#2027 0917 14W

            We can walk only two paths in life—and only two powers work in either of the two paths.  It is amazing that over 7 billion people on earth can be in just two classes.  One class—the huge majority—are on the pathway of Satan and under his power, but are not aware of his control.  The other class—a very small minority—are under the power of God and on the path He has marked out in His Word, and they are aware of His divine control.

            Scripture reveals that during any age, only a few would be on God’s pathway.  Jesus said Matthew 7:13-14 “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: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

            It has always been that way, and there will be even less during the Last Days.  Anyone learning spiritual lessons under God’s teaching, can easily see that that is the situation.  Even if someone never read Bible prophecies, they would see the blatant lack of faith and the appalling spiritual condition of the world today.

            Two characteristics distinguish the few on God’s path and the many on the devil’s.  Those on God’s pathway are being taught by Him.  This spiritual knowledge and understanding of God’s Word cannot be known of ourselves, nor learned from any other human.  John 3:27 “A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.”

            God must be our Teacher, and the result of His teaching is, that we will be in His will and be scriptural concerning every aspect of our life—we will obey the Word spiritually and morally; we will obey the Word in trusting God for healing; concerning finances; our family, and all our interactions with family, friends, and coworkers.

            We learn that under the teaching of God—to be scriptural in all things, and to put Him and His Word ahead of everything and everyone—even our own life.  That is the standard of being on God’s path.  Our surrender to the will of God must be unto death—if it is not, we will move off the path of God, be deceived, and come under the control of the devil.

            Another result of being taught by God is, that if we stay on His path, we will get rid of every human thing we trust on or put faith in.  This includes getting rid of any cash resources we may have placed in some safe place for future needs and emergencies.

            We will not only reject all human means and methods, but we accept being humble and lowly—like the apostle Paul and Jesus Himself.  They are the ones who went through trials and temptations, but kept their faith in God.  They are safe examples because they are now enjoying the happiness and blessings of Heaven—eternal life forever and ever.

            The horrible result of Satan’s path is eternal suffering with the unbelieving—forever and ever.  The devil knows how to inflict pain and suffering, but there is always an end to the pain or the suffering in this life.  We cannot imagine what it would be like to suffer the worst torture and never see an end to it—it is too horrible to imagine, but it is true!

            The marvelous result of God’s path is eternal happiness in Heaven—where the peace and joyfulness will be far greater than anything experienced on earth.  God has intended that the circumstances, conditions, and attitudes in this life, are to prepare us for eternal life.

            We have been warned by God—both Bible teaching and example—that we must put Him and His Word first—ahead of everyone and everything that pertains to life here on earth, as our preparation for eternal life.  We are to let God use every circumstance of this life; every attitude we take; and every position we are in, to prepare us for His kingdom.

            There is no time to waste, so we must take advantage of every opportunity we are given, to allow God to deal with us in preparing us for Heaven.  The apostle says Romans 8:6 “To be carnally minded is death.”  If we have that sinful nature and live like the world, death hovers over us every moment of our life.  That is a dreadful position to be in—the grim reaper overshadowing us all the time.  We would not have one moment’s guarantee of life.  It eventually means the Lake of Fire forever, if corrections are not made.

            The apostle then adds “but to be spiritually minded”—or to have the life of God in us; to be scriptural in our attitude toward all people; and to learn under His teaching while staying on His path, how to trust Him for everything that pertains to this present life—“is life and peace.” 

            This is Romans 8:7 “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”  Such a person has not really been born again; they have not been filled with the Holy Spirit; and they are not on God’s path.  8 “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”  Self cannot please God, because self will not trust God—for anything.

            In the days when Judges ruled, there was a family of four who lived in Bethlehem—Judah.  It consisted of Elimeleck, Naomi, Mahlon, and Chilion.  There came a famine in the land, but instead of staying in Israel and trusting God for food, they moved to the heathen country of Moab—thinking they could make a living there and would not have so much hardship to endure.

            This move would take them outside of God’s will, because God had warned His people not to live among the Moabites—they were not to have fellowship with them, and certainly not live with them.  Israel was forbidden to marry any Moabite.  When we deliberately leave the will of God, and do not follow His Word on some issue, we are an easy target for the devil—our protection is gone, and Satan can lead us where he wants to.

            Elimeleck and Naomi move to Moab where the two sons eventually marry daughters of Moab—another step in the wrong direction and further outside of God’s will.  These Moabite wives were Orpah and Ruth.  As a fruit of what they sowed, Elimeleck and the two boys pass away in Moab.  It was a steep price to pay for leaving God’s path and getting on the devil’s.

            If they had stayed in Israel, they would have stayed in God’s will, and had the opportunity to trust Him financially during a famine.  It would have resulted in spiritual growth, and learning how to trust God each day.  It would have preserved their lives—and there would not have been three widows.

            It was deliberate disobedience of God’s Word.  They were determined not to trust God for daily supplies, but wanted to depend on their own plans and make their own living in Moab.  It was all about money.  Any financial test will prove the type of faith we have.

            Jesus taught that anyone who does not become scriptural with their finances, will not attain true spirituality—and would not inherit eternal life.  What a horrible result for following the world on money matters!  Jesus said Luke 16:11 “If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?”—or true spirituality!  It is a Bible example.

            After that trail of tragedy and trial, Naomi’s spiritual eyes were opened, and she decided to return to Israel—to get back to God’s Truth; back to His people; and back to where she could trust in the living God for everything.  She started back with her two daughters-in-law.

            When they came to the border, Naomi said to them Ruth 1:8 “Return each to her mother's house: the LORD deal kindly with you.”  You will marry again, she said—that would be best for you.  I will not have other sons for you to marry.

            Orpah returned to Moab, and we do not hear of her again; but Ruth chose differently.  God’s Spirit had worked within her, so Ruth said Ruth 1:16 “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.”

            It was a right and scriptural choice of the right path—the choice to trust in the living God for everything.  As a result of that right choice, things went well for Ruth; she married Boaz, and eventually became a direct lineal ancestor of the Lord Jesus.

            Naomi said Ruth 1:21 “I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty;” but she too began to prosper, after returning to Israel.  It did not bring her husband and two sons back, but she could still turn her life around and get back into the will of God.

            The Bible is filled with contrasts—what timely warnings they give us; and what spiritual light they throw on our path!  It is vital that we surrender our lives to God, and allow Him to teach us.  The result of His instruction is that we will trust Him for everything; we will come to where He and His Word are ahead of everything and everyone—even ahead of our own life.  It is then, that our preparation for Heaven is assured.

            God’s Word is so clear Galatians 6:7-8 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  For he that soweth to his flesh”—or lives according to the sinful nature, like the world—on Satan’s path, “shall of the flesh reap corruption”—eventually losing his life and ending in the Lake of Fire.  “But he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”

            Jesus made a memorable statement—John 12:24 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”  He then applied the teaching to us John 12:25 “He that loveth his life shall lose it.”  If we try to live in this world by trusting on human plans, and following worldly ways, we will lose our life here and finally end in the flames.  We will experience the first death here—and the second death in Hell.

            The living hope we have is—“he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.”  Those who learn how terrible Satan’s control and path really is, would definitely hate it, and would quickly accept and walk God’s path—learning how to trust in His power for the least to the greatest need—keeping it “unto life eternal.”


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