law need not be obeyed? It is from His law that we can determine what sin is! 

Romans 7:7 - What shall we say then? Is the law sin? By no means!! Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

But somehow, such a teaching has deceived millions. You see, sin is very deceitful: 

Hebrews 3:13 - but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

From the beginning, the adversary has sought various ways to trick men into being disobedient. Truly, there is nothing new under the sun. He can either undermine Yahweh's word or he can tempt men to sin even if they know it is wrong. And what better way to deceive but to say that "That word Yahweh spoke is of no effect anymore!" Therefore we must love His word if we want to avoid the deceitfulness of sin. Who can really say they love Yahushua unless they also love the Word? Is He not the Word of Yahweh? 

John 1:14 - And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Is He only the Word in the New Testament? He is the Word in the Old Testament also. In truth, we must love and seek to obey the WHOLE word, not just a "New Testament" and not just an "Old testament," for it is ALL Yahweh's word. 

Matthew 13:52 - Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.

Indeed, if it is scripture then it is Yahweh's word and must be heeded by us!

2Timothy 3:16 - All scripture is given by inspiration of YAHWEH, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 - That the man of YAHWEH may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

ALL SCRIPTURE, not just a part here or there. His commandments are not multiple choice, no matter what men may tell you.

Yahushua warned us: 

Matthew 7:13 - 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: 14 - Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Notice that he said that we must "find it." If we must "find it", then it must mean that we should be looking for it. We cannot be complacent and sit back doing nothing. We must be seeking the truth in his word regularly. We will do this because we love the truth and do not want to be fooled by the deceitfulness of sin. Notice also that Yahushua said only a "few" find it. Now if we are on a path that everyone else is on, how can we be on a path that "few find"? This is why we should not be surprised that the whole world is deceived. In fact, Scripture says that this will be the case:

Revelation 12:9 - So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

What methods does the adversary use to deceive? One of his greatest advantages is that those who are deceived are so often his willing participants to engage in deceiving others. Look at what Yahushua said after warning us to enter the narrow way of life: 

Matthew 7:13 - 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: 14 - Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 15 - Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Right away He warned about false prophets. But how can we tell the difference? Let's examine this question by continuing in the chapter: 

Matthew 7:16 - Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 - Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 - A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 - Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 - Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Hmm.. we know them by their fruits? What does this mean? Yahushua said: 

John 15:4 - Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

To even bear good fruit, one must abide in Yahushua. How can we know if one is abiding in Yahushua? 

1John 2:4 - He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 - But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of YAHWEH is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 

BY THIS WE KNOW. 

1John 2:6 - He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

So, those that claimed to be abiding in Yahushua would be doing the things that Yahushua did. What was Yahushua like? We saw earlier that sin is transgression of the law and by the law is the knowledge of sin. Did Yahushua ever transgress the law of Yahweh (sin)?

1Peter 2:21 - For to this you were called, because the Messiah also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should  follow His steps: 22 - "Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth";

We see that Yahushua committed no sin, thus he kept Yahweh's law perfectly. So those who say they abide in Him should walk as He walked. Therefore, they should also keep Yahweh's law.... if indeed they abide in Him. This is confirmed when we continue to read Yahushua's words in Matthew chapter 7: 

Matthew 7:19 - Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 - Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 - Not every one that saith unto me, Rabbi, Rabbi, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 

Notice carefully Yahushua said: "but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." We can see then that the bad fruit is sin, but those who bear good fruit are doing the will of the Heavenly Father. What is the will of His Father? Let's see: 

Matthew 7:22 - Many will say to me in that day, Rabbi, Rabbi, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 - And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Thus, He has expanded on His teaching regarding the narrow gate and He also makes a prediction. He predicts that there will be "Many" (those on the broad road that leads to destruction) who will think they have salvation through Him. He gives an example a group of people who are obviously deceived. They think that they have salvation, but sadly they do not. Again, He said that there were "Many" (as opposed to "few"). They even thought that they were doing mighty works in His name. But what did he tell them? "I never knew you. Depart from me, ye that work iniquity." They didn't know Him. He didn't know them . Remember... 

1John 2:4 - He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

What was it that they were doing? 

"...ye that work iniquity" 

They were doing many miracles, but they were also working iniquity. Let's examine the Greek word that is translated "iniquity" in this verse since it seems to be the deciding factor in their salvation. It is from the Greek word "anomia". We will find in the Thayer's Greek lexicon a definition for this word: 

BDB/Thayers # 458 anomia {an-om-ee'-ah} from 459; TDNT - 4:1085,646; n f AV - iniquity 12, unrighteousness 1, transgress the law + 4060 1, transgression of the law 1; 15 1) the condition of without law 1a) because ignorant of it 1b) because of violating it 2) contempt and violation of law, iniquity, wickedness. 

The Strong's Lexicon defines this word with: 

"458.. illegality (i.e. violation of the law)" 

It is the same word that is translated "transgression of the law" in 1John 3:4 we read earlier: 

1John 3:4 - Whoever commits sin trangresses also the law, for sin is the transgression of the law.

Also, it is the same word translated "iniquity" in 2Thess 2:7 that we read earlier. 

2Thessalonians 2:7 - For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

Are we beginning to see the solution to the mystery? It becomes evident that these false prophets have deceived "many" into doing what they are doing and that is transgressing Yahweh's Torah/law . It was also predicted in 2Thess 2:9 that there would be miracles associated with this mystery:

2 Thessalonians 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

This is a study in itself. Nevertheless, it is evident that these false prophets are not bearing the fruit we should be expecting. They are working "illegality, violation of the law" rather than righteousness because they believe and teach that we need not be obedient to Yahweh's Torah/Law.  And of course, their followers follow them. 

Be warned, it is the same OLD deception that Adam and Eve fell into ("Hath Yahweh said?"). It is Satan that will try to get us to disobey Yahweh's commands. Why would Yahweh ever want you disobey His commandments? They are commandments, aren't they? 

But are there any today that understand? 

Psalms 14:2 - YAHWEH looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek Elohim.

We CAN understand, but we must love His word.. all of it. We must seek to understand. It's hard to understand though if you don't seek to apply 2/3 of scripture (the portion called the "Old Testament") to your life because you are taught that it is okay to disobey it! But the psalmist knew: 

Psalms 119:104 - Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.

Psalms 111:10 - The fear of YAHWEH is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.
Are there any today that seek Yahweh? 

Jeremiah 6:16 - Thus saith YAHWEH, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. 17 - Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.18 - Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them. 19 - Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.

Indeed, only a few will seek Yahweh. 

Psalms 14:2 - YAHWEH looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek Elohim. 3 - They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 4 - Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon YAHWEH. 

We will surely be persecuted by the "workers of iniquity" that Yahushua predicted. Ironically, they will quote verse 3 in the above psalm, misapply it, and then boast that they are one of them! It is true that we all used to be that way, but we are not to continue in that same condition. We should repent and call upon Yahweh!  

Joel 2:32 - And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of YAHWEH shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as YAHWEH hath said, and in the remnant whom YAHWEH shall call.

We should seek to be the remnant! 

Isaiah 1:9 - Except YAHWEH of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah. 

Matthew 22:14 - For many are called, but few are chosen.
Brothers, sisters, men, women, children, fathers, mothers, pastors, teachers, elders, and lovers of truth,  It is time to SEEK YAHWEH! 

Isaiah 55:6 - Seek ye YAHWEH while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7 - Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto YAHWEH, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our Elohim, for he will abundantly pardon. 8 - For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith YAHWEH.

Unrighteous man, forsake your own thoughts and submit to Yahweh's ways. Many say His thoughts are not our thoughts.. but we need to seek to let His thoughts be our thoughts and be men after His own heart! 

Isaiah 55:9 - For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Let's submit to the higher way. Let not His word spoken to us return void:

10 - For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11 - So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

His word ought not be abolished or void to us. His word ought to accomplish something in our hearts and our actions. Don't let Satan steal the seed, the word, out of you by tricking you into believing His word is void! 

It is time to sow to ourselves righteousness. Any who believe in His Son Yahushua the Messiah and seek His ways will receive mercy for those times that we have sinned and Yahweh will rain righteousness upon us. 

Hosea 10:12 - Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek YAHWEH, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. 

Romans 3:22 - Even the righteousness of YAHWEH which is by faith of Yahushua the Messiah unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 - For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of YAHWEH; 24 - Being justified freely by his favor through the redemption that is in Messiah Yahushua:
If we accept humbly the fact that we all have sinned and need the mercy of Yahweh through Yahushua the Messiah.. 

If we seek his ways... 

If we love the truth (His word)... 

If we want to walk in righteousness by seeking to apply ALL of His word...

And if we are overcomers... 

Surely we can hear these words one day: 

Luke 12:32 - Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

May it be so with us -- may we be His "little flock"-- and may we seek to enter that narrow gate which leads to eternal life.

 

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