The Broad Way,
The Narrow Way,
|The Broad Road to
The Narrow Way to Life--
What is Life?--
The Divine Nature--
The Relationship of the
Divine and Human Natures--
The Reward at the End of the Narrow Way--
The High Calling Limited to the Gospel Age--
Difficulties and Dangers of the Narrow Way--
The Highway of Holiness.
the "narrow way" to life today.
"Wide is the gate of destruction, and broad that
way leading thither; and many are they who enter through it. How narrow is the gate of
life! how difficult that way leading thither! and how few are they who find it!"
Matthew 7:13,14, Diaglott translation
The "highway of holiness" will be available for all.
"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. No lion shall be there,
nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, nor be found there; but they that walk there
shall be delivered." Isaiah 35:8,9
The downward path is becoming
Three ways, the "broad road," the "narrow way" and the "highway,"
are thus brought to our attention in the Scriptures.
The Broad Road to Destruction
This road is thus named because
it is most easy to the degenerate human race. Six thousand years ago, as a sinner
condemned to destruction, Adam (and the race represented in him) started upon this road,
and after nine hundred and thirty years he reached its end--destruction.
As years and centuries have
rolled on, the downward path has become more and more smoothly worn, and the race has sped
more and more rapidly to destruction, the way becoming daily more glazed and slimed and
slippery with sin. And not only does the way grow more slippery, but mankind daily loses
the power of resistance, so that now the average length of human life is about thirty-five
years. Men now reach the end of the road--destruction--nine hundred years quicker than did
the first man.
For 6,000 years,
sin and death
have reigned relentlessly.
For six thousand years the race has steadily pursued the broad, downward way. Only a few,
comparatively, have tried to change their course and retrace their steps. In fact, to
retrace all the steps, and reach the original perfection, has been impossible, though the
effort of some to do so has been commendable, and not without beneficial results.
For six thousand years sin and death have
reigned relentlessly over mankind, and driven them upon this broad road to destruction.
And not until the Gospel age was a way of escape brought to light. Though
in previous ages rays of hope were dimly seen in types and shadows, which were joyfully
hailed and acted upon by a few, yet life and immortality were not brought to light until
the appearing of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and the proclamation by the apostles
of the good tidings of redemption and remission of sins and a consequent resurrection
from the destruction. 2 Timothy 1:10
the new way
the "narrow way
The teachings of Jesus and the apostles bring to light life--a restitution or
restoration to life for all mankind, as based upon the merit and sacrifice of the
Redeemer; and they show this to be the significance of many Old Testament types. They also
bring to light immortality, the prize of the high calling of the Gospel Church.
Although a way of escape from the broad
road to destruction has been brought to light through the gospel, the great mass of
mankind heeds not the good tidings, because depraved by sin and blinded by the Adversary.
Those who now gratefully accept
the promise of life, restoration to human existence, through Christ, have pointed out to
them a new way which has been opened up, by which consecrated believers may go beyond the
human nature and be changed to a higher nature--the spiritual. This new way "consecrated
for us"--the royal priesthood (Hebrews 10:20)-- our Lord called
to avoid it.
"The Narrow Way to Life."
Our Master tells us that it is
because of the narrowness of this way that the many prefer to remain on the broad road to
destruction. "Strait [difficult] is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth
unto life, and few there be that find it."
Before considering this way and
its dangers and difficulties, let us notice the end to which it leads--life. As already
seen, life may be enjoyed on various planes of being, higher as well as lower than human.
Life is a broad and comprehensive term, but here our Lord uses it in reference to that
highest form of life, pertaining to the divine nature --immortality--the prize for which
he invited us to run.
|What is life?
What is life? We not only realize it in ourselves, but we see its operation in lower
animals, and even in vegetation, and we are told of its existence in higher forms, angelic
and divine. How shall we define a term so comprehensive?
the great fountain of all life.
While we may not be able to discover the secret springs of life in all, we may safely
assume that the Divine Being, Jehovah, is the great fountain of all life, from which all
these springs are supplied. All living things result from and depend on him for life.
The divine nature is life
independent, unlimited, exhaustless.
All life, whether in God or in his creatures, is the same: it is an energizing principle,
not a substance. It is a principle which inheres in God, but which in his creatures
results from certain causes which God has ordained, and of it he is therefore the
cause, the author or fountain. Hence the creature is in no sense a part or an offspring of
the Creator's essence or nature, as some imagine, but he is God's handiwork infused with
Recognizing the fact
that only in the divine nature is life independent, unlimited, exhaustless, ever
continuous and neither produced nor controlled by circumstances, we see that of necessity
Jehovah is superior to those physical laws and supplies which he ordained for the
sustenance of his creatures. It is this quality, which pertains only to the divine nature,
that is described by the term immortality.
As shown in the preceding
chapter, immortal signifies death-proof, consequently disease and pain-proof. In
fact, immortality may be used as a synonym for divinity. From the divine,
immortal fountain proceed all life and blessing, every good and perfect gift, as from the
sun the earth receives her light and vigor.
The sun is
the fountain of light
to the earth.
The sun is the great fountain of light to the earth, illuminating all things, producing
many varieties of color and shades of light, according to the nature of the object upon
which it shines. The same sunlight shining upon a diamond, upon a brick, and upon various
kinds of glass, produces strikingly different effects.
The light is the same, but the objects
upon which it shines differ in their capacity to receive and to transmit it. So with life:
it all flows from the one exhaustless fountain. The oyster has life, but its organism is
such that it cannot make use of much life, just as the brick cannot reflect much of the
light of the sun.
So with each of the higher
manifestations of life, in beast, fish and fowl. Like the various kinds of glass under
sunlight, so these various creatures show forth differently the various organic powers
they possess, when life animates their organisms.
|Man does not possess
The polished diamond is so adapted to the light that it appears as though it possessed it
within itself, and were itself a miniature sun. So with man, one of the masterpieces of
God's creation, made only "a little lower than the angels." He was so
grandly formed as to be able to receive and retain life by the use of the means which God
supplied, and never grow dim.
Thus was Adam before he fell grander than any other earthly creature, not by reason of any
difference in the life principle implanted, but because of a grander organism.
Yet, let us remember that as the diamond can reflect no light except when shone upon by
the sun, so man can possess and enjoy life only as the supply of life is continued.
of human life
Man has not inherent life: he is no more a fountain of life than a diamond is a fountain
of light. And one of the very strongest evidences that we have not an exhaustless supply
of life in ourselves, or, in other words, that we are not immortal, is that since sin
entered, death has passed upon all our race.
God had arranged that man in Eden should have access to life-sustaining trees, and the
paradise in which he was placed was abundantly supplied with numbers of "every
[kind of] tree" good for food or for adornment. Genesis 2:9,16,17 Among the trees
of life good for food was one forbidden.
While for a time forbidden to eat
of the tree of knowledge, he was permitted to eat freely of trees which sustained life
perfectly; and he was separated from them only after transgression, that thereby the
death-penalty might go into effect. Genesis 3:22
|As the diamond loses its beauty when light is
so man loses life without God.
Thus the glory and beauty of humanity are seen to be dependent on the continued supply of
life, just as the beauty of the diamond is dependent on the continued supply of sunlight.
When sin deprived humanity of the right to life, and the supply was withheld, immediately
the jewel began to lose its brilliancy and beauty, and finally it is deprived of its last
vestige in the tomb.
beauty consumes away like a moth. Psalms 39:11 As the diamond loses its beauty and
brilliancy when the light is withdrawn, so man loses life when God withholds the supplies
in the grave..."
"Yea, man giveth up the ghost [life] and where is
he?" Job 14:10
"His sons come to honor, and he knoweth it not;
and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them." Verse 21
"For there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge,
nor wisdom, in the grave whither thou goest." Ecclesiastes 9:10
Man is to have
his beauty restored.
But since a ransom has been found, since the death penalty has been provided by the
Redeemer, the jewel is to have its beauty restored, and is again to reflect perfectly the
Creator's image when the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in his wings.
Malachi 4:2 It is because of the sin-offering, the sacrifice of Christ, that
"All that are in their graves shall come
There shall be a restitution of
all things; first an opportunity or offer of restitution to all, and ultimately the
attainment of human perfection by all who will obey the Redeemer.
I Timothy 6:16
This, however, is not the reward to which Jesus refers as the end of the narrow way. From
other scriptures we learn that the reward promised to those who walk the narrow way is the
"divine nature"--life inherent, life in that superlative degree which
only the divine nature can possess--immortality. What a hope! Dare we aspire to such a
height of glory? Surely not without positive and explicit invitation could any rightfully
From 1 Timothy
6:14-16 we learn that the immortal or divine nature was originally the possession of
divinity only. We read:
"He [Jesus] in his time [the Millennial Age]
will show who is the blessed and only potentate--the King of kings and Lord of lords, who
only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto, whom no man
hath seen nor can see."
All other beings, angels, men,
beasts, birds, fish, etc., are but vessels holding each its measure of life, and all
differing in character, capacity, and quality according to the organism which it has
pleased the Creator to provide for each.
Further, we learn that Jehovah, who
alone possessed immortality originally, has highly exalted his Son, our Lord Jesus, to the
same divine, immortal nature; hence he is now the express image of the Father's person.
Hebrews 1:3 So we read,
now offered to
the Bride of Christ.
"As the Father hath LIFE IN HIMSELF [God's
definition of "immortality"--life in himself--not drawn from other
sources, nor dependent on circumstances, but independent, inherent life], so hath
he given to the Son to have LIFE IN HIMSELF." John 5:26
Since the resurrection of the
Lord Jesus, then, two beings are immortal; and, amazing grace! the same offer is made to
the Bride of the Lamb, being selected during the Gospel age. Yet not all of the great
company who are nominally of the Church will receive this great prize, but only that "little
flock" of overcomers who so run as to obtain it; who follow closely in the
Master's footsteps; who, like him, walk the narrow way of sacrifice, even unto death.
These, when born from the dead in
the resurrection, will have the divine nature and form. This immortality, the independent,
self-existent, divine nature, is the life to which the narrow way leads.
|The Church class
is to be raised
with spiritual bodies.
This class is not to be raised from the tomb human beings; for we are assured by the
Apostle that, though sown in the tomb natural bodies, they will be raised spiritual
bodies. These all shall be "changed," and even as they once bore the
image of the earthly, human nature, they shall bear the image of the heavenly.
But "it doth not yet appear what
we shall be"--what a spiritual body is; but "we know that when he shall
appear, we shall be like him," and share in "the glory to be
revealed." 1 John 3:2; Colossians 1:27; 2 Corinthians 4:17; John 17:22; 1 Peter
2 Thessalonians 2:14
|The Gospel Age
is designated exclusively
for this call.
Not only is this high calling to a change of nature confined exclusively to the
Gospel age, but it is the only offer of this age. Hence our Lord's words quoted at the
beginning of this chapter include on the broad road to destruction all who are not on the
way to the only prize now offered.
All others are still on the broad road--these only have as yet escaped the condemnation
that is on the world. This, the only way of life now open, because of its difficulty,
finds few who care to walk in it. The masses of mankind in their weakness prefer the
broad, easy way of self-gratification.
from death to life
"Narrow Way" today.
The narrow way, while it ends in life, in immortality, might be called a way of death,
since its prize is gained through the sacrifice of the human nature even unto death. It is
the narrow way of death to life. Being reckoned free from the Adamic guilt
and the death penalty, the consecrated voluntarily surrender or sacrifice those
human rights, reckoned theirs, which in due time they, with the world in general, would
have actually received.
"the man Christ Jesus" laid down or sacrificed his life for the world, so
these become joint-sacrificers with him. Not that his sacrifice was insufficient and that
others were needed; but while his is all-sufficient, these are permitted to serve
and to suffer with him in order to become his bride and joint-heir. So, then, while the
world is under condemnation to death, and is dying with Adam, this "little
flock," through the process of faith reckonings and sacrifice, already described,
are said to die with Christ.
They sacrifice and die with
him as human beings, in order to become partakers of the divine nature and glories with
him; for we believe that if we be dead with him, we shall also live with
him. If we suffer with him, we shall also be glorified together. Romans 8:17
and 2 Timothy 2:11,12
|With the end
of the Gospel Age,
the Narrow Way
In the beginning of the Millennial age, those who now walk the narrow way will have gained
the great prize for which they ran, immortality; and being thus clothed with the divine
nature and power, they will be prepared for the great work of restoring and blessing the
world during that age.
With the end of the Gospel age, the narrow way to immortality will close, because the
select "little flock" that it was designed to test and prove will have
been completed. "Now is the accepted [Greek, dektos, acceptable or
receivable] time"--the time in which sacrificers, coming in the merit of Jesus
and becoming dead with him, are acceptable to God--a sacrifice of sweet odor.
Death, as the Adamic penalty,
will not be permitted forever; it will be abolished during the Millennial age; as a sacrifice
it will be acceptable and rewarded only during the Gospel age.
|"For if ye live
after the flesh,
YE SHALL DIE;
but if ye
through the Spirit
do mortify the deeds of the body, YE SHALL LIVE.
"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God,
they are the sons of God."
It is only as "new creatures" that the saints of this age are on the way
to life; and only as human beings are we consecrated to destruction, as sacrifices. If, as
human creatures, we be dead with Christ, as new, spiritual beings, we shall live with him.
(Romans 6:8) The mind of God in us, the transformed mind, is the germ of the new nature.
The new life would be easily choked; and
Paul assures us that when begotten of the spirit through the truth, if we live after the
flesh, we shall die (lose our life), but if we, through the spirit, do mortify (put to
death) the deeds of the body (the disposition of the human nature), we (as new creatures)
shall live; for the sons of God are those led by the spirit of God. Romans 8:13,14 This is
a thought of utmost importance to all the consecrated; for if we have covenanted with God
to sacrifice the human nature, and if that sacrifice was accepted by him, it is useless to
attempt to take it back.
The human is reckoned of God as
dead now, and must actually die, never again to be restored. All that can be gained, then,
by turning back to live after the flesh, is a little human gratification at the expense of
the new spiritual nature.
it is partially overcome
by the world,
or the devil.
There are, however, many consecrated ones desirous of the prize, and who have been
begotten of the spirit, who are partially overcome by the allurements of the world, the
desires of the flesh, or the arts of the devil. They partially lose sight of the prize set
before us, and try to walk upon a middle road--to keep the favor of God and the favor of
the world, forgetting that "the friendship of the world is enmity with God"
(James 4:4), and that the instructions to those running the race for the prize are, Love
not the world, and, Seek not honor one of another, but that honor which cometh from God
only. 1 John 2:15; John 5:44
These, who love the present world, but who have not wholly forsaken the Lord and despised
their covenant, receive a scourging and purifying by the fire of affliction. As the
Apostle expresses it, they are delivered over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh,
that the spirit (the newly begotten nature) may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 1
Corinthians 5:5 And if rightly exercised by the discipline, they will finally be received
into the spiritual condition.
The rugged, steep,
of the Christian
of the narrow way
are a separating
the people of God.
They will have everlasting, spirit life as angels have it, but will lose the prize of
immortality. They will serve God in his temple, and stand before the throne, having
palms in their hands (Revelation 7:9-17); but though that will be glorious, it will not be
so glorious as the position of the "little flock" of overcomers, who will
be kings and priests unto God, seated with Jesus in the throne as his bride and
joint-heir, and with him crowned with immortality.
Ours is a rugged, steep, narrow way, and were it not that strength is furnished for each
successive step of the journey, we could never reach the goal. But our Captain's word is
encouraging: Be of good cheer; I have overcome; my grace is sufficient for thee, for my
strength is made perfect in weakness. John 16:33; 2 Corinthians 12:9
The difficulties of this way are
to act as a separating principle to sanctify and refine a "peculiar people"
to be "heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ."
In view of these things, let us
come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in
time of need, while we fight the good fight of faith and lay hold on "the crown of
glory"-- immortality, the divine nature. 2 Timothy 4:8; 1 Peter 5:4
to the worlds restitution
but proper enjoyment
of human rights.
The Highway of Holiness
While the special hope of the
Gospel age is so surpassingly glorious, and the way to it is correspondingly difficult
--narrow, hedged in by hardships and dangers at every step--so that few find it, and
obtain the great prize at its end, the new order of things in the age to come is to be
entirely different. As a different hope is held out, so also a different way leads
The way to immortality has been a
way which required the sacrifice of the otherwise lawful and proper hopes, ambitions and
desires--the sacrifice forever of the human nature. But the way to human perfection, to
restitution, the hope of the world, requires only the putting away of sin: not the
sacrifice of human rights and privileges, but their proper enjoyment. It will lead to
personal purification and restoration to the image of God as enjoyed by Adam before sin
entered the world.
|There will be
a highway, specially prepared
for easy travel.
Garden of Gethsemane
The Narrow Way
is a pathway
The way back to actual human perfection is to be made very plain and easy; so plain that
none may mistake the way; so plain that "the wayfaring man, and those unacquainted
therewith, shall not go astray" (Isaiah 35:8 --Leeser); so plain that none
will need to teach his neighbor, saying, Know the Lord, for all shall know the Lord from
the least unto the greatest. Jeremiah 31:34
Instead of being a narrow way that few can find, it is termed "a highway,"
a public roadway--not a narrow, steep, rugged, difficult, hedged byway, but a way
specially prepared for easy travel-- specially arranged for the convenience and
comfort of the travelers. Verses 8 and 9 show that it is a public road, open to all the
redeemed --every man.
Every man for whom Christ died,
who will recognize and avail himself of the opportunities and blessings purchased by the
precious blood, may go up on this Highway of Holiness to the grand goal of perfect
restitution to human perfection and everlasting life. Nor will these be reckoned
justified and granted a reckoned standing of holiness and perfection in the sight of God;
when started upon this highway of holiness they may go up thereon to actual
perfection, as a result of endeavor and obedience, to which all things will be made
favorable by their Redeemer, then reigning in power.
Each individual will, according
to his necessities, be aided by the wise and perfect administration of the new kingdom.
This, as will occur to some, is the legitimate result of the ransom. Since our Lord, the
man Christ Jesus, gave himself a ransom for all, and desires all to come to a knowledge of
the truth, and thereby to actual perfection, why does he not at once make a good and broad
highway for all?
Why does he not remove the obstructions, the
stumbling-stones, the pitfalls and snares? Why not help the sinner back to full harmony
with God, instead of making the way narrow, rugged, thorny, hard to find, and still harder
to walk in?
A failure rightly to divide the
Word of truth, and to see that the present narrow way leads to the special prize, and is
for the trial and selection of a little flock of joint-heirs, the body of Christ, which,
when selected and exalted with their Head, shall bless all nations, has led some to very
confused ideas on the subject. Failing to see God's plan, many try to preach a highway of
holiness, an easy way to life, in the present age, when no such way exists, and they
confuse and compromise the matter to fit the facts and the Scriptures with their mistaken
On the highway soon to be opened,
only sinful things will be prohibited, while those who travel the narrow way must deny
themselves and sacrifice many things not sinful, as well as war continually against
besetting sins. This is a pathway of sacrifice, as that of the coming age is to be a
highway of righteousness.
will be past.
Of that highway it is significantly stated in symbolic language that "No lion
shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon; it shall not be found
there." Isaiah 35:9 How many frightful lions are now in the way of those who
would be glad to forsake sinful ways, and to pursue righteousness! There is the lion of a
degenerate public sentiment, which deters many from venturing to obey the dictates of
conscience in matters of everyday life--dress, home, and business arrangements, etc.
The lion of temptation to strong drink
hinders thousands who would be glad to see it removed. Prohibitionists and temperance
workers now find a Herculean task on their hands, which only the authority and power of
the next age can remove; and the same may be said of other worthy efforts at moral reform.
"Nor shall any ravenous beast go up thereon."
No giant corporations, organized
to advance selfish, individual interests at the expense of the general good, will be
tolerated. "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain"
(kingdom) saith the Lord. Isaiah 11:9
Though there will be difficulties
to labor against in overcoming propensities to evil, etc., yet, in comparison with the
narrow way of this age, that will be an easy way. The stones (stumbling-stones) shall all
be gathered out, and the standard of truth shall be lifted up for the people. Isaiah 62:10
Ignorance and superstition
will be things of the past, and righteousness will receive its due reward, while to evil
will be meted out its just deserts. Malachi 3:15,18 By wholesome chastisements, fitting
encouragements and plain instructions, as returned prodigals, mankind will be trained and
disciplined up to the grand perfection from which father Adam fell. Thus
"The ransomed of the Lord shall return
[from destruction, by the grand highway of holiness]...with songs and everlasting joy upon
their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee
away." Isaiah 35:10
Our Lord referred to but two of
these ways, because the third was not yet due to be opened up--just as when announcing the
good tidings, he said, "This scripture is fulfilled in your ears," but
omitted mentioning the "day of vengeance," because it was not then due.
Compare Luke 4:19 and Isaiah 61:2. Now, however, as the narrow way draws to a close, the
grand highway of righteousness begins to be seen more and more distinctly, in the light of
the dawning day.
Thus we have found a "Broad
Road," on which at present the masses of mankind travel, deluded by the "prince
of this world," and led by perverted tastes. We have found that it was opened up
and that our race was started in its headlong course upon it by "one man's
We have found that the "Highway
of Holiness" is to be opened up by our Lord, who gave himself a ransom for all
and redeems all from the destruction to which the "Broad Road"
leads, and that it will, in due time, be accessible and easy for all the redeemed ones
whom he bought with his own precious blood.
We have found, furthermore, that
the present "Narrow Way," opened up by the merit of the same precious
blood, is a special way leading to a special prize, and is made specially narrow and
difficult as a test and discipline for those now being selected to be made
partakers of the divine nature and joint-heirs with our Lord Jesus in the Kingdom
of glory soon to be revealed for the blessing of all. Such as have this hope--who
see this prize--may count all other hopes as but loss and dross in comparison. Philippians
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