DID YOU KNOW that we sometimes read the Scriptures and think we understand what they say, but do we?
As an example, let’s look carefully at Matthew 7:14, “For narrow (is) the gate, and constricted (is) the way leading away into life, and few are those finding it.”
narrow: Greek #4728; narrow, strait. The meanings of strait are:
difficult: arduous, hard;
constricted: compress, squeeze;
narrow: limited in size;
rigorous: very strict, harsh, severe, scrupulously accurate, precise;
strict: tight, close, intimate, narrow, exact, precise;
gate; Greek #4439; metaphorically, the access or entrance into any state.
constricted: Greek #2346; 1) to press (as grapes), press hard upon; 2) a compressed way, and 3) metaphorically, to trouble, afflict, distress.
way: Greek #3598; 1) a road; 2) metaphorically, a. a course of conduct, b. a way (i.e. manner) of thinking, feeling, deciding.
life: Greek #2222; life, real and genuine.
With our increased knowledge of the meanings of the words used, we would be able to understand the fullness of what this sentence is proclaiming, which would be something like this:
FOR CONSTRICTED, RIGOROUS AND SCRUPULOUSLY ACCURATE IS THE ENTRANCE, AND PRESSED AS GRAPES, FULL OF TROUBLE, AFFLICTION AND DISTRESS IS THE WAY LEADING UNTO REAL AND GENUINE LIFE, AND SMALL IN NUMBER ARE THOSE FINDING IT.
Look at these two verses:
“For, indeed, we having come into Macedonia, no one of us had rest (in) our flesh, but being troubled (#2346) in every way, fightings outside and fears inside.” 2 Corinthians 7:5
“And others received trial of mockings and of floggings; yea, more, of bonds and of prison: they were stoned; they were tried; they were sawn in two; they died by murder of sword; they went about in sheepskins and in goatskins, being in need, being afflicted (#2346), being ill-treated of whom the world was not worthy, wandering in deserted places, and mountains, and caves, and the holes of the earth.” Hebrews 11:36-38
And our admonishment: “So therefore we also, having so great a cloud of witnesses lying around us, having laid aside every weight and the easily surrounding sin, through patience let us also run the race set before us . . . ” Hebrews 12:1
These followers of the Messiah were living His words in Mark 12:29-30, “ . . . The foremost of all the commandments: ‘Sh’mah Israel, YHVH Elohanu is one YHVH, and you shall love YHVH Elohekka with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the foremost commandment.”
How do we accomplish this?
“Therefore, brothers, I call on you through the compassions of YHVH to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy (set apart), pleasing to YHVH, (which is) your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind . . .”
Our minds are the battlegrounds. That is why it is so extremely important for us to watch carefully what we put into them. Do we fill them with the Word of YHVH, or do we fill them with someone’s opinions and things of the world? Do we have a love for the Truth, or are we perishing because of lack of nourishment from the Word?
“ . . . take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of YHVH.” Ephesians 6:17 The Word is the two-edged sword that will separate the Truth from lies – it is our protection from deception.
“For the mystery of lawlessness already is working, only he is holding back now, until it comes out of the midst. And then the Lawless One will be revealed, whom Y’hoshua will consume by the spirit of His mouth, and will bring to nought by the brightness of His presence (Ref. Isaiah 11:4). (His [the Lawless One’s]) coming is according to the working of the Adversary in all power and (miraculous) signs and lying wonders, and in all deceit of unrighteousness in those being lost, because they did not receive the love of the truth in order for them to be saved.”
We are not following the true Messiah if we do not love and obey the Word (the Torah), for He is that Word. How can we can love YHVH with all our hearts, and souls, and minds and strength if we do not love and obey His Word, which is the essence of who He is? And, without the Word, we are defenseless against the wiles of the enemy, because we have no weapon (the sword of the Spirit) to fight Him.
Revelation 19:8 says, “It was given to her (the Bride of the Lamb) that she be clothed in fine linen, pure and bright, for the fine linen is the righteousnesses of the saints.” And we know, from Deuteronomy 6:25, that it is righteousness for us when we keep (do) all the commandments of YHVH.
So, once again, we must make a decision. We will either choose to keep the commandments of YHVH, and become part of the Bride; or we will choose not to keep the commandments of YHVH, and one day stand before the great white throne, naked and ashamed.
YHVH always lays out the facts, and then He says, “You choose!”