Not every one that says unto me, LORD, LORD, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.
The above tells of the many, the majority that doesn’t enter the kingdom of God, even those calling the LORD their LORD. Why is it so? We are told earlier it is because they have chosen the broad way, which is the way everyone, other than the LORD Himself, is preaching and teaching. We are told these men are prophesying and casting out devils in His name, but they never knew Him. Knowing Him is the narrow way, the entrance He is preaching and teaching is the way, the truth, and the life, and no man comes to the Father but by Him. They are unable to see and thereby know Him, because, as the chapter says earlier, they have a beam in their eye that is corrupting their judgment. These men are preaching and teaching some other Jesus, one of their own creation, one that is pleasing to the ears of their particular audience. They are the obstacles that narrow the way, that must be navigated, avoided, to enter into the kingdom
1 Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me.
2 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.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
4 And whither I go you know, and the way you know.
5 Thomas said unto him, LORD, we know not whither you go; and how can we know the way?
6 Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me.
7 If you had known me, you should have known my Father also: and from henceforth you know him, and have seen him.
8 Philip said unto him, LORD, show us the Father, and it suffices us [seeing the Father in the son preaching the entrance].
9 Jesus said unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known me, Philip? he that has seen me has seen the Father; and how say you then, Show us the Father?
10 Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwells in me, he does the works.
13 Enter you in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads 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.
16 You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings 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 brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them.
21 Not every one that says unto me, LORD, LORD, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, LORD, LORD, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.
24 Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
As we have seen in previous studies, the word “strait,” in verse 13 above, is from the three times used Greek word stenos, meaning it is narrowed by obstacles standing close about. The additional description the LORD gives of the entry gate, in verse 14, is that it is “narrow,” from the word thlibo, meaning to crowd. Thlibo is used ten times, only this once rendered “narrow,” is most often translated “afflicted” or “troubled,” and once as “tribulation.” The LORD is telling of the crowd, the many, the majority, who are going the other way or not moving at all, many saying they are following the LORD while they are in fact following misleading men.
The word thlibo is rendered “troubled” in 2 Corinthians 4:8 as Paul is describing those resisting the gospel he is preaching. As we have many times seen, this comes after, in chapter 3, he has described those blinded to the glory of God, which he first describes as veiled by Moses’ flesh as the LORD is speaking and working in and through Him. Paul says this is what isn’t understood about the old testament, God’s presence and work through those He chose. Paul says this veil was done away in Christ, meaning when God reveals Himself in man. He says when this occurs we see Him face to face, and turning to Him we are liberated from what kept us from receiving Him, and His glory becomes the glory in us. Paul then, in chapter 4, specifically says this blindness, the inability to see Christ in our flesh revealing Himself, is due to the preaching of the gods of this world. It is from these men’s ignorance of the LORD, their preaching some other way, the troubles come, the tribulation and affliction they heap upon us, against which we battle and overcome by the LORD in us.
2 Corinthians 3
12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:
13 And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:
14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remains the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.
15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.
16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the LORD, the vail shall be taken away.
17 Now the LORD is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty.
18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the LORD, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the LORD.
2 Corinthians 4
1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;
2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4 In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light [understanding] of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the LORD; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
8 We are troubled [thlibo] on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the LORD Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
11 For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
12 So then death works in us, but life in you.
13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;
14 Knowing that he which raised up the LORD Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.
15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.
16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
This resistance and opposition are what Paul is describing in 1 Thessalonians 2, after he first speaks to those who have received His word as the word of God. He then, after describing those forbidding them from speaking, says his hope, joy, and crown, is that they (those who’ve received his word) realize they are “in the presence of the LORD Jesus Christ at His coming.”
In chapter 3 Paul tells of His response to the “tribulation” that is coming from these wicked men’s resistance to the gospel, is that he is sending a comforter whose name is Timothy. This is one of the many times Paul prophesies of the LORD’s coming, in my flesh, to lead us into all truth. Mine is the voice of the archangel Paul later speaks of in chapter 4, as the LORD appears in the cloud.
If you receive this word as the word of God, not as a cliché but as the reality it is, you are in Spirit and Truth in the presence of the LORD Jesus Christ at his coming.
1 Timothy 1
15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
18 This charge I commit unto you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on you, that you by them might war a good warfare;
19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:
20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander [those forbidding men to join with the LORD as one, and instead they join with men and defend their misleading ways]; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.
1 Thessalonians 2
1 For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain:
2 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as you know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.
3 For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:
4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which tries our hearts.
5 For neither at any time used we flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak of covetousness; God is witness:
6 Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.
7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherishes her children:
8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because you were dear unto us.
9 For you remember, brethren, our labor and travail: for laboring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.
10 You are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and un-blamably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:
11 As you know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father does his children,
12 That you would walk worthy of God, who has called you unto his kingdom and glory.
13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when you received the word of God which you heard of us, you received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually works also in you that believe.
14 For you, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for you also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:
15 Who both killed the LORD Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:
16 Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles [those who don’t know the LORD] that they might be saved, to fill up their sins always: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.
17 But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavored the more abundantly to see your face with great desire.
18 Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan [in these men] hindered us.
19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even you in the presence of our LORD Jesus Christ at his coming?
20 For you are our glory and joy.
1 Thessalonians 3
1 Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens [uncertainty] alone;
2 And sent Timothy, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellow-laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish [sterizo – turn resolutely in a certain direction] you, and to comfort [parakaleo – the work of the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit] you concerning your faith:
3 That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.
4 For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation [thlibo]; even as it came to pass, and you know.
5 For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you [temping you to not believe you are in the LORD’s presence], and our labor be in vain.
Friends, when the LORD tells of the wide way that leads into “destruction” and the many there be that go in thereat, He uses the word apoleia. The misleaders and the many are the same He speaks of in John 17:12 and Paul describes in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, those who receive not the love of the truth, and follow the “son of perdition” into perishing. The son that perishes is referring us to Reuben (meaning see, discern, the son), who we have seen (in Genesis 49:3 & 4) in previous discussions as the pattern of Satan in the garden, leading God people into the fall away from Him.
In the description of Reuben, what will befall him in this latter day, it is said he “shall not excel.” The word “excel” is from the Hebrew word yathar, meaning left or remain. A few of its pertinent uses are found in Psalms 106:11, Isaiah 1:8 & 9, and Zechariah 13:8 & 14:16. In these we see it is the elect remnant, the upright and the perfected few that are left and remain (yathar), while the wicked perish.
1 And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.
2 Gather yourselves together, and hear, you sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father.
3 Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power:
4 Unstable [pachaz – ebullition] as water [this tells of the advice of the serpent, as one of God’s children, with unbridled license, recklessly reinterpreting His word], you shall not excel [yathar – you are not among those who remain, and you are therefore the son of perdition]; because you went up to your father’s bed [went into the women – God’s people who have His words]; then defiled you it: he went up to my couch [took God’s place].
7 Our fathers understood not your wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of your mercies; but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea.
8 Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known.
9 He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up: so he led them through the depths, as through the wilderness.
10 And he saved them from the hand of him that hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.
11 And the waters covered their enemies: there was not one of them left [yathar].
12 Then believed they his words; they sang his praise.
7 Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.
8 And the daughter of Zion is left [yathar] as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.
9 Except the LORD of hosts had left [yathar] unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.
10 Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah.
7 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, says the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.
8 And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, says the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left [yathar] therein.
9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.
16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left [yathar] of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
This last verse tells of those left, saved from those who were misleading them, the wicked whose “flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.” As we have seen, this tells of these men’s works, the things they falsely claimed they’ve witnessed, and their misleading words, consume away in the fires their ideas and ways have caused.
We have many times seen this as described by Peter in 2 Peter 3, where the word apoleia is also used to describe these men perishing as they ignorantly wrestle with this word of God, to their own destruction.
2 Peter 3
1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
2 That you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the LORD and Savior:
3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition [apoleia] of ungodly men.
8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the LORD as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9 The LORD is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
10 But the day of the LORD will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements [stoicheion – these men’s corrupt ideas, words, and ways] shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements [stoicheion – these men’s corrupt ideas, words, and ways] shall melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness.
14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that you look for such things, be diligent that you may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
15 And account that the longsuffering of our LORD is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him has written unto you;
16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrestle [unstable waters, as Reuben – see Genesis 49:4 above], as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction [apoleia].
17 You therefore, beloved, seeing you know these things before, beware lest you also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.
18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
1 These words spoke Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify your Son, that your Son also may glorify you:
2 As you have given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as you have given him.
3 And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
4 I have glorified you on the earth: I have finished the work which you gave me to do.
5 And now, O Father, glorify you me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world was.
6 I have manifested your name unto the men which you gave me out of the world: yours they were, and you gave them me; and they have kept your word.
7 Now they have known that all things whatsoever you have given me are of you.
8 For I have given unto them the words which you gave me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from you, and they have believed that you did send me.
9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which you have given me; for they are yours.
10 And all mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I am glorified in them.
11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to you. Holy Father, keep through your own name those whom you have given me, that they may be one, as we are.
12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in your name: those that you gave me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition [apoleia]; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
2 Thessalonians 1
1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timothy, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the LORD Jesus Christ:
2 Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the LORD Jesus Christ.
3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith grows exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other abounds;
4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure:
5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer:
6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble [thlibo] you;
7 And to you who are troubled [thlibo] rest with us, when the LORD Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our LORD Jesus Christ:
9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the LORD, and from the glory of his power;
10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:
12 That the name of our LORD Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the LORD Jesus Christ.
2 Thessalonians 2
1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our LORD Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 That you be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed [these verses describe the misleading away from God, as did the son Reuben to his Father and his children, as did the serpent in the garden], the son of perdition [apoleia];
4 Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
5 Remember you not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
6 And now you know what withholds [katecho – holds you down] that he might be revealed in his time.
7 For the mystery of iniquity does already work: only he who now lets [katecho – holds you down] will let, until he be taken out of the way.
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 [parakaleo – the work of the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit] your hearts, and establish [sterizo – turn resolutely in a certain direction] you in every good word and work.
2 Thessalonians 3
1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the LORD may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you [received as the word of God]:
2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men [the same wicked men mentioned in the prior chapters, and in 1 Thessalonians 2 & 3]: for all men have not faith.
3 But the LORD is faithful, who shall establish [sterizo – turn resolutely in a certain direction] 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.
1 O God, the heathen are come into your inheritance; your holy temple have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem on heaps.
2 The dead bodies of your servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of your saints unto the beasts of the earth.
3 Their blood have they shed like water round about Jerusalem; and there was none to bury them.
4 We are become a reproach to our neighbors, a scorn and derision to them that are round about us.
5 How long, LORD? will you be angry for ever? shall your jealousy burn like fire?
6 Pour out your wrath upon the heathen that have not known you, and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon your name.
7 For they have devoured Jacob, and laid waste his dwelling place.
8 O remember not against us former iniquities: let your tender mercies speedily prevent us: for we are brought very low.
9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for your name’s sake.
10 Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is their God? let him be known among the heathen in our sight by the revenging of the blood of your servants which is shed.
11 Let the sighing of the prisoner come before you; according to the greatness of your power preserve [yathar – let remain] you those that are appointed to die;
12 And render unto our neighbors sevenfold into their bosom their reproach, wherewith they have reproached you, O LORD.
13 So we your people and sheep of your pasture will give you thanks for ever: we will show forth your praise to all generations.