What Overcomers Must Know
III. The Way of the Overcomer
The relationship between life's journey and its pathway are inseparable. The moment we step out of our house, whether it is to go visit a friend or a stroll, we must take a certain path. Even airplanes and ocean liners have to follow a flight path or a sea route to reach their destinations. Overcomers are without exception. They must have a pathway to travel for them to progress forward. However, many people do not have a way to road to follow after they have believed in the Lord. They do not know what to do next! This is an extremely serious matter. It will cause many to gradually lose their peace in the Lord. They will not be able to enjoy the feeling of accomplishment in believing Jesus! After we have received Jesus into our hearts, our life changed. The understanding of ourselves also begins to become clear. We now know how to appreciate God's love and grace. But life is not always roses. After a while, we might feel that they are not that fresh like spring in attracting us! On the contrary, we would ask ourselves what is our future? How can we move forward? This is the bewilderment of many believers today - no road to go on!
In other words, so often that we have faith but no spiritual power to push us forward. So many brothers and sisters who love the Lord want progress but do not know how to begin how to take the first step and how to run. They do not even know why they need to move forward! Often people say, “I have believed in the Lord and know that I am saved. Moreover, I am God's child. Heaven is my home. I have everything. Why do I need to serve the Lord zealously? What does it matter if I do not love the brothers and sisters! I have already received God's grace, so just let me enjoy God’s grace!” But the Scriptures tell us that to believe in the Lord Jesus is only the beginning. It is comparable to getting registered at school. Following that, we have to study hard. There is a lot of homework to do. There are many credits to earn. Then we will we will reach the graduation day. In the same way, after we believed in Jesus, we become the students of Jesus. There are many lessons ahead to be learned. There are paths and ways to run! Unfortunately, most Christians do not know about them! They “have come to need of milk and not solid food.” (Heb. 5:12) So, let us begin from the gospel of Matthew 7:13-14 and bring out four points to consider regarding the way of the overcomer. First, who must enter the narrow gate? Secondly, why enter the narrow gate? Thirdly, what is the narrow way and fourthly, what is the narrow gate?
A. Who must enter the narrow gate?
To this day, there are still many believers who feel that after believing in Jesus Christ, serving God or not is of any serious importance. Some even feel that those who serve the Lord zealously are truly the biggest fools! Dear brothers and sisters, these are all erroneous thoughts! These thoughts come from Satan! After we have believed in the Lord, the Scriptures tell us that the Lord has prepared for us the gate we ought to enter and the road we ought to walk. “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.” (Matt. 7:13-14) We often recognize that these verses of Scripture are used for sharing the gospel. This is wrong and erroneous! From an application standpoint, these verses can be used for sharing the gospel. However, the original meaning is not intended for non-believers. In the past, we did not know the real meaning and purpose of these verses. Consequently, many spiritual blessings were lost. One of them is the lack of Scripture to motivate us forward after we believed in the Lord. To advance our spiritual life, we first have to think carefully what the Lord said: “Enter by the narrow gate.” Who were these words spoken to? Chapters five, six and seven in the gospel of Matthew are all addressed to the believers. Whether it is the verse: “Your father in heaven”, “You are the light of the world”, “When you are praying”, “Ask and it shall be given to you”, these verses clearly points out that the audience is clearly not non-believers. This is because God is not the father of a non-believer. Neither would a non-believer be the light of the world and the salt in the world. To pray to the heavenly Father would be even further away! So dear brothers and sisters, the Lord wants us to enter into the narrow gate! After we believed in Jesus, the Lord tells us that there is a narrow gate in front of us. He wants us to enter. If we do not enter, He certainly will not force us. Eventually, we end up entering into the wide gate and broad way! The reason is that there are only two gates in front of us for us to enter – narrow gate or wide gate. There are also two roads for us to walk – narrow way or broad way. We must enter into one gate and there is not a third gate to choose either. So, this lets us see clearly that the narrow gate is the future of believers and it is also a course that one must take to be a disciple of Jesus.
B. Why enter the narrow gate?
The Scriptures tell us clearly: “for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction.” In other words, one’s entrance into the narrow gate is to avoid entrance into the wide gate that lead to ‘destruction’. Here we encounter a difficult problem in theology: Is people saved only by entering into the narrow gate? Then what is the destruction of people based on? Is it based on believing in Jesus or based on entering into the narrow gate? I am afraid that this is the reason why we often assume that these Scripture verses are meant for the non-believers. The reason being that for believers, the Scriptures tell us clearly that, “whoever believes (not entering into the narrow gate) in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
1. Not to waste God's grace.
So, is the Scripture contradicting itself? Here, I would like to suggest to the brothers and sisters a principle in Bible Interpretation. Whenever we find contradictions of this type, we need to remember: because ancient languages have limited vocabulary, one word often has quite a few meanings. When we research the Bible, we must use the context to determine the meaning of a word. We cannot use present or the meaning we learned at school to explain the words and sentences of the Bible. With this, let us study the words ‘destruction’ or ‘perish’ which is the same word in the original Greek. It is a noun and also a verb. As a verb, it is used in the Greek New Testament 92 times. It is translated into five different English word groups. As a noun, it is used 19 times and also translated into 3 different English words. For example, in Matthew 10:6, it is translated as ‘lost’, in 10:28 as ‘destroy’, and in 26:8 as ‘waste’. They are all the same word as ‘destruction’. Consequently, the word ‘destruction’ in Matthew 7 does not refer to ‘perish in the eternal fire’ but it points to a ‘wasted God's grace'. A waste of God’s sweat and blood. This is just like so many young people in this world that skip school instead of studying hard and end up as parasites in society. What a disappointment to the parents!
God desires us to enter into the narrow gate. But He will not force us. If we insist upon entering into the wide gate, then that will waste away God's grace. That causes hurt to God and creates disappointment! The Lord Jesus wept over Jerusalem because Jerusalem wasted God’s grace. God was so gracious to them. He gave them a beautiful temple. He gave them a splendid holy city. They did not know how precious is God’s grace. They let loose themselves, disobeyed and did not listen to God's word. They wasted God's grace and degraded themselves! Dear brothers and sisters, we are people saved by His grace. If we do not enter into the narrow gate, we would also waste God’s grace! I wish that all of us could hear His voice saying to us: “My children, I came to this world for you. I suffered terribly for you on the cross and shed my blood for you to save you from sin. I gave you the resurrection life. You are to enter into the narrow gate to be an overcomer. Otherwise, you would waste My grace and My blood and tears!” May God have mercy on us! Let us hear His gracious voice. God did weep for the Jews through the prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 4:19). When the Lord was on earth, He also wept for Jerusalem. Is God weeping today for many of His children because we are disobedient and ungrateful? He sacrificed everything for us in order that we can be saved from sin. He also willingly gave His life to us so that we have the authority to be children of God. Yet we are disobedient to His word. Whether it is in our action or living, we always follow our own will! We are like moths willingly flying into the name. How stupid can we be! The fact is that our Lord not only saved us from our sin, He wants to save us from ‘ourselves’! But we are never willing to be crucified with Christ. How ignorant can we be? May God have mercy on us so that we can see His heart and not enter into the wide gate and broad way. This is the negative side of an overcomer.
2. In order to lead life eternal.
From the positive aspect, He wants us to enter into the small gate. Why did He say that? He also said, “For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life eternal and few are those who find it.” (Matt. 7:14) Here, there is a special emphasis: “few are those who find it”. Truly, this is a fact. But today, how many people have found this verse? Many do not even know that this verse exists! Even if they know, they do not understand its original meaning. So, how would they know that one has to enter into the small gate that leads to ‘life eternal’! Here again, we encounter a similar difficulty in theology. In John 3:16, we are told that “whoever believes in Him, should not perish but have eternal life”. However, here it tells us that we have to enter into the small gate in order to be led to life eternal. So, are there conditions or works required for eternal life? Or are they all free for us to enjoy? Some may explain as such: “Certainly it is by God's grace but we must also pay a price.” On the surface, it appears very logical but it is actually a contradiction! If it is free, then there are no strings attached. If there are conditions, then there is a price and it is not free. The Scriptures tell us, “...the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) Since ‘eternal life’ is a gift from God, then we ought to be able to enjoy it freely.
So, how do we resolve this difficult problem? On the one hand, the Scriptures tell us that eternal life is a free gift by believing in Jesus. On the other hand, we have to enter into the small gate and narrow way because only by doing so will we be led into eternal life. So, ‘eternal life’ appears to have a price. How should we explain and answer? According to the principle mentioned in the last chapter, we could expect ‘eternal life’ to have more than one meaning. Eternal life in Romans 6:23 refers to ‘everlasting life’. All life is temporal and only God's life is eternal. So, eternal life is the life of God. It is a gift. It is a gift inside Lord Jesus Christ. All we need to do is to receive the Lord Jesus Christ and we will have this gift. But the eternal life in Matthew 7:14 is not a gift but a destination. It requires the entering into the small gate and walking the narrow way. It is through the narrow way that leads us to life eternal. So, what is this all about is explained as follow:
In the New Testament, ‘eternal life’ has at least four different meanings. Here we will only examine only two of them. The first one is something we all know already know: ‘God’s gift’. It is God’s own life and He gave it to us as a gift. This eternal life is God’s own life in Jesus Christ. The second meaning is seen in Matthew 25:46: “And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Here, the eternal life is for people to ‘go …into.’ Certainly, it does not refer to the gift. What does it refer to? Thank God, it was explained in the earlier verses of this chapter. The ‘eternal punishment’ is referenced in verse 41: “... into the eternal fire that has been prepared for the devil and his angels.” The ‘Eternal life’ is referenced in verse 34: “... you, who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” So, the ‘eternal life’ here refers to the Kingdom and not God's life. In Matthew 7, it speaks of ‘leads to eternal life’ and here it speaks of ‘going into eternal life’. In both cases, there is the action of walking required. So, the small gate and narrow way are intended to lead people into the Kingdom. They are not talking about people receiving God's life. The purpose God has in creating us and the purpose Jesus has in saving us are identical: they both want us to be overcomers and inherit the Kingdom God prepared for us. So, the eternal life in Matthew 7 refers to entering the Kingdom and reigning with the Lord. So, dear brothers and sisters, in order to be an overcomer and to reign with Christ, one must enter through the small gate and by walking the narrow way. Unfortunately, few people find the way! May all those who have believed in Jesus know that there is a small gate to enter and a narrow way in front for them to enter. Then we can accomplish God's will for us set before the foundation of the world!
C. What is the narrow way?
Before we talk about the small gate, let us first look at the narrow way. In order to understand the narrow way, all one has to do is to look at Matthew 7:21. It says: "Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord will enter the Kingdom of Heaven; but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Here, the Lord tells us that not all those who cry, ”Oh Lord this” and “Oh Lord that” all the time will enter into the Kingdom. But those “who do the will of the Father will enter.” So, in other words, walking the narrow way is doing God's will.
1. Not the accomplishments in working.
If all we know is to cry, “Lord, Lord” and not obedient to do His will, then we are lying. What is the outcome? Please listen to what the Lord said: “Many will say to Me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy in Your name and in Your name cast out demons and in Your name perform many miracles?” And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.”” (Matt. 7:22-23) Here, how I wish the Scriptures would say ‘some’ or ‘a few’ but the Lord said ‘many people’. To the extent that some are even preachers! How pitiful it is! They would say to the Lord, “Lord, did we not prophecy (preach) in Your name and in Your name cast out demons?” They can preach, cast out demons and even perform miracles! But the Lord said, “I do not know you.” Some may ask, “Why did the Lord say that He does not know them? Are they not believers? They also preached and cast out demons? Even if they are non-believers, God would also know then because He is an all knowing God!” This problem is due to a fuzzy understanding of the word ‘know’.
2. But by the approval of the Lord.
The Greek verb ‘know’ in the New Testament is translated into a variety of English words such as: admit, understand, sexual relationship, approve... In this case, the Lord is saying, “I do not approve of you” or “I am not satisfied with you.” It is not that the Lord does not know them. The reason of such disapproval is because they were ‘lawless’. They did not commit all sorts of crime. They only did not keep the constitution of the Kingdom of Heaven. The Lord gave them gifts and positions in order that the work they do can bear fruit. Unfortunately, many of them disregard the teaching of the constitution. They thought that these fruits were the results of their own power and wisdom. They forgot the Lord who gives grace. They did not glorify Him nor thank Him. They were proud of themselves. They fell into the devil's trap and could not extricate themselves. They became sharers the gospel with others, but they themselves became the disqualified! (I Cor. 9:27) What a waste! So, this shows us that the Kingdom of the Lord is a lawful Kingdom. So, to walk the narrow way is to be ‘obey the Law’. It is also doing God's will.
Dear brothers and sisters, why do we research the Bible? The purpose of the research is not to understand the Bible. The purpose is to know God. By knowing Him, we can understand and do the desire of His heart. May God enlighten us so that we can know God deeper. We can come to a fuller understanding of His will. Then we are able to become overcomers. The reason is that only those who do the will of the Father can be overcomers and have a place in the Kingdom. So to walk the ‘narrow way’ is to do the Heavenly Father's will or in other words to obey the constitution of the Kingdom of Heaven. A Chinese proverb says, “A thousand mile journey begins with the first step.” So, to walk the narrow way is not accomplished by just taking the first step. We must move forward with patience. The growth of an overcomer is achieved one step at a time according to schedule. It is accumulated over days and months. This narrow way was also known as the ‘path of life’ in the Old Testament (Psalm 16:11), the ‘everlasting way’ (Psalm 139:24) and ‘paths of righteousness’. (Psalm 23:3) Thank God that he promised us that He will guide us in the paths of righteousness for His name sake.
D. What is the small gate?
We already know what is the narrow way. But if we cannot find the small gate, we will not be able to begin our journey on the narrow way. In other words, we must first enter the small gate and then we can walk the narrow way - to do the Father's will. What is this small gate? The author was troubled for a long time. If I felt that if I do not know where is the small gate or what is the small gate, then I have no assurance that I myself could enter the small gate. How can I ask others to enter into the small gate? If they have not entered into the small gate, how can they walk the narrow way?
1. Dedication is the small gate.
So, all I could do was to ask God. “Lord, please show me where is the small gate...!” It took almost six months. One day, suddenly a voice said to me, “The small gate, the small gate, the small gate is in Romans chapter twelve!” After I heard the voice, I was troubled even more. Of the twenty-one verses in this chapter, you can never find the two words ‘small gate’! Since the voice said so, all I could do was to meditate and think hard. Thank God, one day, suddenly my spiritual understanding functioned and I saw! Yes, the small gate is in Romans 12: 1. “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” Why is it that this the small gate? It is because of the style of the epistles. The first half of an epistle is always dealing with life and the second half deals with living. Chapter twelve in Romans is right at the beginning on living. So, it is equivalent as saying: To do God's will, live a spiritual life and walk the narrow way, one must begin with this action - enter the small gate (dedication). God saved us. So it is perfectly reasonable that He wants us to live a life for Him. Here, we need to pay attention. The dedication here is not directed only to preachers or missionaries. It is a request from God to all His children. He has done so much for us and He has one request to us - to present ourselves completely as a living sacrifice, hand over to Him as the reasonable service (or worship). It is also pleasing to God. In summary, after God saved us, He has a desire that we would sincerely dedicate of our lives to Him saying: “Lord, from now on, it is no longer I but Christ living in me. I no longer live for myself but I want to live for You.” To enter into the small gate is this dedication.
2. Dedication has been misunderstood.
In the past, churches have misunderstood the meaning of ‘dedication’. As a result, many believers were afraid to dedicate themselves because they do not understand the truth meaning of dedication. They thought that if they dedicate themselves, God will rob all their enjoyments and benefits. The fact is just the opposite! Once I was preaching at a retreat in the snow country. After I gave the message of dedication, I found a young man who was crying. So after the service, I approached him and asked, “Is there anything I can help you with?” He said, “You spoke of dedication and I want to dedicate but I dare not!” So, I asked, “Why not?” He answered, “If I dedicate myself and the Heavenly Father wants me to pull a rickshaw (In the Shanghai dialect, pulling a rickshaw means hard labor), I won't last a day!" I almost cracked up! I told him, “Brother, if you say your father, “Father, from now on, I will obey you. Whatever you ask me to do, I will do it”, would your father say, “Great, you go and pull a rickshaw.”” He answered, “He won't.” So, I said, “He certainly won't.” On the contrary, I believe that he would say, “Son, you love me so much, do you know that everything I have is yours, yes?" He said, "Yes". Then I said, “If you believe that your father will not treat you unreasonably, would the loving Heavenly Father mistreat you?” He said, “Right, He won't.” He almost started laughing. Brothers and sisters, do you see how vicious Satan is? He would inject such misleading thoughts into this brother's mind in order that he will misunderstand God and dare not dedicate himself! Other than this, there is another misunderstanding. Some people think that dedication is to be a missionary or full time Christian worker. They do not know that it is the obligation of all believers. It is also a procedure to accomplish God's will in our lives. Moreover, it is a process that overcomers cannot lack. As to being a missionary or pastor, one must be clear that he has God’s calling and His sending. Never do so casually or impulsively. Otherwise, you will hurt others and yourself'.
So, from this day on, let us no longer live for ourselves but live for the One who died and rose from the dead for us. Then, we can be overcomers and walk the narrow way. Only by walking the narrow way can we be led to eternal life. In other words, then our mind will be transformed by its renewal so that we can prove God's will. From proving, we move on to doing His will. By doing, we become overcomers and enter into the Kingdom. Otherwise, we will be always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth (lawless one)! (Refer to II Tim. 3:7) May God help us to be overcomers so that one day, we can sit on His throne and reign with Him! Amen.
E. Some Bible interpretation principles on Matthew 7:13 to 27.
Since this passage of Scripture is frequently explained in different ways, it is easy to be led into error. So, this passage will be briefly discussed as follows using the principle of Bible interpretation. It is my desire that it become a source of encouragement to all.
1. Main theme.
Every passage of Scripture has a main theme and it is the interpreter's duty to determine correctly its theme. Then it can be explained and developed accordingly. Otherwise, it would be mixing things up with the wrong labels and calling the wrong name. For example, every one knows that chapter five, six and seven of Matthew is the constitution of the Kingdom of Heaven. The constitution of a country is applicable only to its citizens. It has nothing to do with citizens of other countries. Since the Sermon on the Mount is the constitution of the Kingdom of Heaven, the plural pronoun ‘you’ in these chapters must refer to the citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. So, not only “you are the salt”, “you are the light” and “when you pray” refer to the citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven; the implied subject in “enter into the narrow gate” should also refer to the citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. Otherwise, it is not logical.
2. Historical Background.
Some may say that the Scriptures clearly say: “When Jesus saw the multitude… “ (Matt. 5:1), so there might be some non-believing Jews there besides the disciples. But we must understand that they were all citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven! It is because the requirement for Jews to be the children of God was different from our salvation though faith in the Lord. As long as they were born into Jewish homes and were circumcised on the eighth day, they become the children of God, prim and proper. Not only it was so in Exodus (Ex. 4:22-23), it was also during the exile (Jer. 31:20). Although at that time among the Jews, some of them did not live as the children of the Kingdom. But as a whole, they were all God’s children. Their hope was not just salvation unto eternal life, but also have part in the Kingdom of the Messiah. (Matt. 20: 20-21 and Luke 20:42)
3. Sentence Modification.
In the Sermon on the Mount, the plural ‘you’ is seen from the beginning to the end. “When you pray, ‘When you fast, “Seek first” … were all directed to those whose God is their ‘Father in Heaven’. If the phrase: “Enter by the narrow gate” was specifically for the non-citizens of the Heavenly Kingdom, our Lord would certainly modify the pronoun ‘you’ by adding a few more words. He would have said, “You who do not believe in God, enter by the narrow gate.” Our Lord certainly understands sentence modification. Since He did not, then we should not be so smart in going overboard.
Especially in the theology of salvation, if “enter by the narrow gate” is directed to those who are not the children of God, then we need to ask the following question. Is ‘eternal life’ received by faith or one has to comply with the conditions of “enter by the narrow gate” or “walk the narrow way”? Everyone knows that 'eternal life' is God’s gift in Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 6:23). Anybody at any moment receives Jesus, he has eternal life at that moment. There are no conditions required nor any waiting period needed. If we say that to receive salvation, one must first enter by the narrow gate and walk the narrow way in order to be led to eternal life, it would be heresy! There is not a single normal believer who would dare say so! At the same time, if the phrase, “lead to destruction” refers to non-believer, it is even more absurd. The non-believer has perished already, so there is no need to lead them there. If anyone says a corpse is led to death, there must be something wrong in the head!
The word ‘lead’ is used twice in this verse. In Greek, it is a present participle. It refers to a continuous ‘leading’. So, it tells clearly that this ‘leading’ is a long-term progression. If ‘leading’ is really meant for the non-believers, then those who need to believer have to enter by the narrow gate, walk the narrow way and require long-term continuous forward progress in order to receive eternal life? This is self-deception of other religions and definitely not the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ!
6. Verse segment.
Since the Sermon on the Mount is the constitution, it is by articles. Each article is self-contained and there is no need to forcibly link them together. Matthew 7:13-14 is the gate and way that the children of the Heavenly Kingdom should enter and walk. Verses 15 to 20 are people they should watch out for. Verses 21 to 27 are the conclusion of the constitution. It has no direct relationship with the previous section on ‘false prophets’. Since verse 20 begins with ‘So then’, it is obvious that the discourse on ‘false prophets’ is over. Verse 21 begins with: “Many will say to Me ...", it is clear that this is conclusion of the constitution and it is connected with the word ‘Therefore’ in verse 24. It is similar to the usage of the word 'So' in verse 20 that links verses 15 to 19. If we place verse 20 with verses 21 to 23 and treat verses 24 to 27 as the conclusion, then we have things backwards. Certainly our Lord’s logic is not like that!
7. Difficult Problem.
Why do most, if not all scholars say the small gate and narrow way (actually it is a message of edification) is salvation? The reason is that the moment they see the word ‘destruction’ and ‘eternal life’, they assume it speaks of ‘going to hell’ and ‘going to heaven’. They did not pay attention to the different meanings of these words in the New Testament. Neither did they notice that ‘receiving eternal life’ and ‘leading to eternal life’ are of different realms. This kind of ‘swallowing without chewing’ and herd mentality, they buried the hope given by God to His children unaware. This created the church today which is self-satisfied in believing in Jesus and going to Heaven. The church does not know that after a person believes, he should enter by the narrow gate and walk the narrow way towards the Kingdom of eternal life. (This Kingdom refers to the kingdom prepared by God since the foundation of the world). How destructive!
8. Spiritual lesson number one.
According to the principles in Bible interpretation used above, the wide and narrow gates are addressed to the citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. After God's children are saved by grace, the gracious Lord tells us that we face two gates. We have the freedom to choose one (but there isn't a third gate). If we do not enter by the narrow gate, we will automatically enter the wide gate! Consequently, all the grace, love ... that God has bestowed upon us would be 'ruined' or 'wasted' (They have the same meaning as perish). While ‘enter by the narrow gate’ (complete dedication and to live for the Lord) and ‘walking the narrow way’ (doing God's will) are not easy, but with the gracious help of the Lord, we all have the hope of becoming overcomers and inherit the Kingdom of eternal life (Matt. 25:34).
9. Spiritual lesson number two.
At the conclusion of the kingdom constitution, those who cried "Lord, Lord" are certainly those who have the kingdom constitution. Even some people say that they were false prophets and the term 'Lord' they used meant only 'teacher'. But according to “Linguistic Key to the Greek New Testament”, the author clearly stated, "Lord, often occurs as a form of polite address, but here it is more than that. It is addressed to Him in His supreme power in the last day." Just assume that the term 'Lord" they used meant only 'teacher' in verse 21. In verse 22 during exorcism, it is unlikely that they would say, “Demon, in the name of ‘teacher’, come out!” Meanwhile, the verbs ‘did prophecy’, ‘did cast out’ and ‘did perform’ are all in the past tense. So, by what authority do we have that we can say that they never prophesied, cast out demons and performed miracles?
So, the conclusion of the constitution is that the children of the Kingdom of Heaven are to do God's will and live out the demands of the constitution. Otherwise, even if our work has great results, because of lawlessness, we cannot enter into the Kingdom of inheritance. In other words, great works are not necessarily due to good life. Rather, it is because God has entrusted His gifts and positions to us (refer to Rom. 11:29). If we do not pay attention to the progress of our spiritual lives, even if have performed miracles that moved heaven and shook the earth and blessed many others, we end up as being lawless (wicked in the original meaning) and have no part in the Kingdom of inheritance! (These words can scare some people!) May God preserve us and do not allow us to preached the gospel to others but we should be disqualified! (I Cor. 9:27)