Ilumination

His Rest or Violence?

April 4, 2022

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I will like to announce boldly
to every believer and minister of
the gospel out there that
“The Kingdom of Heaven is no
longer suffering violence, and the
violent is no longer taking it
by force”. When we read our Bibles,
we must read it with Sunesis (Understanding)
and situate spoken words in context so
that we do not
quote a statement made at a
certain time and for a certain reason
which events had overtaken as a
current, ongoing reality!

I have heard many people use
this statement to spur believers
to pray, sometimes a “man of God”
will even ask Church members
to come to church with a cane
or broom or stick or machete
to flog the devil and all
the witches disturbing them because
of the statement Jesus made in
Matthew 11:12. They have only read
the words but I dare say they
didn’t understand what Jesus was saying!

John the Baptist was the forerunner
of Jesus Christ, his ministry was
characterized by large crowds who
came to John seeking to please
God and make it to the kingdom
Of God by submitting themselves to
be baptized and living a morally
upright life, but that did not
guarantee eternal life (See Acts 19:1-7).
Apostle Paul met some disciples of
John who only knew John’s baptism.
Paul asked them if they had
received the Holy Spirit and they said
they had never even heard
that there was a Holy Spirit.
They had only known the baptism of
repentance…). In John 5:36-40, Jesus
met with the Pharisees after he
had healed the man by the pool
of Bethesda and instead of embracing
him, they rejected him.
Jesus said “You study the scriptures
diligently because you think that in
them you have eternal life.
These are the very Scriptures that
testify about me Yet you refuse
to come to Me to have life.

In John 14:6, Jesus answered
“I am the Way, the Truth, and
the Life. No one comes to the
Father but by me”.These words establish
that the statement “The Kingdom of
heaven suffereth violence,
the violent takes it by force”
was meant to refer to the period
of the Old Testament prophets which
ended with John the Baptist.
Jesus referred to him as the greatest
of all the prophets for one
reason only, John came to bear
witness of Jesus to the world
and as such was the prophet
to usher in the season of
the messiah!

Those who attempted to get
to heaven before Jesus came
literally did it “violently” because
Heaven was not originally created
for mankind to inhabit. The plan of
God in Genesis 1 was for man
to have dominion, subdue, and replenish
the earth. There was no place
where God told man he would
come back to live in heaven.
Psalm 115:16 “The highest heavens
belong to the Lord but the earth
He has given to mankind”

After the fall of Adam in the
garden, man lost eternal life
because of sin and death.
The soul of every man that died
began to descend to Sheol except
for a few like Moses, who was
rescued by the angel of the Lord
as written in the book of Jude,
like Enoch who walked with God
and was no more because God
took him and Elijah who was
carried to heaven by a whirlwind!
We were given no other account
of anyone making it to heaven
even though many prophets, teachers
and priests believed there was life
after death.

Do you remember the Sadducees?
Their primary belief is that once
people die, that is the end of life
and that there is nothing like resurrection
of the dead or the existence of angels.
The Pharisees believe the opposite that
there is life after death and
a realm of glory where angels exist.
They believed this even though
they had no proof of it from
the scriptures (Paul will later use
this fact in his defense when he was
arrested in Jerusalem Acts 24:14-15)
As stated above before Jesus came
the kingdom of heaven suffered violence but
upon His arrival, everything changed
This was why he said “From the days of John
the Baptist, Until Now… (this Until now means
Until the moment Jesus
came! Not until 2022)

We do not take anything from
the Kingdom of heaven with violence
anymore, as long as we are
In Christ, all things have been
freely given to us. Jesus suffered
the ultimate and final violence on
the cross and he completed the
work of our redemption through that
process, all we have to do
now is to accept Him as our
Lord and Savior, believe in Him,
confess his Lordship and we have
eternal life without any violence
(John 3:16)
For God so loved the world
that He gave his only begotten
son that whosoever believes in Him
should not perish but have everlasting life.

The process is easy and uncomplicated
To imply that the kingdom of heaven
is still suffering violence now in 2022
Is like saying George Washington is
still abolishing slave trade or Mungo
Park is still riding his canoe on
the River Niger. These things happened
but they are now history just
as the days of the kingdom
of heaven suffering violence is now
history and is no longer applicable
in our Christian reality.

I ask you to quote these
scripture in context next time
you have to use it and not
use it to mean believers have
to do extra-biblical things in order
to get their prayers answered or
please God. Indeed we desire that
our members pray fervently because
we don’t want a cold church and
this passage has been used to
motivate many believers to pray violent
prayers but it negates their faith in
the finished works of Christ to
believe It is not Finished! The cure
to lethargy in church services is
the lack of the presence of the
Holy Spirit and power in many churches.
It has made many of us
“babblers” like the priests of Baal
instead of effective ministers of the
Spirit like the early apostles. Making
a lot of noise while praying does
not make our prayers more effective.

It is true that Jesus prayed
until sweat was like blood in
the garden of Gethsemane, yet it
wasn’t by the noise but by
the intensity! (His disciples slept
peacefully as he prayed). When
you pray as led by the
Holy Spirit, you will not
be slack and you will not lack
answers. It is always in the
relationship, not in the activity.
Once a believer or a minister
of the gospel gets this, he or
she will never have cause
to pray without getting results
anymore.

You either enter into His rest Hebrews 4:1-11
or you continue effortlessly in your violence

 

I love you

-GSW-

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