"And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force (Matthew 11:12 KJV)."
This post began on Sunday July 17th, 2022:
A few weeks, a series of prayers, a sermon, and thoughts that will not leave me, have led me here. My prophetic journey has been very interesting to say the least. I share my process sometimes in blog posts because prior to being thrown into the deep end of the prophetic pool only a few years ago, I had a trajectory for my life and unfortunately, God was along for the ride as opposed to me being led by Him. I mention this fact of my life because it is in instances of reflection now that I realize how present God was then, even when I had no idea. Being led is one of, if not the most important part of this journey with Jesus. After all, Jesus willingly gave up His life so that we may be blessed to have Holy Spirit live on the inside of us.
I've been praying a lot of "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done lately…(Matthew 6:10)." Honestly, I became annoyed if you will, that there was really no other prayer coming as fluidly. My thought process was: “there's a lot to pray about right now.” I was wrong to feel annoyed. You see, not having God's perspective, His mind, His heart, throws many things off. This and many other reasons are why it's so important to be led by the Holy Ghost. Whether I realized it then or not, upon reflection now, at some point, I gave up trying to pray in my known language and prayed in the Spirit (in tongues; a language known to God and to those who have the gift of interpretation of tongues [See 1 Corinthians 14 for context]). Be that as it may, I allowed Holy Spirit to pray through me whatever He wanted to. What I couldn't understand at first because of my personal feelings, is what I am sensing now: a gearing up of God's true servants. I was listening to a Kent Christmas sermon yesterday (Saturday July 16th, 2022) and when he mentioned Matthew 11:12, it was as if a spark hit me and instantly I began to meditate on this verse. Fast forward to this morning (Sunday), it is 6am and I am awake. As soon as I began to leave my bed, the song “Temple” by Brandon Lake sprung up in me and I began to sing it internally then found it online and listened as well as sang along with the lyrics. I am not aware of God getting my attention this way, as if to actually request that I spend time with Him. I am making this distinction because I have heard of many ways in which God gets the attention of His creation, but I am not yet sure if this is a pattern with me or if this was only on this occasion. I did however think that He wanted to share something with me so I made space for Him, I gave Him my time and He certainly delivered. I believe when I sing to Him, this creates an atmosphere of personal time with Him and He gives me things. I say things because I do not know the extent of this phenomenon. I then began to recite Matthew 11:12 and I asked two questions:
#2 What happened in the days of JTB?
#1 Why did Jesus mention JTB?
Tuesday July 19, 2022 Reflection…
“I believe when I sing to Him, this creates an atmosphere of personal time with Him and He gives me things.”
This occasion comes to mind: 2 Kings 3:15-20. I believe praise and worship brings God near to us: Psalm 22:3.
I asked myself question #2 first because of how Matthew 11:12 begins: “And from the days of John the Baptist until now…” Whatever JTB was dealing with during this time when Jesus made this statement is important. So, what was occurring?
Question #2: What happened in the days of JTB?
See Matthew 3; Mark 1:1-8 for context... JTB came preaching repentance in Judea. Though inhabited by Jews among others, Judea was under Roman control. God’s people were influenced by the culture and not positively.
He challenged the religious order.
See Matthew 11 for context…
He challenged the political order. He was arrested for what he spoke (truths) and did (wasn’t able to be bought by anyone). He was ultimately beheaded.
Let’s revisit Matthew 11:12…
"And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force."
The Word "kingdom" here according to The Blue Letter Bible app (definition A): speaks of a people with authority to rule and have dominion IN a kingdom, rather than a physical kingdom.
So, when we pray, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done here on earth as it is in heaven...(Matthew 6:10)", know that THIS is a POWERFUL prayer because it means so much: God's will is being enacted here in the earth as He has it established in heaven. There is a system of leadership and hierarchy in heaven—a governmental one. If not so, why does the Bible reference there being thrones for people to sit in alongside Jesus (Mark 10:37)? Remember, Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father (Mark 16:19). In this context, “regular folks” don’t have authority. So, who does? Those with Jesus.
Question #1: Why did Jesus mention JTB in this verse (as opposed to any other person or event that would mark this specific time in history)?
JTB prepared the way for Jesus. He came in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17). Please also see Malachi 4. Elijah was the Prophet who called down fire from heaven on the sacrifice of the prophets of baal and Asherah then put them to death/spoke there would be no rain and it didn't rain/prayed and spoke there would be rain and it did rain (See 1 Kings 18). John was a force to be reckoned with. He was full of the Holy Ghost. The truth he spoke challenged the elites and the rulers of government at the time.
So, upon further thought, I realized that it was less about what was taking place and more about who JTB was, what he symbolized: he prepared the people for the First coming of Jesus—for the King of Glory to come in (Psalm 24: 8-10). What confused people however, is Jesus did not come then to fight a war with conventional methods: the ways mankind wages war; He didn’t appear in His kingship. Jesus was the epitome of: 2 Corinthians 10:4 as prophesied in The Book of Isaiah 42:1-3. The weapon Jesus came then to bring was a figurative sword (Himself; The Word) to separate those who are His from those who are not, to bring salvation to those who were lost.
At this time (present day), I do not believe it will be any different, expect, I do not believe this is the time where Jesus will physically appear (His Second Coming). What I do believe of this time is: Jesus and His Kingdom (authority), will be revealed in His servants. The time of: “greater works…(John 14:12).” It’s possible this is because there are now more of us who are Holy Spirit-filled, more of us who will be of one mind, will, and heart who will be doing the work of Him Who has called us (John 17:20-23).
I have often wondered about God pouring out His Spirit (Acts 2:17). For some reason, I don’t expect it to be pockets of saved souls entering the Kingdom. I expect A MASS EXODUS of people from the world into God’s Kingdom. Could this be likened to the “Billion soul harvest” prophesied about? I am not sure. I don’t have clarity on this yet, but I just expect something HUGE.
So, what am I saying here?
I believe that the same way in which the kingdom of heaven suffered violence during the time of JTB and Jesus making this statement, is the same way in which we are seeing things take place now in 2022.
When I say, "gearing up" what I believe God is trying to communicate is: His people are about to take their rightful places in rulership. If Thy kingdom is coming, you better believe the government of God is touching down on earth. Hallelujah. But maybe not in the way some of us have been taught. I want to liken this to “a precursor of the Millennial Reign.” Robin Bullock has often said: “an impression” in reference to a snapshot of an event before THE event. This is what I believe we will get a glimpse of.
There is no changing of status quos without violence being enacted upon us as Christians, but God's Word reminds us of 2 things:
2 Corinthians 10:4 KJV
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds…”
Ephesians 6:12 KJV
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Had Adam and Eve obeyed God, they would not have sinned against Him and as a result, been casted out of the Garden of Eden. See Genesis 3.
Righteousness/Belief in God [Holy Spirit’s power and authority in us]
“Abram believed the LORD, and He credited it to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6 NIV).”
“He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow Rivers of Living Water (John 7:38 KJV).”
The Word of God (Jesus[written/spoken/communicated]; Sword)
“Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4 NIV).”
“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God
“These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and “perfect” in his generations, and Noah walked with God (Genesis 6:9 KJV).”
“3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in His holy place? 4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. 5 He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. 6 This is the generation of them that seek Him, that seek Thy face, O Jacob. Selah (Psalm 24:3-6 KJV).”
“Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth (James 5:17 ESV).”
Praying in Tongues (in The Spirit)
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints… (Ephesians 6:18 KJV).”
If God be for you, who can be against you (Romans 8:31)? He inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3) so, remain in praise.
David made his body a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1) when he danced out of his clothing in celebration of God the Father (2 Samuel 6)—praise and worship.
The Full Armor of God (showing up to every battle dressed as Jesus)
The Name of Jesus
“…10 that at The Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10-11 NKJV).”
The Blood of Jesus
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death (Revelation 12:11 KJV).”
The Fear of the LORD
“Fear of the LORD is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment (Proverbs 9:10 NLT).”
Joining Together with Brothers and Sisters in Christ
“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near (Hebrews 10:25 NLT).” “And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand (Mark 3:25 ESV).” There is not only power, but support in numbers.
“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT).”
Moses was told to speak to the Rock (Numbers 20:7-8).
Jesus cursed the fig tree with His Words (Mark 11:12-25).
Jesus “rebuked” the winds and the waves with His Words and they obeyed Him (Matthew 8:23-27 NIV).
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit (Proverbs 18:21 NIV).
We can inflict death with our tongues, likewise life. First spiritual, but then natural. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SPEAK.
Not mankind's ways of waging war at all. For a complete list of weapons, please enjoy spending time with God in His Word (the Bible/ with Jesus).
Final Thoughts… Let me just say, your level of submission to God’s ways are weapons for this war. “How could one man chase a thousand, or two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, unless the LORD had given them up (Deuteronomy 32:20 NIV)?” If you are set on fighting your own battles, your own way, it's likely God is not with you. And he gives grace generously. “As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6 NLT).”
Again, not mankind's ways of waging war at all.
1.) Things are changing so quickly some of your heads may be swimming (Amos 9:13-15 MSG). God has also said: “The least one shall become a thousand [a clan], and the small one a strong nation. I, the Lord, will hasten it in its [appointed] time (Isaiah 60:22 AMPC).
2.) Seek God, get to know Jesus, open your heart to hear Holy Spirit’s leading. With all the preparation we can have, if we are not in right standing with God (in relationship), none of it matters.