‘…the kingdom of God suffereth violence; and the violent taketh it by force’! (Matthew 11:12)
Hmm… Some believers understand the above verse to mean that a believer has to pray and fast VIOLENTLY in order to overcome the evil powers disturbing their lives! (I can’t stop laughing) Some even think it is about shouting at God to release blessings on them! Hmm…
Now listen carefully: the VIOLENCE referred to in the above verse has nothing to do with shouting or shaking or attending violent prayer meetings or engaging in several days of fasting, etc. Not at all!When you take a verse of scripture out of its context, you end up allowing yourself to be deceived! The VIOLENCE referred to in that verse refers to a quick and serious shift from LAW to GRACE!!! Hmm…The verse actually reads thus:
‘And from the DAYS OF JOHN THE BAPTIST UNTIL NOW…hmm…the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN suffereth violence,…and the VIOLENT take it by force’! (Matt 11:12 emphasis mine)
Wow! This verse is one of the sweetest verses on GRACE!!! Matthew 11 is a chapter about John the Baptist sending his disciples to Jesus to question if Jesus is truly the Messiah! Hmm… But Jesus gave John’s disciple a very intelligent answer and began to make some interesting comments about John! In vs 13 (which is the next verse), Jesus said:
‘For all the prophets and the LAW prophesied until John’! (Matt 11:13)
Hmm…. This is what Jesus was saying: John is the last prophet of the Law! The proclamation of the Law ended with John! Anybody who got a miracle at the time of John, was supposed to ONLY get it by fulfilling the LAW of the Old Testament! Hmm…. After the Law comes GRACE (which Jesus described as the Kingdom of God)! But the dispensation of Grace had not begun yet because Jesus had not yet died! Hmm….
Now Jesus said: …’From the days of John the Baptist until NOW….the kingdom of Heaven (Grace dispensation)…suffereth violence….’ (Matt 11:12)
Wow! Did you get that? Jesus was saying that…in between the time that John lived and the time that He would die on the cross…GRACE is NOT supposed to be manifested yet!!! But the wise people of that time did not wait for Jesus to die before they started receiving healing and blessings from God by operating the covenant of GRACE which does not judge them by their works!!!
Hmm… (I really hope you get this)! That is what Jesus meant by the VIOLENT taketh it by force!
That is, people under Law…saw Jesus…and recognized that He was not a Prophet of the Law….so they PRESSED into the FREE and UNMERITED favour which He carried and got their blessings totally FREE even though Jesus had not yet died to end the Law!!! (Romans 10:4)
Hmm… Let me show you some examples:
1) When Jesus told a ‘gentile’ woman who needed healing for her child that He cannot give the children’s bread to the dog…(Matt 15:26)…He was actually saying….Supernatural Healing is not meant for a ‘non-Jew’ as at that time because He hadn’t died yet! In fact, it was in this context that Jesus affirmed that before His death, He was sent only to the ‘lost sheep of Israel’! (Matt 15:24) But this woman was not an Israelite and she wanted Jesus to perform a miracle for her child! This was why when Jesus healed her daughter, He said to her:
‘O woman, GREAT IS THY FAITH! (Matt 15:27)
Wow! This woman VIOLENTLY entered into GRACE when it wasn’t time for GRACE to manifest yet! Are you getting the picture now? Hmm…
2) Another example was that under the Law, it is a ‘SIN’ for a woman with the ‘issue of blood’ to come into the midst of people! (Lev 15:25-27) But the Bible says when the woman with the issue of blood ‘heard of Jesus’…she PRESSED INTO THE CROWD… Ah! …and touched the hem of Jesus’ garment! (Mark 5:27) Wow! She broke the LAW…when she ‘heard of Jesus’!
Can you see how the kingdom of Heaven suffered violence? The Law was still in full force because Jesus had not yet died…but she broke the Law of Moses in order to partake of GRACE!!! Wow! Can you now see what Jesus meant by ‘…From the days of JOHN the Baptist until now…the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN suffereth violence…and the violent taketh it by force’?
That is, the ‘violent could not wait for Jesus to die before they started pressing into the realities of the kingdom of God (GRACE)! Hmm… Now to make it brief and help you understand what Jesus was really saying about John the Baptist, which led to the statement about the violent taking it by force, let’s just check out the parallel verse which is found in the book of Luke.
Now follow carefully:
‘The LAW and the PROPHETS (hmm…) Were until JOHN…SINCE THAT TIME…the KINGDOM OF GOD (Grace) is preached….and EVERY MAN PRESSETH INTO IT (i.e. the violent taketh it by force)! (Luke 16:16 emphasis mine)
Wow!!! Do you now understand? Listen: The violent taketh it by force does not mean….’Shaking your head violently when praying’!!! It does not mean fasting 100 days!!! It does not mean attending 7 days night vigils!!! It does not even mean giving all your salary as a sacrifice!!! Hmm….
Now listen carefully: it only required ‘violence’ to bring in GRACE when Jesus had not yet died! Now Jesus had ALREADY DIED!!!You can now LEGALLY PARTAKE OF GRACE!!!GRACE IS TOTALLY UNMERITED FAVOUR!!!Stop living your life as if Jesus had not yet died!Rest on the finished work of Christ and receive your miracle FREELY!!!
‘He (God) that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, …How shall He not with Him also …FREELY …FREELY …FREELY …give us…ALL…ALL…ALL…things!!! (Romans 8:32)
Hmm…. I therefore leave you with the words of Paul to the Galatians:
‘Stand fast therefore in the LIBERTY wherewith CHRIST hath made us FREE,…and be not entangled again with the yoke of BONDAGE (law)! (Gal 5:1)
Hmm… I’m sure your eyes of understanding has been enlightened to see what Jesus has done for you and what Jesus meant by …’The kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence and the violent taketh it by force’! Wake up to the realities of GRACE! Hallelujah!
Never forget: The violent taketh it by force does not mean….’Shaking your head violently when praying’!!!
You have been redeemed by the BLOOD!
‘Stand fast therefore in the LIBERTY wherewith CHRIST hath made us FREE,…and be not entangled again with the yoke of BONDAGE (law)! (Galatians 5:1)