Down the Strait and Narrow?

November 23, 2008 by: KJVOnly

I cannot be grateful enough for the Holy Spirit showing me yet another reason why the King James Bible stands alone as God’s preserved words to us. Rightly dividing this book yields so many answers! No Greek or Hebrew dictionaries needed!

I first noticed that it was interesting that Paul was staying in a house on Straight Street in Damascus when Ananias was sent by God. Let’s look at that verse to start this off.

  1. And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.

  2. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,

  3. And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.

Acts 9:10-12 KJV

Notice how Paul was on THE street called Straight! There was only one street so named in Damascus! I saw a bumper sticker today that said “God is too big for any one religion”. I would tend to agree but God Himself has said there is only ONE way to Him!

  1. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?

  2. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.

John 14:5-6 KJV

So, it’s not what we think, it’s what God thinks that matters. As Christ said, “no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” It’s by Christ that we can enter in, not by any efforts of ours. We don’t get to decide for ourselves how to get to God! Christ is THE way, THE truth and THE life! NOT US!

A lot of people who worship the Greek language as the original language (why do they never give Hebrew the same consideration?) think the following verses are misspelled or mistranslated.

  1. 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:

  2. 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 KJV

It’s really funny to see how the modern perversions translate this verse. The general consensus has verse 13 as “at the narrow gate”. They don’t want to use “strait” because that would tell their readers just how incredibly hard the gate is to enter!

I have to laugh because IN THE VERY NEXT VERSE Christ described the way as narrow! He took away the Greekers argument because he knew they would try this type of attack! You can’t have a narrow gate AND a narrow way! Let’s look at how they try to resolve this dilemma.

The NIV is typical. It says “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” So, wait. In the previous verse they said the gate was narrow and now it’s small. Small and narrow would be a hard gate to enter but not to find.

It reminds me of the articles trying to say the verse about the camel passing through the eye of a needle means there was a gate into Jerusalem where camels would have to kneel down and be unladen of their goods because the gate wasn’t wide or tall enough. That gate sounds a lot like this one.

I would think a gate where camels would have to be unladen just to enter would be not only extremely well-known but rather easy to see. Matthew 7:14 in God’s Word, the King James Bible, says that the gate will be hard to FIND, let alone enter!

Wait! What’s this? Do I see the word “strait” re-emerge in the perversions? Yes, I believe I do! Let’s use the Douay-Rheims version, the Catholics’ touchstone, to illustrate. It says “How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it!”

Excuse me? At least I have to give them points for consistency, in keeping the gate narrow in both verses. That’s all the points they get though. All of a sudden they say the way is strait, in direct contradiction to verse 13! They even contradict their OWN rendition of verse 13! How can the way be broad in verse 13 but strait in verse 14!

If they want verse 14 to be true then verse 13 should read “easy is the way”, not “broad is the way”! Christ is using opposites to show how different God’s way is from the world’s way. How can the Catholics claim to be God’s representatives on Earth if they flip God’s words around and make them contradictory?

Just in case someone thinks ‘strait’ solely means ‘narrow’ (as in the Straits of Gibraltar), let’s look at the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary.

Main Entry: 1strait
Pronunciation: \ˈstrāt\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French estreit, from Latin strictus strait, strict, from past participle of stringere
Date: 13th century

  1. archaic : strict , rigorous
  2. 2archaic a: narrow b: limited in space or time c: closely fitting : constricted , tight
  3. 3 a: causing distress : difficult b: limited as to means or resources

— strait·ly adverb
— strait·ness noun

You see how the first definition is now listed as archaic. That’s the same word people use to describe the King James Bible. Yet that’s still the first definition, meaning the one most descriptive of the word and the most widely used!

Of course, other dictionaries disagree. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary (the one touted as most accurate by modern Christianity) uses the physical description as its first. These dictionaries, being human creations, show themselves to not be trustworthy as our final authority. The modern Bibles similarly show themselves to be as untrustworthy as the dictionaries. What IS our final authority? The King James Bible!

God doesn’t want us to rely on human creations to interpret and enlighten His Word. He’s quite capable of doing that himself. Only the King James Bible has a built-in dictionary! The first mention of a word quite often has a description of the meaning when it’s something God wants to make sure we understand. We don’t need a stack of books next to us to study our Bible!

Let’s look at the first instance of the word strait, in 1 Samuel 13:6. (I’ll start with verse 5 to show why the Israelites were in such a state.)

  1. And the Philistines gathered themselves together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which is on the sea shore in multitude: and they came up, and pitched in Michmash, eastward from Bethaven.

  2. When the men of Israel saw that they were in a strait, (for the people were distressed,) then the people did hide themselves in caves, and in thickets, and in rocks, and in high places, and in pits.

  3. And some of the Hebrews went over Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. As for Saul, he was yet in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling.

1 Samuel 13:5-7 KJV

If the word meant “a narrow place” then how could all the Philistines gather there and the Israelites hide? Where would they hide? Not to mention verse 7 showing some of the Israelites went over the Jordan River! How could they do that if they were in a strait like the world wants them to be?

One more point is that the world’s definition refers mainly to water. The Strait of Gibraltar is the point where the water is narrowest, not the land surrounding that point. One city there is Tangier, Morocco. When someone travels there they don’t say “I’m in the Strait of Gibraltar” they say “I’m in Tangier”. You only say “I’m in the Strait” if you’re on the water. As the verses above show, the people were on land when they were in a strait, not on the water.

Especially notice, however, that verse 6 provides the definition for us. It says “for the people were distressed” and verse 7 notes the people were trembling! This is where the phrase “dire straits” comes from. It’s yet another example where the King James Bible provides not only the answer but is the source of a commonly-used phrase! (My favorite is still “scapegoat”. I had no idea that came from Leviticus 16:10.)

Paul’s letter to the Philippians is the only use of “strait” that could be connoted as geographical but even that verse shows that Paul was in distress not a physical location.

  1. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

  2. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.

  3. For I am in a strait between two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

  4. Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

Philippians 1:21-24 KJV

People SO want to believe that they will be able to decide what is true, what is good and what’s enough effort to get into Heaven. (I still find it funny that they even believe in Heaven if they think they can decide what’s true and what’s not.) Yet God’s Word, the King James Bible, clearly shows us that not only was it incredibly difficult for people in Jesus’ time (and will be again in the Tribulation), but God has set the standard!

Look at the following verse.

  1. Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

Luke 13:24 KJV

People in the Gospel days were not assured of salvation like we are now! They had to follow the law, all the feasts, sacrifices, etc.; and yet were never really sure they were saved. Jesus himself said the Pharisees made followers twice the sons of Hell with all the regulations and rules they added to God’s Word. Yet the Pharisees didn’t practice what they preach! If they truly believed that sheer effort was what it took they would have worked harder than the people they told to work hard.

Jesus tells people to strive, meaning they have to work extremely hard, but sheer effort is no guarantee they will enter in. Not only that but the gate itself is distressing! Christ is saying that to enter in not only will people have to work very hard they will have to look outside themselves for a standard and meet that standard! It would be quite the mind change for people to realize they weren’t in charge, that their effort wasn’t just a big scorecard in the sky. They would have to change their understanding of what was required. They didn’t get to decide.

See how Jesus condemned the Pharisees as told in Matthew 9:13 and 12:7.

  1. And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.

  2. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?

  3. But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.

  4. But go ye and learn what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Matthew 9:10-13 KJV

  1. At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat.

  2. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.

  3. But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;

  4. How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?

  5. Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?

  6. But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.

  7. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.

  8. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.

Matthew 12:1-8 KJV

The quote comes from Hosea 6:6.

  1. O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, thy goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away.

  2. Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth.

  3. For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

Several blockbuster things jump out from that passage.

  1. God says he slayed them by his words. That fits with the description of God’s Word in Hebrews 4:12 and Revelation 1:16.

  2. God likened Judah’s goodness to a morning cloud and an early dew. Both those descriptions highlight how quickly Judah’s faithfulness to God faded and fled, especially when the heat of the day came. When any sort of tribulation occurred, Judah ran. They always chose “flight” when confronted with their “fight or flight” impulse. If Judah couldn’t do it, who had God’s word, God’s prophets and the Holy Spirit, what makes people in the Gospel times think they could? The gate truly is strait.

  3. The phrase “the knowledge of God” does NOT mean that a person simply was aware of God. Lots of people then (especially the Pharisees that Jesus condemned in the above passages from Matthew) were aware of God and thought they were “worthy”. No, the knowledge of God means the knowledge that God gives of him.

    Look at how Solomon was described by Christ in Matthew 12:42: “42 The queen of the south shall rise up in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.”

    Solomon’s wisdom did not come from himself, it was granted to him by God. The people who think they are pleasing God, or the ones who think God loves them regardless of what they do, are going to be sorely disappointed when he says “I never knew you.”

Paul confirms this in Galatians 4:9.

  1. Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.

  2. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

Galatians 4:8-9 KJV

The knowledge of God refers to whether GOD knows US!

How wonderful, then, to live today where we don’t have to worry about entering in at the strait gate, striving all our lives never knowing if we’ll make it, worrying that every little misstep will condemn us to Hell, any of it!

Because the Jews rejected Jesus and then Stephen, WE can hear the word of truth, believe it and trust that Christ will do exactly what he says! When we do we are SEALED with the Holy Spirit and placed in Heaven! Christ gives us his faith to live by as we build our faith and he walks the walk for us! He knew we could never match up so HE did what was necessary! He paid the price and deposited our sins in Hell. We are clean forevermore!

Any mistakes we make are not imputed. Christ says “I know you messed up. The flesh is still working but I spiritually circumcised you, cutting away the flesh from your soul. I paid the price for that mistake and deposited it in Hell. Don’t beat yourself up. Pick yourself up and keep going, keep striving. If I were to condemn you for that mistake I would condemn myself and I CAN’T!” HOW MARVELOUS!

  1. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

  2. Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

  3. Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

  4. That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

  5. In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

  6. That we shoulds be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

  7. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

  8. Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Ephesians 1:7-14 KJV

  1. And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

  2. Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience;

  3. Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

  4. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

  5. Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

  6. And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

  7. That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 2:1-7 KJV

  1. It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him.

  2. If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

  3. If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

  4. Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.

  5. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

  6. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

  7. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymanaeus and Philetus;

  8. Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

  9. Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

2 Timothy 2:11-19 KJV

  1. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20 KJV

  1. Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Galatians 5:1 KJV

The King James Bible stands alone as God’s preserved, pure words. When a certain word is used you can have full faith and confidence that word is exactly what God wants there. When you see “strait” you know it’s not “straight” or “narrow” or any other word the Greekers would tell you is “better”. They’re arguing with God then.

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