13 "Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.
14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? 17So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' 23 And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'
Build Your House on the Rock 24 "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it."
The above passage is without a doubt one of the most abused and misrepresented in all of Scripture. So let us without further ado, look at this in a verse by verse manner.
Verses 13 and 14 speak of two gates. The gate that opens to destruction is wide and easy to enter, and many enter into destruction through it.
The gate that opens into Life is narrow and the way through is hard. In addition Jesus tells us that it is difficult to even find this gate. Only those who know the voice of the Shepherd, i.e. those who are already His, hear His voice and enter in. (no one seeks for God, Romans 3:10-18)
This leads us to the obvious conclusion that the first gate, which leads to destruction, is also extremely easy to find since many enter it. Those who do are not "God-seekers".
Jesus who is the Truth, and therefore telling the Truth, is the Gate, the Way and the Life.
John 10:7 and John 14:6
This is the foundation set for what He says next.
In verses 15-20, the Lord speaks of false prophets and the distinctions which make them false prophets:
They are "ravenous" wolves which come disguised as sheep.
29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;
30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.
They are ravenous as they desire to draw away the disciples after them.
They are the ones who do not enter by the gate. They do not know the voice of the Shepherd, and He does not know them. John 10:14
They "jump the fence" to steal away the flock. Some of these seem to be part of the flock, but in reality are not. They are wolves that have have already infiltrated the flock, and soon leave after creating havoc.
Their goal being to draw as many of the flock away unto themselves as possible.
19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.
It must be plain that they are not of us. Jesus said they will be recognized by their fruits. They will be recognized today, not at the end when the Lord returns. In fact He tells them in verse 23 "I never recognized you", which will occur upon His actual return.
Thus the real meaning of this statement in 1John 4:4;
"for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world."
is made clear.
This verse, when read in its' immediate context, is speaking of those, like us who have the Spirit of Christ and those who have gone into the world, who are of the spirit of anti-christ. They deny Jesus has come in the flesh. How? By constantly recreating Him into our image and likeness, the sin of the golden calf. The incarnation has been accomplished, we do not preach the re-incarnation, which is essentially being preached in the doctrines of open theism, among other false teachings.
As for their fruits, grapes are not gathered from a thorn bush, nor figs from thistles. What the Lord is saying literally is, they truly are thorn bushes and thistles. They do not produce grapes nor figs. All fruit bearing vegetation produces fruit fit for consumption, or fruit unfit for consumption. The unfit fruit can even be poisonous. Sometimes distinguishing between the good and the bad is extremely difficult.
Men have learned to recognize good fruit from the bad in the natural. So those that are truly His, will learn to recognize good from bad.
14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
The fruits of the false prophets, the wolves, the thorn bushes, are known by saints.
They are unhealthy, diseased trees. A diseased tree cannot bear good fruit and must be cut down and burned.
10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
13 He answered, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up.
Both Jesus and John the Baptist were speaking to, and about, the pharisees. Contrary to popular teaching, the sin of the pharisees was not "legalism", (in fact the common accusation that is thrown out today toward anyone who adheres to sola scriptura, is that they are phariseees and therefore "legalistic"). The fact is the pharisees did not adhgere to what we call sola scriptura.
They denied Jesus was God come in the flesh. That is, they did not believe what the Word of God spoke. John 5:37-47
This is the common error of today's "church" They do not like the way God presents Himself in His Word, therefore they preach a different gospel, and a different Jesus, who is the Word in the flesh. So who are the actual pharisees today? Those who know neither the Scriptures nor the power of the Author.
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel--
7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.
8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.
9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
3 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
4 For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.
5 Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles.
The super apostles are the ravenous wolves and the producers of bad fruit. Who are the super apostles? Turn on christian TV or enter a christian bookstore. The gate is wide, readily found, and they are leading men through it.
Verses 21-23 present an astounding conclusion. Even though the fruit of bad tree is recognized by the saints, the bad trees do not realize that they are ...... "bad trees".
They will say to the Lord in that Day, didn't we prophesy, heal, teach, etc etc in your name?
Jesus will say, "I never knew you", i.e. I give you no public recognition.
Deception is an easy pathway indeed.
4 And Jesus answered them, "See that no one leads you astray.
5 For many will come in my (Jesus') name, saying, 'I (Jesus) am the Christ,' and they will lead many astray.
Only those who do the Father's will will enter in. Since this is so, then only those who are truly in Christ, who is the narrow gate, and who does only the will of His Father, enter the Kingdom of heaven. The narrow way is the will of the Father. It is not easy to find, as it is only found through Christ. It must be revealed.
21 In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.
37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.
38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.
39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.
40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."
44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
45 It is written in the Prophets, 'And they will all be taught by God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me--
So the Lord sends them away and calls them workers of lawlessness or iniquity.
In the Greek the word is:
It means a transgression, a violation of the law, an illegality. We must remember that what Jesus is speaking in these last few words of his "sermon on the mount" tie in with what He spoke from the start of this discourse. Matthew 5-6-7
The purveyors of bad fruit are "lawbreakers"
17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Licentiousness is not grace. Licentiousness is one of the bad fruit.
The conclusion of all that Jesus spoke is this;
All who hear His words and do them are building on solid rock, and their building will stand no matter what storms come.
Those who hear His words, and do not do them, are building on sand and their building
will suffer complete and utter destruction, i.e. "away from me, I never knew you". Those words are hanging over the wide gate.
Those who do the words of Jesus, do the will of the Father, and have entered in through the narrow gate.
50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother."
38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.
All who do the will of the Father prove that they and Jesus are born of the same father. They are family.
1 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.
2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.
7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.
We will al be known by our fruit.
Soli Deo Gloria