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…And the violent take it by force

Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven suffers violence and violent men take it by force.” (Matt: 11:12) It’s raining in Georgia as I write this, but not in my soul. By way of contrast, if you read yesterday’s blog, you saw my world was suffering violence. From some of your comments and email…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven suffers violence and
violent men take it by force.” (Matt:

It’s raining in Georgia as I write this, but not in my soul. By way of contrast, if you read yesterday’s
, you saw my world was suffering violence.

From some of your comments and emails, I wasn’t
the only one having a day like that. So,
I postured myself to not be a victim, but to recognize that pain is a standard
occupational hazard for human beings, and particularly those who pose a threat
to our enemy.

And so, today dawns and though the people I know who were
hurting continue to struggle, I personally am not back on my heels reacting
like a punching bag for the enemy of my soul.

In fact, upon reflection, I like the ebb and flow of this life. I won’t
be surprised or sidelined by pain, and I’m going to make the devil pay for
coming after me. It’s not braggadocio;
it’s just a fact – in a spiritual sense, I’m a violent man, determined to war
on behalf of those I love and those that Jesus targeted for love – the poor in
spirit, the widow and the orphan.

We Jesus-followers, if our eyes are fixed on his kingdom and
his righteousness, are forever encroaching our enemy’s territory. We’re at
least a nuisance to him, and some of us are a spiritual force to be reckoned
with. I love meeting people like
that and aspire to be one myself.

Our enemy’s general strategy is to keep humans
hopeless and isolated, but in the power of the Holy Spirit, we bring them hope
and connection. This looks like force to the enemy – the kind of force that
comes when you’re gritting your teeth and have filled the cup of your soul to
the brim with determination.

My prayer is that many of you who have been wounded and
sidelined, benumbed or restrained, would regain the gleam in your eye. Be a man or woman of violence. Seek the kingdom as the focus of your life, don’t
be deterred along the way, and Jesus promises*, your life will be full to

*Matt. 6:33

Comments (31)

  • A year or so ago, I was laying before the Lord, meditating on His Word. When I stood and opened my mouth to speak with Him, I heard myself say this: “You are a member of the Special Forces. (I have never been in the military. However, I immediately thought of warefare and of our own specially trained military men and women in the armed forces; Navy Seals and alike.) Amazed at what I was hearing myself say, but not wanting to stop because I knew that the Spirit of God was actually giving me those words to say, I continued. “Members of the special forces do not reason with the enemy. It’s understood that when they go to fight, they take no prisoners! It is understood that when members of the special forces are deployed, they have come to take the enemy out! They are not diplomatic. They do not bargin, nor do they negotiate. They take over!”

    Recently, the spirit of the Lord spoke to my heart and said that He has given me WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION (I’m sure the you know that-that really caught my attention – with all that we’ve heard about that phrase in recent years.) As I considered what I had just heard, this came to mind: prayer, praise, worship, the name of Jesus, the Word of God, the Holy Spirit, the ability to bind and loose, the Names of God – appropriately used in prayer to target specific needs(Jehovah Rapha, Jehovah Jireh, Jehovah Nissi, Jehovah Shalom, etc.) Weapons of mass destruction! Just think,brothers and sisters. With these weapons we can destroy the works of the enemy! Let’s stay before our God so that we may learn how to use these weapons skillfully. Let’s destroy the works of the enemy!!

  • 6-12-12

    Personal Comment:

    Now the post below reveals the WISDOM OF GOD at work when it comes to TRUTHFUL TEACHING …

    LORDGOD revealed it about the same way to me that this blog message has so skillfully outlined for all to see …

    Please be careful how you walk so as not to deceive others into false teaching of the GOSPEL of CHRIST JESUS …

    Remember, there are various degrees of Christians maturity out there who will not totally understand what LORDGOD is trying to teach them for Divine TRUTH … The immature will most likely learn many valuable lessons by making mistakes they later on will realize were incorrect during their walk in the LORD …

    Keep your eye on the LORD JESUS and study HIS parables until you know the TRUTH that will set you free!

    In HIS NAME,

    Bro Leo
    Jer 33:3


  • Thanks, Seth. Sometimes the enemy lulls me into thinking that the battle is not yet at hand, and that I should just relax and not think about it. To take the path of least resistance.
    But I am a soldier, and we are all soldiers, and we should never rely on intel from the enemy. We know we are going to win the war, so we should posture ourselves offensivelynot defensively for battle.
    Carl von Clausewitz had a lot to say on how to win wars, and his Principles of War are the cornerstone of everything we do in the military. I think they would apply here too.

  • Phil 3:12-14
    Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

  • I’ve been chewing on the verse in Psalms that says “He trains my hands for battle.” (Ps18:34) In some translations it reads, “He teaches my hands to war.” God has been showing me glimpses of what this looks like in my life. I don’t understand it all, but I can’t help but think that it has something to do with this violence in the spirit we are to impel on the enemy’s camp. I thank God that as we commit to being men and women of violence, that he does train our hands for battle.

  • Being a veteran of a battle or two.The LORD has taught me to rely upon him.For He is truly my strength.Even tonight as I plead my case to him!!! His reply psalm72 vs.3-6 and all the children said AMEN

  • I aspire to be like Paul and Jesus and actually be recognized by the demons. I want to be popular, not with man, but with the evil forces of this world. God forbid, I’d be so week they say, “we don’t know you”. If that’s the case, I fear that God Himself may not know me. To hear the dreaded frase, “depart from me I never knew you”. We can be popular in both the demon and Godly realm by living violently for Jesus.

  • Seth, your blog is such an encouragement in knowing that you are fighting for all of us here in Mexico. You challenge me to keep fighting, and I know that the Lord’s victory and glory will be seen!

  • I did a google search on “The Kingdom of God suffers violence” and your blog came up! And I am so glad it did (you are now in my fav’s) – thank you, thank you for yesterday’s and today’s blog (although when I am reading and writing this comment it is May 9, 2008!). The Lord told me through a message I just heard (www.ibethel.org – Sunday’s message 5/4/08)that I was too nice! The Lord told me I was too nice – can you believe that? So since I had already been mediating on the scripture “The Kingdom of God suffers violence and the violent take it by force” and “No one enter the Kingdom of God but through tribulation” and then hearing that message and the Lord breaking my heart by saying I was too nice – and now after reading your past two posts – God is surely up to something in my life and in the body of Christ! Thank you for these encouraging words and as I seek to understand fully what God means by me being too nice I pray that we all learn to take back what is rightfully ours – for His names sake!! Let’s all go KICK SOME BUTT!! Blessings! ;o)

  • I love going out wittnessing to others, sharing Christ. Here lately it seems i have lost my boldness to not care what others would think. Its like a have went from the lion to the kitten:-( Reading this blog has been a great encouragement to my soul. WE are soliders for the advancement of His Kingdom! GOD BLESS

  • This is an initation to all, to join my church and Ministry in doing just what Matthew 11:12 instructs us to do.
    My Ministry web site is found at, http://www.carlbadamsministry.org.
    My e mail address is, [email protected]
    It is a matter of strength, Unity and maturity of which God requires in this day of our doomsday plight, and not anything else
    Visit my web site, review it and contact me for answers to any qauestions.
    God loves and all of his children and so do I.
    God bless.
    Carl B. Adams-Minister

  • I was wondering if this website is still active…I just stumbled on it, but noticed the entries are all pretty old. I’m disturbed by the destruction I’m seeing throughout the church, feeling called by the Lord to prayer, but feeling quite awkward when it comes to warfare, I feel very inadequate and ignorant.

  • Matthew 11:12
    From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.

    This is another difficult verse in the bible. Different teachers have different views. But with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and with the exegesis from the context, I come to this conclusion.

    The back ground story is as follows. John the baptist was in the prison for the cost of the kingdom of heaven. He began to have some doubt about Jesus Christ as the messiah.
    So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus.

    Then Jesus replied with what he was doing. He healed the sick. He raised the dead. He preached the good news of the kingdom of heaven. They were enough proofs of his Messianic

    After that, to the crowd , he said, “ From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.

    I believe that Jesus Christ was targeting to the ones who believed in him.

    This is my paraphrase. Jesus Christ said, “John the baptist has already entered into the kingdom of heaven. Now he is advancing in and for the kingdom of heaven. So the enemies put him in prison. But John and the other strong men did not give up. They take hold of the advancement
    of the kingdom of heaven. They kept on marching, for the victory was sure. Do not be discouraged or dismayed. Blessed is the one who does not fall away on account of me. Know that I am.”

    Another related verse is Luke 16:16.
    The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.

    Here Jesus replied to the Pharisees, who loved money and who were sneering at Jesus, when he said, “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and wealth.”

    So, this is my understanding. Pharisees try to enter into the kingdom of heaven with their own way. But they will never be allowed.

    They need to humble themselves, fighting against their pride. They need to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Messiah. Only then will they be accepted into the kingdom of heaven.

    But every one who humbles himself, overcoming against his pride, is welcome into the kingdom of heaven. The Holy Spirit gives them power to come to Jesus Christ.

    There will be oppositions against the kingdom of heaven, whether entering into or advancing for the kingdom of God. The oppositions are either inside of a man or outside.

  • To the editor,

    Whoever posted this blog should be careful not to
    Lead the flick of God astray with diverse teachings.

    While it is an attract message to teach to have an active faith
    For the Lord, this is not at all what scriptures says in Matthew 11:12

    Jesus is speaking in general to the Pharisees and religious
    Jews who reject with fury or rage His teachings of
    The kingdom of God. The Pharisee’s claim to accept and believe
    All the law and the prophet but now ironically reject with
    Forceful words, persecution and threats of death at various
    Points the One (Christ) who the prophets foretold.

    Thereby not only did they forcefully advance in the
    Kingdom preaching, but “the violent take it by force”, they
    At all points attempted (seeking to find an opportunity) to seize
    Or “take away”, stop the teaching, put an end to it .

    Lastly and quickly , examine all “Jesus’s parables” in which
    Did he describe of men crowding themselves violently for
    Good “faith” reasons as you wrongly teach in you post above?

    But we see a parable in Matthew chapter 21, Jesus
    Referring to how They killed the prophets and the Son (Himself)

    Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. (Romans 16:17, 18 KJV)

  • Look at our world and the direction. Watch how so many do not move to take a stand against the horrific injustices. If the violent take the kingdom then the call should be heard in our ears to take a stand for the oppressed, human, animal, plant, all life. This stand is implied to be very strong as is it against the violent. May the Holy Spirit guide us all as this is a sacred time on our earth.

  • Greetings we r in a season of great warfare for the kingdom has suffered violent since john thebaptist and we are the viole t taking it by forcr we fefuse to bow to the enemy knowing that we r equipped. For the journey.jesus is soon to come we have to reach as many soul for the knigdom befofe his feturn r u on battlefield or in trench

  • I’m blessed as I’m going through all the comments it make me realize that God is rising warrior who we stand for his kingdom n never be shaken

  • Yes. An ostrich sticks its head in the sand and says “Nothing is wrong. I see nothing.” Such is the complacency of a lukewarm or even cold proclaimed Christian. To take back our holy inheritance is to be an ACTS CHURCH. An acts church is not “church as usual”. An acts church is a Holy Spirit invaded and Holy Spirit filled and Holy Spirit led church (body of Christ) on fire for the Gospel and for the souls of mankind. The church is mandated! This is not an option for the church that is built on the Rock of Ages. That is the difference between lean sheep and fat sheep. Radical is not a rebellious word. Jesus tells us to be “hot”, not lukewarm or cold. Satan’s war against God is to destroy the souls of people and to keep the church operating in cold or lukewarm. He knows that the time of saving grace is limited. He wants to take as many Gentiles and Jews into hell with him as possible so he does not suffer alone. He wants to keep the church spiritually dwarfed and afraid. He wants to keep the church stuck in arguments, strife, programs and self centered comfort. I am a woman of faith on fire for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am not emotional. I am awake. I see. I hear. I labor for the harvest as God so moves in me to do so. We need more Esthers. We need more Pauls. We need more Moses. We need more Peters. We need more Mary mother of Jesus’s. We need more Mary Magdala’s. We need more Mary of Bethany’s. We need more Abigails. Read Esther 4:14 and 2 Chronicles 16:9. We need more laborers for the harvest for such a time as this. Wake up! This is not our home.

  • least the devil takes advantage of us we are not ignorant of his way.Let keep watch of the canning devil and wear the fullarmour of God.He God is more than a conqurer so should we also.

  • I can agree with what i’ve read,because of the things that i see and witness here in the churches in this surrounding area how pastors are not attacking the sin issue concerning salvation of souls, and the devil is attacking the family unit.If the church is to be a force to fight the kingdom of darkness,then we as children of God must unite together to win back our family.

  • “The kingdom of heaven suffers violence and violent men take it by force”

    Violent men will always seize the kingdom of heaven by force, that is what violent men do.

    I would ask the question concerning this verse.

    Are we a violent people?
    Is this part of the good fruits of the spirit?

    I know how most churches proclaim this verse, and point to the “enemy” in fighting violently to lay hold of the kingdom of heaven.

    I would suggest we all re-read this verse and ask this question, Is Jesus speaking of this verse as being a good thing?

    Neither Jesus nor John the Babtist seized heaven by force.

  • Hi. I found this blog while searching for the New Testament as kept secrectly by a Jewish family until the 1400’s. Repeated four times in its version of the gospels is the statement that Jeses was friends of violent men (zealots) and camp followers (prostitutes?).

    For your thread I would like to point out that “suffer” means “let it be”, not the “woe is me” of today. It was originally used as in “suffer the little children to come unto me”. Thus “the Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence” was not a negative comment, but an acknowledgement of how the procelyting was proceeding. This can also be seen in “I send you out two by two, as lambs amoung the wolves”. One of the pair was a lover and the other a warrior. One a lamb, the other a wolf. Similer dicotymies in the Four Gospels are female and male, serpent and dove, burning & shining.

    The role of Jesus was as the lover, the role of John the Baptist was as the warrior and there was a bit of a struggle between the two. Your blog is the first time I have encountered others who are studying this subject. I would love to have a dialog, my e-mail is [email protected]

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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