We had such a wonderful service today at Emmanuel Pentecostal. It seems the more chaotic the world becomes the more brilliantly the church of the Living God shines. Only those who have been born again into the Kingdom of God enjoy these times of refreshing in the Presence of the Lord. Pastor Flowers preached on exchanging the garment of heaviness for a garment of praise. The joy of the Lord is our strength when we walk in His righteousness and not our own filthy garments of self-righteousness.
We also saw an excellent presentation for the youth on the need to focus. There are so many distractions competing for our attention that this message was for all. The internet is like a vast universal library and without discipline and focus, and spending much time in the Word of God, a believer could easily be seduced into following a multitude of divergent paths. But there is only one path that we should desire, and that is the highway of holiness. As long as we stay on this path there is a hedge of protection.
“And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.” Isaiah 35:8
Even the gate of this way is straight or narrow according to Strong’s Concordance. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6 False teachers and false christs always present other ways to approach the Father, but Jesus said access to the Father could only be through His flesh. Jesus is the door. We must never forget the revelation that God Himself came to this earth and became a man who would be different than any other man ever born before or since, for this man was the only begotten Son of God and did not have a human father. His father was God. That human flesh was bruised, torn and mutilated at Calvary’s cross. When Jesus yielded up His Spirit and breathed his last breath, the veil of the Temple in Jerusalem was torn from top to bottom by the hand of God. A way had been purchased by the blood of the Lamb of God into the holy of holies. This was a way that no one in the Old Testament could access but the high priest once a year. A new and better way had now been revealed. Jesus Christ rose triumphant from the grave and lives forevermore. We can have His Spirit, the Holy Ghost, dwelling inside and become His temple here on earth.
“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.” Matthew 7:13
“Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” Luke 13:24
Beloved, many are striving to enter into eternal life every way imaginable. They will trust false teachers and obscure and hidden revelations. Large movements are based on these private interpretations. You will know false teachers by their fruits. It is the fruit of their doctrines that will be made manifest. Some have mistakenly thought that if a person is just kind and loving and manifesting the fruits of the Spirit then they just couldn’t be false. But it is their doctrine Jesus warned his disciples to beware of. Jesus referred to the “leaven of the Pharisees”. Their doctrine was like leaven. False doctrine can appear so harmless and impotent at first but eventually it will begin to rise and leaven the whole lump. That is why we must study to show ourselves approved, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed at His soon appearing. We must pray for discernment to avoid those teaching another Jesus, another gospel, another way. The way may be narrow but it is plain because it is well worn. The teachers of the new emergent paths talk about the old paths as being archaic and not relevant. They would make you believe that those adhering to such doctrines, as the early apostles taught, simply are not relating to this present world.
However, the gospel has not changed and Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Multitudes of professing Christians are casting off the restraints of sound Biblical doctrine. This is ultimately rebellion and an anti-christ spirit. Anything that is contrary to the revealed Word of God is anti christ.
The way has never been a popular path to follow, because it requires self-denial and discipline and not self-indulgence. It is the way of the cross. As we die to our own selfish desires we learn to live for His will and purpose which always brings life more abundantly. Selfishness will always bring a heavy yoke while living by the Spirit brings life and peace and liberty.
“But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers believing all things which are written in the law and the prophets.” Acts 24:14
We are rapidly moving towards a time when those who adhere to the true gospel and respond by obeying that gospel will be labeled heretics. All the false movements will merge into one broad way.
However, if we stay on the narrow way and grow in grace, virtue and brotherly kindness we are encouraged in II Peter 1:1 that “…. an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
The way may be narrow but there is room for everyone who will believe in the name of the Lord and obey the gospel (Acts 2:38) The Holy Ghost is being poured out on all flesh. Today is the day of salvation for tomorrow is not promised. Revival is not coming, my friend, it is here. The Kingdom of Heaven is not narrow but a large place full of joy and the saints of all ages who have crossed over to the other side. There is always room on the “path” for one more who will believe that Jesus is both Lord and Christ and repent and be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus and be filled with the Holy Ghost.