Taking the Kingdom of Heaven violently!!!
Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear”……. Matthew 11:11-15
In our previous Study, We see John the Baptist doubting if Jesus was truly the Messiah and How Jesus responded to His Disciples that were sent to ask Jesus. And as they were going, Jesus gave some amazing comments about John the Baptist. Here in these verses, Jesus explains how we can rise to a standard greater than John and how we can posses the Kingdom of Heaven.
Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he: This is an amazing Statement!!! John the Baptist was the greatest Person born from Adam up to Christ. He was the greatest Man in the Old Covenant. He is greater than even Mary!!! Jesus even said John the Baptist was More than a Prophet. Of all the Prophets in the Old testament, John was the Greatest. Jesus Himself said that “Among All those Born of women, No one of them has risen greater than John the Baptist” Mention them: Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Elisha, even Mary. For those who reverence Mary, let it be known that John was Greater than Her!!! However, As great as John the Baptist was, Anyone who has entered the New Covenant which is the Kingdom of Heaven is Greater than John. The least person in the New Covenant has a potential to be greater than John the Baptist. In what way? Firstly, John could only say “Get ready for the Kingdom of Heaven is near” but we can say “The Kingdom of Heaven has Come!! It is right here, we can enter and live this Heavenly life right now on Earth” John could not lead people into that Heavenly Life, He could only prepare the Way but we can!!! We have a greater Ministry than Him. We can say “Christ has come and risen from the dead. You can receive Him into Your Life and the Holy Spirit can lead You into a glorious New Life” Secondly, John has the Spirit only Upon Him but we can have the Spirit within Us. The Old Covenant Prophets had a tremendous ministry with the Spirit upon them, but it did not change their Inner Lives. Samson blessed Israel in many ways but His inner Life was full of Lust. David delivered Israel from Many of their enemies but he was defeated within His inner lives because of Sexual lust. Moses had a Wonderful Ministry but he was a Slave to anger within Him. The Spirit upon them only helped them in Ministry but could not change their Characters. A lot of people were blessed by their ministry but their Characters never changed. It must not be so in the Life of anyone who has entered into the new Covenant. If you hear of a Preacher falling into Adultery, then He is living like an old Covenant person even if He has been a blessing to many people.
It does not mean that we are more whole-hearted than the old testament Saint. It just means that we have greater resources than those who lived in the Old Covenant. For example, because We have access to Computer and calculator today, we can do calculation far better and faster than great Mathematicians who lived 500 years ago. It does not mean that we are greater Mathematicians than them, it only means that we have greater resources than they had. In the same way, with the potential and resources we have in the New testament through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can rise higher than John the Baptist in our inner life. We can come to a life where we never doubt the Love of Christ even if we are in prison for Years. God wants everyone of Us to rise higher than John the Baptist who was the greatest man in the Old Covenant. You cannot imagine John running after women or money. A Christian in the New Covenant should be far above that. But if not, then it means we are sinking below the Old testament standard. It is foolishness to say, “We are in the New Covenant” when we live at a standard of life lower than those who lived in the Old Covenant.
And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John: Here, Jesus was saying that John the Baptist was the dividing line between the Old Covenant and the new Covenant. Before John came, it was the Kingdom of Earth that was preached. God spoke through all the Prophets that He was going to give them Lands, prosperity more grains as written in Deuteronomy 28 which were the blessings of obedience. But when John the Baptist came, the messaged changed. And from that time onwards, it was the Kingdom of Heaven that is preached and not the Kingdom of Earth. It is a Kingdom where we can live in Righteousness, having Peace with God and Man, and Having Joy always in whatever situation through the power of the Holy Spirit(Romans 14:17), a Life where Sin has no Dominion over us because we are under Grace and not Law(Romans 6:14),a Life where we can partake of the Divine nature of Christ(2 Peter 1:4). If Your mind is set on Earthly things and what You are preaching is a Gospel of prosperity and healing, I am sorry to inform You that You are more than 2000 years outdated!!! That is an old Covenant Message. It is not the Message found in Ephesians 1:3 which says, ” Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places(Not Earthly places) in Christ” or the one in Ephesians 2:6,saying ” God raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places(Not Earthly places) in Christ Jesus” The new Covenant messages always seeks to point Us towards Heaven and setting our minds on things in Heaven(Colossians 3:1-2).
But this Kingdom of Heaven will only be possessed by those who are Violent. What does Jesus means by this? Basically, Christians are people of peace. We don’t fight Human beings. We concentrate on fighting the Devil. The Old Covenant Saint fought with Human being in other to possess the Land of Canaan. They were violent to get those Land. In The same way, if we want to enter this kind of Life described in the New Covenant, We must be Violent inwardly. For the Kingdom of God is a Life within Us(Luke 17:21). We must be violent against Satan, Sin and the lust in our Flesh. Those who are Violent against Sin get it. Many people do not posses the riches of God’s Kingdom because inwardly, they are not violent against Sin and the lust of the Flesh, and satanic attempt to make them fall into Sin. Many are more violent in their speech and behavior to others. These may be the reasons why some have not come into these Heavenly Life described in the New Covenant.
And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come: There is a prophecy in Malachi 4:5 which says, ” Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” John the Baptist came in the spirit of Elijah to prepare the people for the coming of the Lord but the People rejected Him. If the Jewish nation had accepted John the Baptist, then it would have been a fulfillment of that prophecy. But they were not willing to receive Him, instead the majority rejected His Ministry until He was Finally beheaded by Herod. So Since He was not received, there is going to be another Elijah who is going to come before the second coming of the Lord which is going to be the Great and dreadful day of the Lord. Jesus first coming was to proclaim the acceptable Year of the Lord(Luke 4:19). His second coming will be a Day of Vengeance(Isaiah 61:2). But before that Day comes, there will be an Elijah. And I believe that Elijah will not be just one person. I believe the Elijah will be a body of people standing as One which is the Church. So the Church is the Elijah who will come before the dreadful day of the Lord. And Just as John the Baptist prepared people for the first coming of Jesus, the Church is also to prepare people for the second coming of the Lord. And any Church who wants to be that Elijah must preach what John and Elijah preached. John the Baptist preached Repentance from Sin(Matt 3:2). The message of Repentance is a very important message for the Church if we are going to prepare people for the Lord. Even in Revelation, Jesus message to the Churches is “Repent!!!(Rev 2:5,16,21,22,.3:3,19).The last book in the Bible has the highest number of ” Repent” to teach us how important it is. Also, Elijah on Mount Carmel said to the people, “If The Lord is God, follow Him, but if Baal, follow him(1 Kings 18:21). So Elijah was saying” You cannot Serve God and Baal” There is a need for Churches who want to prepare people for the Lord to arise and proclaim to the people that “You cannot Serve God and Money(Matt 6:24).
He who has ears to hear, let him hear: Jesus knew that this is not something everyone wants to hear. You think it is too radical a Message? Do you think everyone has ear to hear this kind of Message? A message that does not permit you to fight with people but instead put to death the lust of your Flesh. A message that tells you that in the New Covenant, suffering and imprisonments is permitted for the Glory of God. A message that says “You cannot Serve God and Mammon”, if you Love Money, You definitely Hate God. You have to choose between the two. And it is so disappointing that over the years, many Christians are still yet to understand that the Old Covenant is Abolished and that there is better things that God has provided for us in the New Covenant(Heb 11:40). I hope Today You will have a Ear to Hear that Messages that focuses on things of the Earth(Prosperity, Material things) is Outdated!!! He who has ears, let Him Hear!!!
Dear Friend, You can come to a Higher standard of Life and purity than the greatest Man who lived in the Old testament. The resources of the Holy Spirit that was not made available for those in the Old Covenant has been provided for Us. All the Prophets in the Old testament longed to see this days. They all wished what we have now was provided for them. But Look at You, with All that has been provided, have You risen to a greater Level of purity than John the Baptist? John the Baptist was so Humble that He said “I am not worthy to carry the dirty sandals of Jesus(Matt 3:11)” Are You this Humble?. Take it seriously My Dear Friend!!Be violent against Sin and the Lust in Your Flesh. If you still fight Humans and hate Your enemies instead of Loving them, I can guarantee You in writing, that You will never enter this Life described in the New Covenant. He who has ears, Let Him Hear. May none of us come short of the privileges in the New Covenant.(Amen). God bless you. Have a blessed day.
#Everyday with Jesus