The Path Seldom Taken

Jesus told the following parable:
Mat 7:13  Go in through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there are who go in through it.
Mat 7:14  Because narrow is the gate and constricted is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Have you ever wondered what is the difference between 'the way which leads to life' and 'the way that leads to destruction'?

I recently had an interesting thought on this subject, and wanted to share it for others to discern whether it is from God or just me.

My thought was this:  Is being a genuine disciple of Jesus according to Luke 14/John 8 and Matthew 10 the path that leads to life, while being a disciple of anyone else is the path which leads to destruction?

I have been convinced for several years that the four minimum requirements for becoming a disciple of Jesus which are listed in Luke 14 and John 8 are the keys to the new wineskin which God will prepare for the new outpouring of His Spirit which may soon arrive.

The requirements are:  1) denying self daily and taking up one's cross to accompany Jesus;  2) forsaking everything to be His disciple, 3) hating one's family members and oneself; and 4) receiving all that truth that one needs to be set free to become an disciple of Jesus in deed.

I now wonder if the terrible persecution which Scripture foretells is coming during the Last Days can only be endured, survived and overcome by true disciples of Jesus Himself.

So I present this question to you dear reader, and suggest that you ask Jesus if it is true or not.

Hint:  It probably is a good idea to first receive the love of the truth so that you will have the ability to discern good from evil.


PS:  I have presented the minimum requirements to many people, and hardy anyone joyfully receives the plain statements of Jesus!  I suppose that when people are desperate enough and have been convicted of their sinfulness by the awesome presence of the Holy Spirit that some may see the desirability of becoming a disciple of Jesus.

Or maybe the passage of Scripture which God gave me as a brand new believer in  Jesus will do the trick as it did in my life:

1 Cor 6:19-20  Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit in you, whom you have of God? And you are not your own, for you are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.

Please let me know.

Another thought:  What made John the Baptist the prophet of whom Jesus said "There is none greater"?
Mat 11:11  "Truly I say to you, Among those who have been born of women there has not risen a greater one than John the Baptist. But the least in the kingdom of Heaven is greater than he. "

I am now of the opinion that it was because John directed people to Jesus, and then got out of the way so that Jesus could disciple them Himself.

But nowadays it seems that no one directs people to Jesus and then lets the Spirit of Jesus disciple them.  No, the clergy is great at teaching 'the laity' to become dependent upon 'leadership'.  This is in spite of the clear command of Jesus:

Mat 23:8  But you must not be called Rabbi, for One is your teacher, Christ, and you are all brothers.
Mat 23:9  And call no one your father on the earth, for One is your Father in Heaven.
Mat 23:10  Nor be called teachers, for One is your Teacher, even Christ.
Mat 23:11  But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.
Mat 23:12  And whoever shall exalt himself shall be abased, and he who shall humble himself shall be exalted.

Yes, we are all meant to be 'brothers' and neither 'teacher' nor 'Rabbi'!  So, how have we gotten into the sad state of affairs where we have 'clergy' and 'laity', all based on academic study rather than the fruits of a sanctified life?  May I suggest that it is the spirit of Nicolaitanism - literally 'conquerors of the laity' - which has sown the seeds of pride and delusion which have created the mess that we are in.

Have you ever noticed that the leaders in the New Testament were not always correct?  Are you shocked that I would make that statement?  Have you never read how Peter, before Pentecost, suggested that someone needed to be appointed to replace Judas Iscariot as the 12th disciple?

Act_1:26  And they gave forth their lots. And the lot fell upon Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

What was the fruit of that 'election'?  I do not find Matthias mention in the rest of the New Testament.  Yes, in Acts 2:14 there is mention of "Peter and the eleven", apparently including  Matthias, but what is his legacy? 

May I suggest that the original apostles/disciples were all appointed by Jesus Himself, rather than by election.  And may I further suggest that Jesus Himself appointed a replacement for Judas Iscariot - Saul of Tarsus!

And may I further suggest that none of the apostles/disciples were infallible.  Peter famously earned a rebuke from Paul for fearing the wrath of the Jewish believers in Galatians 2:11-14.  And Paul also had his faults.  His conclusions stated in  Romans 7:25  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then with the mind I myself serve the Law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

Not the perfect combination of service to God.

What am I trying to say?  I am trying to say that Jesus is the only One Who is always right!  And no one, even the Jewish High Priest Caiaphas, who helped condemn Jesus to death, is always wrong!  (Caiaphas did deliver a valid prophesy as noted in John 11:49:
  And one of them, Caiaphas, being the high priest of that year, said to them, You do not know anything at all,
John 11:50  nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation perish.
John 11:51  And he did not speak this of himself, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation;
John 11:52  and not for that nation only, but also that He should gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad.

As a result we always need to listen to each other, and then always take everything to the Lord for discernment what is Father's plan and timing. 

And we always need to be humble enough to receive from each other as exemplified in Acts 18:24 
And a certain Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus.
Act 18:25  This man was instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in the spirit, he spoke and taught the things of the Lord diligently, knowing only the baptism of John.
Act 18:26  And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. And Aquila and Priscilla heard him, and they took him and expounded to him the way of God more perfectly.

One of the greater miracles which I have found in Scripture is that Apollos, being 'mighty in the Scriptures', was able to receive instruction from the tentmakers Aquila and Priscilla!!

It may even save a person's life to be able to hear the voice of God through even one's worst enemy.  See

1Ki_22:8  And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, There is still one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of Jehovah. But I hate him, for he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so.
2Ch_18:7  And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of Jehovah. But I hate him, for he never prophesied good to me, but always evil. The same is Micaiah the son of Imla. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so.