This study came about because the Holy Spirit gave me a Rhema early one morning as I was waking up – “the violent take it by force.”
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.
‘take by force’ – G726 harpazo
1) to seize, carry off by force
2) to seize on, claim for one’s self eagerly
3) to snatch out or away
My first impression of “the violent take it by force” is that it means we are to ‘press into’ the Kingdom; to forcefully take back what the devil has stolen, to make him release his captives, his prisoners (people) through strong, sustained application of the Word, prayer, and promises of God. To appropriate the promises and the Blood of Jesus to the person and/or situation in need of saving (healing, deliverance, etc.).
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. ‘presseth’ – G971 biazo Thayer Definition: 1) to use force, to apply force 2) to force, inflict violence on.
‘broken’ – G1846 exorusso From G1537 and G3736; to dig out, that is, (by extension) to extract (an eye), remove (a roofing): – break up, pluck.
Mar 2:2 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.
Mar 2:3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.
Mar 2:4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.
Mar 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. (See also Luke 5:15 – 20)
The people in this passage demonstate what it means to “press into the kingdom.” They did whatever it took get the sick man before Jesus so he could be healed, even removing a piece of the roof over the place where Jesus and a large crowd was! Jesus rewarded their faith by healing the man. Taking the Kingdom by force, also means plucking out, or up (as if uprooting) that which hinders you from entering the Kingdom of Heaven, or from appropriating Kingdom promises to yourself and others to whom they are given, ie., the children of God. Notice that these action words aren’t passive; they’re ‘violent’ and ‘forceful,’ in the spiritual sense. In Mt 5:29 we see this kingdom ‘violence’ repeated —
Mat 5:29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
Mat 5:30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off,
‘pluck’ – G1807 exaireo
1) draw out, root out (Thayer’s Gk Definitions)
‘cast it from you’ – G906 ballo; to throw (more or less violent or intense): cast out, send, strike, throw down, thrust. (Strong’s Heb. & Gk. Dictionaries)
Notice that ‘pluck’ and ‘cast’ it from you, are both more or less violent, intense action words. While we’re not to take Jesus’ words to ‘cut off a hand’ or ‘pluck out an eye’ literally, what Jesus meant was that we should take strong measures to rid ourselves of sin, for it will be far better than finding ourselves in hell! Another example of determined faith in ACTION, is the woman with the issue of blood —
Mar 5:24 And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.
Mar 5:25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
Mar 5:26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
Mar 5:27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
Mar 5:28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
Mar 5:29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
Despite the throng (large crowd) pressing in to see Jesus, the woman, likely weak from her infirmity, nevertheless pressed through the crowd to get close enough to Jesus to ‘touch the hem of his garment.’ In doing so she was instantly healed.
Are we willing to do whatever it takes to press into and take hold of the Kingdom of Heaven to get our healing, deliverance, or whatever it is we need? God’s promises are for his sons and daughters.
Luk 13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
“strive” – G75 agōnizomai From G73; to struggle, literally (to compete for a prize), figuratively (to contend with an adversary), or generally (to endeavor to accomplish something): – fight, labor fervently, strive.
Another non-passive, strong action verb which means to struggle, contend, labor, and fight; all of which are involved in entering the Kingdom of Heaven and appropriating God’s provisions and promises, for ourselves and for others.
Our laboring to enter the Kingdom could be compared to ‘child birth’ as we traverse a narrow passageway through many obstacles, trials, and tribulations that squeeze and press against us; yet the rewards for persevering and remaining faithful to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, will make it seem like nothing when we see Him face to face – Rms 8:18.
Debra R. Stout, March 14, 2015