The institutional church being an artifact of the knowledge of good and evil offers the way of abstractions and hoops. Jesus simply offers Himself. What Believers need is not more faith or more keys. It’s Jesus Himself who is needed as our life. Kriston Couchey shares a message from Jesus about His life as our life and the life of the world.
THE NARROW GATE
By Kriston Couchey
THE WROUGHT IRON GATE
As I began to pray suddenly I found myself standing on a narrow path leading off into the distance. As I scanned further I could see the path led into the dark night to an unknown destination.As I walked this path I came upon a long line of people standing in the middle of the path. A man in the front of the line cried out, “You cannot go further unless you enter the narrow gate!” He stood before a narrow wrought iron gate and the people were attempting to go through. The top of the gate was fashioned from wrought iron and formed the words, “The Narrow Gate”. This wrought iron banner was fastened so low down upon the gate that anyone desiring to enter had to crawl on their hands and knees fit beneath it, and then they still were required to squeeze between the narrow posts on either side.
I scanned the path beyond the gate and noticed that as far as I could see was what seemed to be a carnival of sorts stretched out along the narrow path into the dark. To my surprise I saw men and women positioned along the road shouting out instructions to the many souls traversing the road as they presided over a series of hurdles, doors, curtains, and obstacle courses blocking the path. At each obstacle someone would give instructions to those making the pilgrimage as to how to pass the obstacle.Finally I asked Father, “What is this gate and path with the obstacles all along the way?” He replied “This is the gate and path of religion. These hindrances on the path in front of people are stumbling blocks placed before them by men. Religion is a stumbling block that places requirements upon men that I never place on them. It attempts to get men to pay or work for what I have already freely given them.î
I turned again to the path and saw that many of the obstacles on the path were created and erected by the very ones giving out ìadviceî as to how to overcome them. They had figured out how to turn the path of religion into an elaborate extortion scheme. These were receiving in return for their services; money, honor, titles, or position, etc. Something was received of everyone to pass an obstacle. When these received the appropriate payment, the pilgrim would be rewarded with the ìsecretî to overcoming, the ìkeysî to unlock doors, the ìguidelinesî on fasting, the ìstepsî to spiritual success, and on, and on. All of these purported to get you ìcloserî to God, become more like God, be pleasing to God and receive His blessing, or help you get to another spiritual level.
As I continued to gaze upon this religious charade, to my surprise I noticed that this ìnarrow pathî that at first seemed to be the only path was simply one ìlaneî of a much bigger super highway that had many lanes on it. This road was very wide with hundreds of lanes being traveled upon by a multitude of people. Each religion had their own lane with their own stumbling blocks for the people that adhered to their ideologies. But, many of the other lanes were filled with people carelessly rushing down the road oblivious as to where they were headed.The lanes of the highway seemed to be divided between two different philosophies of travel. One philosophy of travel was religious engagement that lured people with levels of spiritual attainment and power. The other lured people with the philosophy that there was no absolute truth other than pleasing self. One philosophy was rooted in striving to be like God through requirements and laws. The other philosophy was rooted in believing that man was his own god and no law existed. These two philosophies formed into two distinct streams of humanity flowing in the same direction, to the same destination, and on the same road.
It was then Father spoke “This highway is so wide that those in the religious paths do not see that the lawless are on the same highway headed to the same destination. These two philosophies are manifestations of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Both are of the same tree, yet they manifest differently.Religion manifests as self-effort and self-righteousness. Lawlessness manifests as unchecked and unrestrained self-indulgence and self-expression. But son, I only showed you the highway in order to show you the TRUE Narrow Gate.î
THE FOUNTAIN OF LIFE
As He finished speaking a light shone brightly from behind me and cast my shadow alongside the superhighway. Then a voice of as of many waters spoke from behind me saying “Turn around!” I turned to look and there stood Jesus shining in brilliant light.He was standing in the midst of a large fountain of water, and water flowed out from Him. As He spoke the waters rushed out with greater force and spread across the ground. “I AM the narrow gate. I AM the way! He who drinks of Me will never thirst again!î
I immediately hit my knees in worship and began drinking from this fountain of life.Joy overwhelming burst from within me and I lost track of all time as I basked in His goodness and love.I awoke as if from a dream from my state of heavenly bliss and opened my eyes to a bright light like noonday. I found myself standing among a small gathering of people and realized the light was not coming from the sun, but emanating from the people standing with me. Even more shocking was the water flowing from everyoneís belly, including my own. The water flowed in the same manner as the fountain that flowed from Jesus. When people spoke the fountain within them welled up with a greater flow that quenched the thirst of everyone around them and bathed them in light. The water was also the source of light. As it came from within each one it caused the person from which it flowed to and from to emanate light.
I turned around to see the super highway and to my amazement many of those on the road nearest us drawn by the light were on their knees scooping up and drinking the water as it flowed down around the small group gathered there.We began offering water freely to any willing to drink. Many who received the water were weary and downtrodden, but when they drank the water the transformation that came upon them was complete. Sorrow turned to joy, anxiety to peace, and fear to love. As the people were transformed they began to also overflow the water of life from their bellies and freely offer it to other thirsty souls. To as many as received what was offered, the water of life transformed them.
COME AND DRINK
We began walking among those on the highway offering water to all who would receive it. The people began to mob the water bearers for a drink. As a result, the explosion of light on the super highway caused many people to stop their journey to investigate what was happening. The light began to shine so brightly that the darkness shrouding the highway began to lift and it was clear to most that it lead to a precipice; anyone going over it would plummet to a certain death.
Again Father spoke, ìSon, the stingy requirements of religion are not the path to life, nor is it found in simply pleasing self. Jesus IS the narrow gate, Jesus IS the path of life, and Jesus IS the light and water of life. The gateway to life is not narrow because it is hard to enter; it is narrow because Jesus is the only way to life. You must cease from your religious labors to enter into Him. His yoke is easy and his burden is light and you will find rest for your souls in His life giving flow.
Only from Him, in Him and through Him can you obtain life. All who will drink of Christ receive abundant life; not someday, not through hard work, but NOW! Men either trust in what is already finished by embracing and receiving abundant life of Christ, or they follow another road which only leads to death. The Spirit and Bride say come and drink that life.î
In His Love
One of the chosen foolish and weak