Greetings MOL Family!
Welcome back to our study! There are two ways brought to view in our opening text. And as you read it, I want you to decide which one is the beautiful way. That’s what we are studying – the beautiful way – the way to be like Jesus.
The Two Ways
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. – Matthew 7:13-14
Which one of these is the beautiful way? The narrow way. Do you think so? Do you agree? Or would you rather go the broad road? Which one has more room in it? The broad road. Does it? Yes, lots of room there; all kinds of room. You can go all over the road and still arrive at the destination. The destination is what? Death. I wonder why so many people are going in the broad road? It’s easy; it’s downhill:
The gates of hell are open night and day,
Smooth the descent, and easy is the way;
But to return and view the cheerful skies,
In this, the task and mighty labor lies.
Yes, it is a steep, narrow, upward path that Jesus leads us on. But is it the beautiful way? Yes. It’s beautiful because it is His way, and He is the author of all beauty. And let me say this to you, dear friends, when we get fully in the way, we shall find that it is easy, for He says:
My yoke is easy, and my burden is light. – Matthew 11:30
The difficulties are involved in returning from the path of sin to the way of holiness, from the life of sin to the life of holiness. That is where the difficulties lie. Do you think it is going to be hard in Heaven? Do you think when we sit down at the table in Heaven we will just say, “Oh, my, I guess I have to still be on this diet. I wish I could get some things that taste good”? Do you think there would be anything like that? Why, no. Everything we eat will taste good. Why can’t it be that way now? Well, it can, friends. It can. But maybe not the first day. Our appetites have been perverted. Is that true?
So, we are used to some things on the broad road, perhaps. But if we will be willing to endure the inconvenience, and maybe even a bit of suffering in losing those wicked, selfish, human appetites that we were born with and have cultivated, will the time come, even in this life, when we like the good things and dislike the bad things? Will it? Why, we have all experienced that to some extent. And we need to remind ourselves of that every time something along the road that God tells us seems difficult. It won’t be difficult if we will keep doing it, friends. It won’t be difficult at all. His way is easy.
But on the other hand, if we just let ourselves go, the tendency is where? Downward. Never forget that. If you go with the crowd in this world, you are going where? Downward to death:
There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. – Proverbs 16:25
Let me ask you something: Do the people of this world have arguments to support their practice? Oh, yes. Do they give reasons for the things they like and the things they do? Yes. And they seem what? What does the text say? They seem right. Well, then, if you listen to them, how will those wrong ways seem to you? They will seem right.
That is the great purpose of the enemy in the mass communication that he is controlling today. Over the radio, the TV, through the newspapers, the magazines, through the movies, [social media*], and in various ways, the enemy today is able to reach the minds of millions of people with his propaganda. And the whole purpose is to convince you that the broad way is a what? A good way, a right way – that it’s all right. That is in every phase of life, my dear friends. Don’t forget it. It enters into every phase of life.
You see, many of the people of this world, think of religion as something that you go to on Sunday, like you go to the lodge on Tuesday night, and maybe the labor union on Thursday night. In other words, religion is a tiny compartment in a great big program. But to us religion is life, isn’t it? Yes. It takes in every day of the week, every hour of the day, every phase of activity.
And I repeat, as the enemy is poisoning the minds of people and permeating their thinking with his ideas, we must take time to behold who? Jesus. And listen to Him.
Now in Volume 1 of the Testimonies, there is a comment on this text about the two ways. I want you to study it, today:
“These roads are distinct, separate, in opposite directions.” – Testimonies for the Church, Volume 1, pg. 127
These are the two ways – the upward way that leads to life and the downward road that leads to death. They are distinct. What is that next word? Separate. Can a person walk in both these roads at once? Not very far, friends. Because they are going where? In opposite directions, and they are distinct, separate:
One leads to eternal life, the other to eternal death. I saw the distinction between these roads, also the distinction between the companies traveling them. The roads are opposite; one is broad and smooth, the other narrow and rugged. So the parties that travel them are opposite in character, in life, in dress, and in conversation. – Testimonies for the Church, Volume 1, pg. 127
I want you to notice something here about this upward road. It goes upward. But it goes upward a step at a time. When you and I come to Jesus, we take a step. The next day, He wants us to take another step.
Now watch, if the world is going down and you are going up, what is happening every day? The gap is what? Widening. “Oh, but I have heard that some things in the Spirit of Prophecy were all right a hundred years ago when things were so bad, but now they don’t hardly apply because, you know, people have become more enlightened, so it isn’t necessary now to be so different from the world.” Did you ever hear anything like that?
Sister White was shown the terrible things that were being done. But today, why, of course, that is all out of date. The same in dress. Back then, the dresses were terrible, but now they have gotten “all right.” So, you don’t have to be so different from the world. So with education. And we could go on with a great number of things.
I wonder, friends, what happened that the devil got so good all of a sudden? I wonder what happened to the world that it turned around on the broad road and started back up the way to Heaven. I wonder what happened. My Bible tells me that in this last hour satan has come down with what? Great wrath because he knows what? He has a short time. Be not deceived.
Now, it is true that the devil sometimes changes things in order to appear to have made improvements. He is a wise, foxy fellow, very subtle. He changes his bait from time to time to catch the fish unawares. I hope we won’t be fish that go for his bait, friends. And when the devil seems to get good, when he changes the fashions in this and that so that they seem to be all right, just be wary, because he is the same old devil behind the scenes. Is that right? And this says we are to be different.
Distinct, Separate, Opposite
I want to notice how, all the way through the Bible and all the way through the Spirit of Prophecy, this idea of being different – being separate – is brought to us. And, as I say, as we travel the beautiful way, God is leading His children on step by step. You will find that in Testimonies for the Church, Volume 1, page 187. God leads His people on step by step. The whole page needs study.
What is our name as a denomination? What do we call ourselves? Seventh-day Adventists. Why seventh-day? That’s the what? Sabbath. What does most of the world say the Sabbath is? Sunday, the first day. Which is right? What does the Bible say? The seventh day is the Sabbath. Is there any text in the Bible that says that the first day is the Sabbath? Is there any that says the first day is the Lord’s Day? Well, how does it come that the Bible says that the seventh day is the Sabbath and nearly all the world keeps the other day? Do they have reasons for it? They say they do. Do they satisfy millions of people? Yes. How does that happen?
“There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” – Proverbs 16:25
Has God seen fit to take that very day and make it the sign of His peculiar people? Has He? Ezekiel 20, verses 12 and 20. Put it down in your notes:
I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD their God, that sanctify them. – Ezekiel 20:12
What is it a sign of? It is a sign, my friends, of separation. And what a foolish thing to carry the flag of separation and then be just as much like the world as we can in everything else. The Sabbath is a sign of separation in everything. That is what it stands for. It is the sign of that upward road of obedience to God’s law that leads at last to the holy city.
Take the tithe. We quote the Bible that the tithe is what? Holy unto the Lord. But as the Sabbath shows that all our time is to be the Lord’s, the tithe shows that all our money is to be the Lord’s. So, we are to be different from the world not merely in the way we spend 10% of our money, but in the way we spend all our money. So we have no time for the extravagance, the luxuries of this world, let alone their dissipations and indulgences; for our money belongs to whom? God. We are to be separate from the world.
Take in the matter of our homes. Let’s turn over to 2 Corinthians the 6th chapter, and notice what God has told us about this matter of marriage (and in fact, any partnership with the world). 2 Corinthians 6, beginning with the 14th verse.
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers. – 2 Corinthians 6:14
You remember back in the Mosaic Law, God said to His people, “Don’t plow with an ox and an ass together.” Now if you look in the Commentary, you will see an interesting photograph of a man in the Bible lands today, plowing with an ox and an ass. He is doing just what the Bible told the Old Testament Jews not to do. I suppose that is all he had was one ox and one ass, so he hitched them together to pull the plow. What kind of a yoke does it take? It is an unequal yoke. And, my dear friends, God never intended that His people be yoked up on any point with this world because it is a what? An unequal yoke.
Have you considered which way your current experience is leading? God’s appeal is most direct and simple:
“[As] I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, [enter your name, here]?” – Ezekiel 33:11
Next week, we will look at some of the principles required in living a distinct, separate, and beautiful way of life. Invite a friend, and we’ll see you then…
Did you know that we have more online classes available (and posted daily)?
- Country Living
- Courtship & Marriage
- The Christian Home
- Child Guidance
- Army of Youth
- The School of Health
- Other Present Truth Studies
* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.