| Re: Overcoming by Taking the Kingdom with Force|
I would so like your comments on the following scripture that addresses taking the Kingdom by force (in overcoming)--I ask this of any who post to this thread as all of you have blessed me abundantly with your Godly wisdom. I believe it's not coincidence the Lord has laid this on my heart without ceasing over the past ten days as the thread discusses, and some of us strive, to overcome all that is not of Him.
[i][size=small][color=996600][font=Georgia]Mat 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.[/font][/color][/size][/i]
[i][size=small][color=996600][font=Georgia]Luk 16:16 The law and the prophets [were] until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. [/font][/color][/size][/i]
Following are Strong's/Thayer's concordant post for the violent and violence in the two scriptures above:
[size=small][font=Georgia]The Violent: are Strong, Forceful using Force by whom the kingdom of God i.e., who strive to obtain its privileges with utmost eagerness and effort.[/font][/size]
[size=small][font=Georgia]Violence: to use force, to apply force, to force, inflict violence on, one; the Act.--the kingdom of heaven is taken by violence, carried by storm, i.e., a share in the heavenly kingdom is sought for with the most ardent zeal and intensest exertion. To gain a share in the Kingdom of God by the utmost earnestness and effort.[/font][/size]
Matthew Henry Commentary on the two scriptures above, briefly summarized here, states:
[i][size=small][font=Georgia] This violence denotes a [b][u]strength, and vigour[/b][/u], and [b][u]earnestness of desire and endeavour,[/b][/u] in those who followed Johns ministry, else they would not have come so far to attend upon it. It shows us also, what [b][u]fervency and zeal[/b][/u] are [b][u]required[/b][/u] of all those who design to make heaven of their religion.
Note, They who would enter into the kingdom of heaven must [b][u]strive to enter;[/b][/u] that kingdom suffers a holy violence; [b][u]self must be denied,[/b][/u] the bent and bias, the frame and temper, of [b][u]the mind must be altered[/b][/u]; there are [b][u]hard sufferings to be undergone,[/b][/u] a force to be put [b][u]upon the corrupt nature;[/b][/u] we must [b][u]run,[/b][/u] and [b][u]wrestle,[/b][/u] and [b][u]fight,[/b][/u] and [b][u]be in an agony,[/b][/u] and all little enough [b][u]to win such a prize,[/b][/u] and [b][u]to get over such opposition[/b][/u] [b][u]from without and from within.[/b][/u]
[b]The violent take it by force. They who will have an interest in the great salvation are carried out towards it with a strong desire, will have it upon any terms, and not think them hard, nor quit their hold without a blessing, (my note to thread: As Jacob would not let go (ie., forceful, violent, pressing in) until God blessed him) Gen. 32:26. They who will make their calling and election sure must give diligence. The kingdom of heaven was never intended to indulge the ease of triflers, but to be the rest of them that labour.
It is a blessed sight; Oh that we could see a greater number, not with an angry contention thrusting others out of the kingdom of heaven, but with a holy contention thrusting themselves into it! [/font][/size][/i]
Blessings Brothers and Sisters[/b]
| 2007/6/6 21:00||Profile|
| Re: Taking the Kingdom by force|
Sorry for the long delay in responding to your post. Perhaps others, too, have not got back to you simply because they feel the explanation you yourself have given is very satisfactory.
The sources you have quoted qualify the word "violent," (fervently pressing in, etc.) and that's the way, I think, it must be taken.
For certainly Jesus could not be condoning carnal violence as an acceptable way to "take the Kingdom," especially since He Himself took it in exactly the opposite way: as a Lamb.
How can it be said that He, who showed us the "key" to entering the Kingdom by dying on the Cross... how can it be said that He took it by violence?
In fact, Paul tells us, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, But made Himself of no reputation (He emptied Himself), and took upon Him the form of a servant (bondslave) and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. WHEREFORE God also hath highly exalted Him..." (Phil. 2. 5-9).
In the original of above passage, the word "thought it not robbery" means "to take or hold by force," and is from the same root as the word in Matthew 11.12, "take it by force." So Christ Jesus thought it not a thing to be taken or held by force to be equal with God, but divested Himself of all that, emptied Himself, humbled Himself, was made in the likeness of men, going lower, still lower, still lower, taking upon Him the form of a slave, and then submitting unto the Father in obedience unto death: and that death not a noble heroic death, but a despised and (for Him) unjust death: a criminal's death: even death on a cross.
That's the way into the Kingdom. By following Him. He gave us an example that we should follow in His steps (1 Pet. 2.21).
"These (overcomers) are they who follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth" (Rev. 14.4).
...So I think it very important to see the words in Matthew 11.12 and Luke 16.16-- words about "violence," and "force"-- through this other lens, if I can put it that way.
Yes, we must be fervent and all-out, pressing toward the mark, but sometimes you hear a person boldly boasting how they're going to "take the kingdom by force, Hallelujah, Amen," and, well, you sigh inwardly, and say a prayer for them. You know they've got some lessons to learn.
| 2007/6/8 23:27||Profile|
The Violent take it by Force:
to me it says, that with the same persistence that the enemy is attempting to defeat us, we are to Stand in the Power of God, and upon His Word with every bit as much determination to overcome what is being thrown our way...
We are More than Conquerers and we are Overcomers...so therefore whatever the measure of violence comes against us, we will fight violently back, in the Spirit of the Almighty God...who has promised to put our enemies beneathe our feet....
Praise His Holy Name!!!!
| 2007/6/8 23:38||Profile|
| Re: To Stand, to Overcome|
6. However, it is evident that even the elect of God, the true saint, may at some time stumble and fall. But, he will immediately abhor and hate himself for it, repent, and seek God's forgiveness, [b][u]persevering with all his heart[/b][/u] until God gives him assurance of sins forgiven. This is a wonderful promise of mercy to the one who is stumbling.
Josef_urban somehow I missed your post of May 28. Yes, brother what you wrote succinctly sums what I was striving to convey--to take the Kingdom with all persistence and zeal as Matthew Henry wrote(see my last post)--in other words TO STAND**. I have been built up in the Lord, as I pray others have been, by the wise counsel of several posters to this forum.
[size=small][color=CC6600][font=Georgia]Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand** against the wiles of the devil. [/font][/color][/size]
[size=small][color=CC6600][font=Georgia]Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand**. [/font][/color][/size]
**to STAND: (lexicon Greek/Hebrew definitions)
to make firm, fix, establish
to keep place
to cause one to make his appearance faultless (Jude 24)
to designate a place for one to occupy
to place one's self, to stand
to make firm, fix, establish
to establish a thing, cause it to stand, i.e.,
to uphold or sustain the authority or force of any thing
to stand ready, prepared, immovable, firm
to hold position in the midst of the fight against the enemy
to persist, continue, persevere (so as not to fall from thy faith)[/font][/color][/size][size=small][color=000000][font=Georgia]to make firm, fix, establish[/font][/color][/size]
ADisciple thank you for your comments that further expound on your understanding of what it means to take the Kingdom by force.
Talkn2U I was so strengthened, so blessed by what you wrote I pray it lifts others. Your words are so encouraging they bear repeating here: [i][b]"with the same [u]persistence[/u] that the enemy is attempting to defeat us, we are to [u]Stand in the Power of God[/u], and [u]upon His Word[/u] with every bit as much [u]determination to overcome[/u] what is being thrown our way...
We are [u]More than Conquerers[/u] and we are Overcomers...so therefore whatever the measure of violence comes against us, we will [u]fight[/u] violently back, [u]in the Spirit of the Almighty God[/u]...[u]who has promised to put our enemies beneathe our feet[/u]....."[/i][/b]
Tozer wrote: "Praying Till We PRAY" (Take the Kingdom by force i.e., overcome through prayer that storms the Kingdom of heaven until we have heard from God Himself)
[b][i]Dr. Moody Stuart, a great praying man of a past generation, once drew up a set of rules to guide him in his prayers. Among these rules is this one: "Pray till you pray." The difference between praying till you quit and praying till you pray is illustrated by the American evangelist John Wesley Lee. He often likened a eason of prayer to a church service, and insisted that many of us close the meeting before the service is over. He confessed that once he arose too soon from a prayer session and started down the street to take care of some pressing business. He had only gone a short distance when an inner voice reproached him. "Son," the voice seemed to say, "did you not pronounce the benediction before the meeting was ended?" He understood, and at once hurried back to the place of prayer where he tarried till the burden lifted and the blessing came down.
The habit of breaking off our prayers before we have truly prayed is as common as it is unfortunate. Often the last ten minutes may mean more to us than the first half hour, because we must spend a long time getting into the proper mood to pray effectively. We may need to struggle with our thoughts to draw them in from where they have been scattered through the multitude of distractions that result from the task of living in a disordered world.
Here, as elsewhere in spiritual matters, we must be sure to distinguish the ideal from the real. Ideally we should be living moment-by-moment in a state of such perfect union with God that no special preparation is necessary. But actually there are few who can honestly say that this is their experience. Candor will compel most of us to admit that we often experience a struggle before we can escape from the emotional alienation and sense of unreality that sometimes settle over us as a sort of prevailing mood.
Whatever a dreamy idealism may say, we are forced to deal with things down on the level of practical reality. If when we come to prayer our hearts feel dull and unspiritual, we should not try to argue ourselves out of it. Rather, we should admit it frankly and pray our way
through. Some Christians smile at the thought of "praying through," but something of the same idea is found in the writings of practically every great praying saint from Daniel to the present day. We cannot afford to stop praying till we have actually prayed.[/b][/i]
I would like to read even more on this, from anyone who would take the time, of what practical measures may we take to stand, to persevere, to overcome.
| 2007/6/9 15:48||Profile|
| Re: What should a Christian do when overtaken by a particular sin?|
I've been wanting to offer just one little thought on 'the violent take it by force', which is not intended to contradict anything said by others. I think I may have heard it in a sermon once a long time ago, and certainly took it to heart as far as I was able.
As a pre-amble, let me suggest that there is a subtle mistake in the thinking of many who would call themselves 'charismatic', or who believe in the gifts of the Spirit, or in new birth, the baptism of the Spirit or revelation - that is, [i]any way at all[/i] in which we [i]feel[/i] ourselves consciously influenced by God (by His Spirit), which has played into the hands of the enemy who whispers that unless we 'feel' we are to do, or go, or... etc, we cannot move.
This is [i]not at all[/i] New Testament Christianity, which is marked by the disciples going and doing, their faith being backed up by action from God in the signs and wonders following. In that day, this was partly to bring people to repentance:
"And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
I would put this in agreement with
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors -- not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if [u]with the help of the Spirit[/u] [b]you[/b] [u]put to death the deeds of the body[/u], you will live.
So, what I wanted to say is, that 'the violent' are those who are willing to [i]violate[/i] their own comfort zone, to [i]feel[/i] the life of God (after mortification) [i]instead[/i] of the life of the flesh.
Oswald Chambers has written something about changing our routines so we are flexible. This is also part of it, (but I couldn't find the text).
| 2007/6/10 13:17|