Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it.

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Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it.
 
The title is Matthew 7:14 and tells of our entry into the kingdom of God, which is for the few who find it life. The entry is said to be “strait,” from the Greek word stenos, which we have in the past studied in detail, meaning to be narrow by obstacles standing close about. It only appears three times; twice in Matthew 7, verse 13 & 14, and once in Luke 13:24 quoting the LORD describing the same entering.
 
Remember, we are talking about life and death, death as the current condition and life the change that occurs for those who can navigate the obstacles and enter. All we need do to understand this is read the abundance of other scriptures that speak about our passing from death to life, and therein we find a fuller description of the obstacles we must overcome.
 
The first of these appears in Deuteronomy 30, where the LORD set before us (described it to us and we understood) life and death. Death came when we stopped listening to (teaching and following) His ways, and life again whenever and to whoever saw (understood this cause of) death and returned to Him. In verse 6 the LORD describes the return as when He will circumcise our heart, and the hearts of our children, to love the LORD our God with all our heart, and with all our soul, so we may live. We know the heart is telling of the foundation of our reasoning mind and the circumcision is removing thinking centered in fleshly lusts, replacing it with right (Spiritual) rationale.
 
We know these are ideas later spoken of in Jeremiah 31 where it is written as, “33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, says the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, says the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
 
We know Jeremiah 31 earlier tells of this as when Ephraim hears and returns to the LORD, and is speaking of God’s people in this generation. We know the name means second (double) blessing (fruit) and here describes the return of life, the return meaning the second life as the blessing. Life is the blessing spoken of in Deuteronomy 30:1, wherein death is described as the curse – which was brought on by Adam listening to the advice of another, who we know was the serpent in the garden, the deceiver among us in the sanctuary, as the obstacle standing to resist the LORD.
 
Jeremiah 31
16 Thus saith the LORD; Refrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears: for your work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy.
17 And there is hope in your end, saith the LORD, that your children shall come again to their own border.
18 I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; You have chastised [corrected] me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn you me, and I shall be turned; for you are the LORD my God.
19 Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth.
20 Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spoke against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, says the LORD.
21 Set you up waymarks, make you high heaps: set your heart toward the highway, even the way which you went: turn again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to these your cities.
22 How long will you go about, O you backsliding daughter? for the LORD has created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man.
 
Deuteronomy 30
1 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon you, the blessing and the curse [when the ways of life and death are manifested before your eyes], which I have set before you, and you shall call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD your God has driven you,
2 And shall return unto the LORD your God, and shall obey his voice according to all that I command you this day, you and your children, with all your heart, and with all your soul;
3 That then the LORD your God will turn your captivity, and have compassion upon you, and will return and gather you from all the nations, whither the LORD your God has scattered you.
4 If any of yours be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD your God gather you, and from thence will he fetch you:
5 And the LORD your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and he will do you good, and multiply you above your fathers.
6 And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your seed, to love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, that you may live.
7 And the LORD your God will put all these curses upon your enemies, and on them that hate you, which persecuted you.
8 And you shall return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command you this day.
9 And the LORD your God will make you plenteous in every work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, and in the fruit of your cattle, and in the fruit of your land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over you for good, as he rejoiced over your fathers:
10 If you shall hearken unto the voice of the LORD your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if you turn unto the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul.
11 For this commandment which I command you this day, it is not hidden from you, neither is it far off.
12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
14 But the word is very nigh unto you, in your mouth, and in your heart, that you may do it.
15 See, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil;
16 In that I command you this day to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that you may live and multiply: and the LORD your God shall bless you in the land whither you go to possess it.
17 But if your heart turn away, so that you will not hear, but shall be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;
18 I denounce unto you this day, that you shall surely perish, and that you shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither you pass over Jordan [over death into life] to go to possess it.
19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live:
20 That you may love the LORD your God, and that you may obey his voice, and that you may cleave unto him: for he is your life, and the length of your days: that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore unto your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
 
In this we see the way into life is by listening to the LORD, and the obstacles and death are the advice of the deceivers among us. We have in previous posts, many times seen the advice of the deceiver spoken of as the death that lurks in the water, as if a dragon (crocodile) hidden below the surface, or a serpent hidden in the grass or a tree. We know the LORD tells us many times that hearing His word is life, and as I now say again in His name, whoever believes He has come in the flesh (my flesh) as a quickening Spirit, has passed over from death into life. This is the life-producing confession that must be made, as Paul describes in Romans 10:9 just after he has quoted from Deuteronomy 30. The word of life is in our mouths. And the obstacles are the antichrists that deny the LORD has come in the flesh, and deny Him because they cannot hear His words because they have the same beam in their ear as they have in their eye.
 
1 Corinthians 15
45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
47 The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the LORD from heaven.
48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption.
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?
 
John 5
19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Truly, truly, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do: for what things so-ever he does, these also does the Son likewise.
20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all things that himself does: and he will shew him greater works than these, that you may marvel.
21 For as the Father raises up the dead, and quickens them; even so the Son quickens whom he will.
22 For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment unto the Son:
23 That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honors not the Son honors not the Father which has sent him.
24 Truly, truly, I say unto you, He that hears my word, and believes on him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
25 Truly, truly, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
26 For as the Father has life in himself; so has he given to the Son to have life in himself;
27 And has given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which has sent me.
31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.
32 There is another that bears witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesses of me is true.
33 You sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth.
34 But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that you might be saved.
35 He was a burning and a shining light: and you were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.
36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father has given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father has sent me.
37 And the Father himself, which has sent me, has borne witness of me. You have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.
38 And you have not his word abiding in you: for whom he has sent, him you believe not.
39 Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
40 And you will not come to me, that you might have life.
41 I receive not honor from men.
42 But I know you, that you have not the love of God in you.
43 I am come in my Father’s name, and you receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him you will receive.
44 How can you believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that comes from God only?
45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuses you, even Moses, in whom you trust.
46 For had you believed Moses, you would have believed me; for he wrote of me.
47 But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words?
 
1 John 2
…I have written unto you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one [because you have overcome the obstacles].
15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God abides for ever.
18 Little children, it is the last time: and as you have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
20 But you have an unction from the Holy One, and you know all things.
21 I have not written unto you because you know not the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
22 Who is a liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denies the Father and the Son.
23 Whosoever denies the Son, the same has not the Father: he that acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
24 Let that therefore abide in you, which you have heard from the beginning. If that which you have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, you also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.
25 And this is the promise that he has promised us, even eternal life.
26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.
27 But the anointing which you have received of him abides in you, and you need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, you shall abide in him.
28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
29 If you know that he is righteous, you know that every one that does righteousness is born of him.
 
1 John 3
1 Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knows us not, because it knew him not.
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3 And every man that has this hope in him purifies himself, even as he is pure.
4 Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
5 And you know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
6 Whosoever abides in him sins not: whosoever sins has not seen him, neither known him.
7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that does righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
8 He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works [the misleading] of the devil.
9 Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin; for his seed remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever does not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loves not his brother.
11 For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.
13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loves not his brother abides in death.
15 Whosoever hates his brother is a murderer: and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
17 But whoso has this world’s good [this word we know and should confess is indeed the word of God, and the manifestation of His glory/presence in the flesh], and sees his brother have need, and shuts up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwells the love of God in him?
18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.
21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
24 And he that keeps his commandments dwells in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us.
 
1 John 4
1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
2 Hereby know you the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
3 And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof you have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them [the obstacles]: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world hears them.
6 We are of God: he that knows God hears us; he that is not of God hears not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God.
8 He that loves not knows not God; for God is love.
9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
 
Friends, I tell you plainly of the antichrists as the obstacles, and their mark is the mark of Cain. They are those who hate us without a cause and those who have killed us throughout history, only because the light that is in us offends their darkness, as is described above in 1 John 3:12 thru 16 above. This is the mark of the wicked one: those Paul describes in 2 Thessalonians 2 & 3, those sitting in the seats of God. They are the spiritually wicked in high places of church and popular culture, the rulers of the darkness of this world, which he describes in Ephesians 6:12. In both of these passages, Paul says these are the obstacles standing in the way of this Gospel having free course, so it will be glorified, meaning so it will be seen as the word of God, as it is in truth. This is so it (He) will do as only it (He) has the power (dunamis) to accomplish, which is to raise the dead to life.
 
1 John 3
11 For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.
13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loves not his brother abides in death.
15 Whosoever hates his brother is a murderer: and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. [This comes in deed by overcoming the obstacles, by our confession and willingly suffering the cost.]
 
2 Timothy 2 [see more context in the prior post]
10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. [His presence and Salvation are manifested in our suffering for the sake of others.]
11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
13 If we believe not, yet he abides faithful: he cannot deny himself.
14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the LORD that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.
15 Study to shew yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
 
2 Thessalonians 2
8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the LORD 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 God 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.
13 But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the LORD, because God has from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our LORD Jesus Christ.
15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which you have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
16 Now our LORD Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which has loved us, and has given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.
 
2 Thessalonians 3
1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word [this word] of the LORD may have free course, and be glorified [seen as the LORD’s presence], even as it is with you [see 1 Thessalonians 2:13]:
2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable [men who will not listen to right reason – atopos – who have taken a position as an obstacle] and wicked men: for all men have not faith.
3 But the LORD is faithful, who shall establish you, and keep you from evil.
4 And we have confidence in the LORD touching you, that you both do and will do the things which we command you.
5 And the LORD direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our LORD Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother that walks disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
 
Ephesians 6
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the LORD, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak [this word of the LORD] boldly, as I ought to speak.
 
Psalms 49
1 Hear this, all you people; give ear, all you inhabitants of the world:
2 Both low and high, rich and poor, together.
3 My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.
4 I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp.
5 Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about?
6 They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches;
7 None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:
8 (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceases for ever:)
9 That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption.
10 For he sees that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others.
11 Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names.
12 Nevertheless man being in honor abides not: he is like the beasts that perish.
13 This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approves their sayings. Selah.
14 Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling.
15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.
16 Be not you afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased;
17 For when he dies he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him.
18 Though while he lived he blessed his soul: and men will praise you, when you do well to yourself.
19 He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light.
20 Man that is in honor, and understands not, is like the beasts that perish.
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