According to Yahshua, the Son of God, there is a broad gate and a narrow gate, a broad way and a narrow way. He said that only a few would find the narrow way, and that most would prefer the broad way, which leads to death. The narrow way leads to life, but few will travel on it to its destiny. Most are unwilling to pay the high cost of love.
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. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (Matthew 7:13-14, ESV)
Those few are the esoteric ones.1 The esoteric ones are those who are together -- loving one another on the esoteric way.
Only a few understood Yahshua's words,2 and even fewer responded to His words with obedience.3 It is the same today. One must obey this gospel4 -- the same gospel Yahshua and His disciples preached -- in order to pass through the narrow gate and onto the narrow way that leads to life. For Yahshua is the way, the truth, and the life. Obedience to His call to follow Him is the narrow gate one must come through to enter into the sheepfold.5 This means that to enter the New Covenant that Yahshua established through His death and resurrection, one must also die to his old life in this world.
For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Messiah, we believe that we shall also live with Him.(Romans 6:5-8)
This is the good news: we can be delivered from our self-centered, purposeless life on the broad way of this world that is taking us to destruction! Through Him we can put our life completely in the hands of the One who can save us from our deep-seated wrong ways, and restore us to be like Him in every way. John 12:25 explains further about what has to happen in one's heart to enter the narrow way.
He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.(Jn 12:25)
This is Yahshua's gospel: You have to hate your life in this world in order to keep it for eternal life. That is what it takes to pass through the narrow gate6 to get onto the narrow way, which is described in the next verse:
If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.(Jn 12:26)
If we are going to follow Him, we have to follow Him on that narrow way. There is only one way that leads to life. Those who respond to His call to abandon their life in this world in order to follow Him are His chosen ones -- the esoteric ones. He will return for the "called, chosen, and faithful"7 -- and no one else.
Being made "faithful" is what happens through the purifying fire of the narrow way.8 That is why He said, "The way is hard that leads to life." That is what salvation means -- the purifying process necessary to be restored to the image of God, to walk in the way of Yahweh, commanding your children9 and your household after you, to do justice and righteousness.10 Hardly anyone on earth understands that this is what will bring about the end of the age, the return of our Master, and the fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham in the next age.11 It is esoteric knowledge.
We have to walk the way He walked.12 Walk means to spend your life in doing. His servants will "serve Him there, where He is." There are actual places13 where His disciples live together and share all things in common. That is the only way the Body of Messiah can be. They are the esoteric ones who strive together with one heart and one mind to obey His word.14 Together they are led by His Spirit to do His will.15
God cannot possibly direct anyone who has not surrendered the totality of his life to Him for His service. We cannot go about our own independent lives in this world and think we are being led by Him to do His will.16 For the true gospel preached in the power of the Holy Spirit calls one out of fellowship with the world, out of false religion, and into an actual kingdom.17 This is a gathered people who serve Him shoulder to shoulder, night and day.18 All that they do, and all that are, even their every thought is under the command of the King.19
We have to be there with Him, where His people dwell together in unity, and serve Him there, and then our Father will honor us. That means He will give us His glory -- the inner worth that makes those who believe in Him one, just as He and the Son are one. This unity of true believers is what will persuade the world of God's love for man, and make real the sacrifice of our Master Yahshua, which is available for all who will entrust their lives to Him.20
The esoteric ones are the select few who are willing to do God's will. They recognize those who speak from God, but not those who speak on their own authority, saying all the right words, but with no real fruit.21 He said, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me."22 Those who are truly willing to do the Father's will will know whether the teaching is of God or man. They will know the difference between the gospel that makes one a Christian, and the true gospel that makes one a disciple. His sheep will know whether the one they are listening to is really speaking for the Good Shepherd.
If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself. He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.(John 7:17-18)
Those who are sent by the True One23 will present the true gospel -- presenting Yahshua's call to "deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow" as the narrow gate.24 The one who is willing to do God's will will know, which means he'll be persuaded to enter through the narrow gate into the sheepfold. That is what it means to be "saved by faith," since faith is the persuasion of the Holy Spirit to obey God.25 This creates fusion26 between the sent one who speaks the gospel and the one who hears and is willing to do God's will -- they are eternally bonded together as members of the one Body of Messiah.27
The one who is speaking from himself, according to his own natural intelligence, is seeking his own glory. He does not lead anyone to the cross of Messiah, but rather to believe that the narrow way is simply a matter of the mind, requiring neither obedience nor sacrifice.28 This false belief has secured many who are on the broad way with a mental belief that they're actually on the narrow way.29 These so-called ministers of righteousness are what Paul described as "servants of Satan"30 who inoculate31 the whole world against receiving the true gospel. Rather than calling together into fusion -- the unity and love of Messiah in His Body -- they have thrown the whole world into the confusion of spiritual pride, division, and denominationalism.
So what is the difference between a normal Christian and a normal disciple? To begin with, you can't even become a disciple unless you give up everything -- even your kinfolk, if they don't want you to follow our Master, and they try to keep you from following Him.
If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple... So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.(Lk 14:26,27,33)
We obey the one we love. That is why it says hate in Lk 14:26. It means you don't love them more than you love the One who died to save you. If you love them, you will obey them. It is not that you are to have animosity toward them, but simply that you are not to be under their influence so as to disobey Messiah. You can't love a family member more than you love your Savior, but in fact you do love them more if you let them hold you back from obeying Messiah.
He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.(Matthew 10:37)
A lot of people have a problem that Yahshua said you have to "hate" your parents. The word hate is defined in 1 John 4:20,
If someone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar, for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.
Hate = not love. It is really an issue of authority. A normal disciple is under the authority of Yahshua, whom He loves supremely. That is why He calls Him "Lord" or "Master."
And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.(Revelation 22:17)
The word translated "freely" in Revelation 22:17 means "without a cause." You cannot have any greater "cause" that would hinder you from drinking the water of life, such as your unwilling and manipulative friends and family holding you back. The "water of life" is the Holy Spirit.32
It is the Spirit and the Bride who say, "Come! Come and follow Yahshua!" It has to be both. It can't be just the Spirit. It has to be the Spirit and the Bride, because you are baptized into the Bride, and then you become part of the Bride, and the Bride is saying, "Come!" The Bride is made up of those who have also been called and chosen to follow Yahshua on the narrow way. The Bride is the New Covenant Twelve Tribes of Israel.33 As it was with Yahshua's disciples in the beginning,34 so it is today with His disciples -- all who believe are together and have all things in common.35
Let him who thirsts come... let him take the water of life freely. (Revelation 22:17)
I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. (Revelation 21:6)
"Drink the water of life freely." Christians take it to mean that it doesn't cost you anything. But the word freely simply means to not hold back. You are "without a cause" to hold back from drinking the water of life. He gives freely to those who will drink freely. If you are not held back from giving Him all you have, then He is not held back from giving you all He has, including eternal life. That's why our Master said that whoever loves father or mother, or even his own life "more than Me," is not worthy. You have to love our Master to the point of obeying Him.
As Revelation 21:7 says, you have to overcome all opposition in order to drink the water of life (receive the Holy Spirit). You have to overcome the pull of your parents, or your own life in this world. You have to overcome every selfish thing. You can't become a disciple if you don't leave everything behind -- whatever cause holds you back from following Yahshua. That is what freely means.
The rich young ruler ran up to Yahshua and said, "What must I do to have eternal life?" Yahshua said, "Go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." If he had truly believed in Him, he would have followed Him. But He walked away sad. He just wanted to know what he had to do to "go to heaven" when he died. He wouldn't do what the Master said, because he didn't truly believe so as to entrust himself to Him,36 so he went back to his family and his riches. He had a cause not to follow our Master. He had a cause that was worth more to him than eternal life. But what could be of more value than than eternal life?