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Author Topic: What do these 2 verses mean?  (Read 4316 times)

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mharrell08

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What do these 2 verses mean?
« on: July 22, 2008, 01:33:39 AM »

Hello All:

I recently emailed Ray a question about the following 2 scriptures that I had trouble understanding. He has tons of emails to answer so I was wondering if anyone here could help. I will copy & paste my message in blue:


Hello Ray,

First off, thank you for the wonderful site. I have been reading your papers for a year & a half and feel extremely blessed. I am so grateful for the wonderful truths that God has showed me through His Word and your website.

My question about the above scriptures is: What do they mean?

Matt. 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.

Luke 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.

Now I realize that 'and every man presseth into it' is considered spurrious but it is the only other time that the Greek word for violent (biazo G971) is used. I just ran across this translation from the Amplified Bible:

Luke 16:16  Until John came, there were the Law and the Prophets; since then the good news (the Gospel) of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone strives violently to go in [would force his [a]own way rather than God's way into it].

I see that it is saying 'since John the Baptist until now' this violence occurs. As I also remember from your LOF series & 12 Spiritual Truths papers that His words are spirit. I just needed help understanding what this means.



Thanks for any assistance you all can provide.


Marques
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Brian

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Re: What do these 2 verses mean?
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2008, 04:37:05 AM »

Many have wondered what he meant by that. Mark 2:1-5 is a beautiful commentary on Matthew 11:12
God is simply saying, "Look, I'm ready to give to those who really want something." If you really want it, then God will give it, even though it is an interruption of the program he had in mind. So these men came -- violently -- ready to take what they knew God was offering at that moment and, in a sense, they took it by force.

What is underscored here, of course, is the quality of faith. This is what faith is all about. There are three remarkable and beautiful aspects of it here:

First, these men dared to do the difficult. That is where faith always manifests itself. It was not easy to bring this man to the Lord. They had to carry him, who knows how far, through the streets of the city -- perhaps many blocks. And when they found the doorway blocked, they had to carry him up an outside stairway to the roof. We do not know how heavy he was, but it is not easy to carry a full grown man up a flight of stairs. Yet these men managed this difficult task. They dared to do the difficult. What an illustration this incident gives us of bringing people to Christ!

Then, notice that they dared to do the unorthodox. They were not limited by the fact that it was not at all customary to break up a roof. When they found that the door was blocked, they did not sit down, as we probably would have done, and appoint a committee to research the various ways to get to Jesus. No, they just did what was necessary, and risked the disapproval not only of the owner of the house but also every person there by interrupting the meeting in order to get their friend to Jesus. The remarkable thing is that Jesus never rebuked them, never criticized their interruption. He never does. There is never an incident recorded in which Jesus got uptight or disturbed about an interruption by someone intent on receiving something from him and pressing through to him despite the disapproval of those around. These men dared to do the unorthodox.

I love that quality in Christianity. I hope we never lose it -- this ability to defy the status quo. Nothing is more deadly in a church than the attitude -- which can so easily set in -- which has been expressed as, "Come weal or woe; our status is quo" because the members are afraid to do anything which might be criticized. But these men dared to do the unorthodox.

Third, they dared to do the costly. Somebody had to pay for that roof. Imagine the face of the owner, sitting there at the feet of Jesus, when he hears this scratching on the roof. He looks up and, to his amazement, the tiles begin to move. Then daylight appears, and suddenly he has a large hole in his roof! I do not know what his thoughts were. He probably wondered if his Homeowners Policy would cover it or not. Or maybe he was mentally adding up the bill to present to these men. But somebody had to pay that bill, somebody repaired that roof, and surely it was one, if not all, of these men. They dared to do the costly. That is faith! They laid it on the line -- at cost to themselves. What a witness this is to what it takes to bring people to Christ!

Have a happy and be sage
Brian
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mharrell08

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Re: What do these 2 verses mean?
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2008, 10:00:16 AM »

Hello Brian,

Thank you for you response. I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but I do not believe Mark 2:1-5 is a 'spiritual match' to the 2 verses I am inquiring about. I don't want to use this thread to explain in detail so I recommend reading or re-reading if you've read it before, Ray's paper on 12 spiritual truths to understanding God's Word: http://bible-truths.com/twelve.htm. Looking at truths 6 & 7 especially.

Jesus stated this 'violent take it by force' & 'men presseth into it' happened after John the Baptist until now. The 'now' I believe is during Christ's ministry. The men tearing through the roof was during Christ's ministry not before. I could be wrong so hopefully others can further assist. But thank you again for your response.


Thanks,

Marques
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hillsbororiver

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Re: What do these 2 verses mean?
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2008, 10:44:43 AM »

Hi Marques,

I don't believe Christ was only speaking to those standing near Him the moment He was uttering those Words, we must remember His Words are for all believers through the age the Gospels are for us as well as those who lived in the 1st century.

What I see here is the entire history of the church age and not just the overt violence perpetrated by the popes but that men have usurped authority reserved for God, supplanted His Word with their own words.

Here are some verses I think may match what the message Jesus spoke;


Joh 5:43  I am come in my Father's name and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.
 
Joh 5:44  How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?
 
Co 4:8  Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you.

You know threatening people with an eternity of a hellhole of fiery torture could also be considered a violent act, it is even worse than threatening to shoot or stab someone who refuses to hand over his cash.

Just my thoughts here.

Peace,

Joe
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mharrell08

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Re: What do these 2 verses mean?
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2008, 11:01:28 AM »

Thanks Joe...I think we are on the same page. When I said during Christ ministry, I didn't mean only during Christ time in flesh & blood here on earth. I meant through all the continuing generations including the present after he made this statement. I know from reading Ray's LOF series, Christ ministry is in us now as it was with the apostles back in the early AD.

But I don't understand the presseth into or take it by force. I don't believe it is any way literal violence so I'm trying to find what it means spiritually.

Jesus also said 'the kingdom of heaven' suffereth violence and/or men presseth into it. Those 2 phrases come from the same Greek word which means to use force. If the kingdom of heaven is US how are men forcing or pressing INTO it?


Thanks

Marques
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hillsbororiver

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Re: What do these 2 verses mean?
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2008, 11:21:47 AM »

Hi again Marques,

Hasn't the present "kingdom" been led captive into Babylon?

Haven't the "sheep" been lied to and coerced into believing the false doctrines of 30,000 plus denominations?

Is the "kingdom within" more in line with the "earnest" (down payment) of the Spirit?

I believe the Kingdom within is the promise not the fulfilment (at this time), the true Kingdom will be established at His return. We are witnessing the counterfeit kingdom of man masquerading as the Kingdom of God.

If we tell a child it is "within them" to accomplish something does that mean they have already accomplished it?

Just more thoughts.  ;)

Peace,

Joe
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Kat

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Re: What do these 2 verses mean?
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2008, 11:57:10 AM »


Hi Marques,

Well I've wondered about those Scriptures myself.  I have a little bit of a different perspective on this, that I thought you might like to hear.

Mat 11:12  And from the days of John the Baptist until now...

This is the period of time of the beginning of the gospel being preached, as it was started by John and Christ was saying it was going on up until that very moment.  

Mark 1:1  The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
v. 2  As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
v. 3  The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
v. 4  John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

So this verse in Matt. is speaking of 'the gospel of Jesus Christ.'  So isn't this speaking of the period of time of Christ's ministry.

Mat 11:12 ...the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.

So Jesus Christ is the Representative of the Kingdom of God on earth at that time and it seems to me in this verse Christ is speaking of Himself.  
Ray has explained that Jesus was thronged every where He went by the multitudes of people coming to Him.  We have a Scripture that says the crowds wanted to "take Him by force" and set Him up as a King right then.

John 6:15  Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.

I think all this ties in with the Scripture in Luke.

Luke 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.

The crowds of people were so large and they were literally pressing into Him.

Mark 3:9  So He told His disciples that a small boat should be kept ready for Him because of the multitude, lest they should crush Him.
v. 10  For He healed many, so that as many as had afflictions pressed about Him to touch Him.

Just another opinion to consider  :)

mercy, peace and love
Kat

p.s. I like what Joe had to say.  Of course Scripture can have multiple layers of meaning.

« Last Edit: July 22, 2008, 11:59:45 AM by Kat »
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winner08

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Re: What do these 2 verses mean?
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2008, 12:28:31 PM »

Hi Brain: I had a question yesterday that you answered today without even knowing it. Anyways I give you a brief set up. A friend and I were talking about God most of the day yesterday. She said she believer's that if you want to know God's word, and you seek really hard and pray for God to give you the understanding of His word then He will give it to you. My response was no matter how badly you want to know these things if it is not in God's will in the first place to give it to you then no amount of seeking and praying will make it so. I thought since God mind does not change and therefore His plan for us from beginning to end will not change. In reading Ray 12 step to understanding prayers I believe he said that if what we pray for is not already in God's will for us then our prayer will not be answered. Even though we might want something really bed. As in knowing His truth. Then I read in this post where you said the opposite."if you really want it then God will give it. Even though it is an interruption in the program He had in mind. I am not sure but that sort of sounds like (interruption in our program) God changes His mind. Is is not so if God has to interrupt His program for ever human, how could His plan (program) ever get done? Just a few questions I don't understand. It confusses me. Please take no offence to my post. I really just don't understand.

                                 Thanks, Darren
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mharrell08

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Re: What do these 2 verses mean?
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2008, 04:00:44 PM »

Thanks for all your responses everyone.

I am having trouble expressing what I want to say but I'll try one more time:

Christ says starting at John the Baptist until now [start of Christ ministry which is still going on] that the Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence aka men presseth into it. That 'until now' seems to be a stopping point. He says it started at John and stopped ['until now'] at the start of his ministry. As we all know that Christ 'words are spirit', what does this mean from a spiritual application.

The people pressing upon Christ, almost crushing him, attempting to take him by force to be a king, etc all happened after Christ states 'until now'.

Now a great point Kat pointed out is about John preparing the way for our Lord. In John's preparation, is when Christ states the Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence aka men presseth into it. He states this was so 'until now' or when His ministry started. So I ask, what does that mean spiritually?


Also Joe, when I say the kingdom of heaven is within us, as Christ states to unconverted disciples in Luke 17:21, it is with the understanding of being complete at a future time. Like when Ray stated at the conference for 'What is the gospel of the Kingdom' that "we are the kingdom". This I also understood to be complete at a future time. Like Ray also stated, the 'heavens' is us. But I agree with your points it just was different somewhat from what I was asking. Thanks also to you to Kat


Thanks,

Marques
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Brian

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Re: What do these 2 verses mean?
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2008, 05:31:51 AM »

Greetings brother Marques,

First let me say that there is no offense taken. It just so happens I am sharing with a little group Ray's 12 Truths to Understanding His Word and we just finished number 7. (One for each month) Let's see if we can put this in a different perspective.

Before John the Baptist began his ministry, the law and the prophets (along with the holy writings), were the final word from God. This passage (Luke 16:14-18) begins with a rebuke to the Pharisees. It says that they derided Jesus. The word literally means that they turned up their noses at him. The Pharisees tended to connect earthly prosperity with goodness; wealth was a sign that a man was a good man. The Pharisees put-on a parade of goodness and they regarded material prosperity as a reward of that goodness; but the more they exalted themselves before men, the more they became an abomination to God. In other words it is bad enough for a man to think himself as a good man; it is worse when he points to material prosperity as an incontestable proof of his goodness.

The Pharisees, being ignorant of the perfect righteousness of the law, despised the characteristics of the new covenant with respect to the old. Christ declares, by the seventh commandment, how they were insincere expositors of the law. It's no wonder that they derided Christ, and despised his ministry. The Pharisees did not understand the  spiritual things which were promised in the old covenant. And since they valued themselves on having the law and the prophets, Christ observes, that “since that time, the gospel of the kingdom of God is preached”. The Gospel (good news), and the mysteries relating to the kingdom of God, which lies not in outward, but in inward spiritual things.

Deissmann (Bible Studies, p. 258) cites an inscription where biazomai is reflexive middle and used absolutely. Here the meaning is clear that everyone forces his way into the kingdom of God, that some today, as in the day of Christ, affect to contemn. TheSavior alludes to the fact that the detested tax collectors and sinners are pressing into the kingdom of heaven, while the proud Pharisees reject it. Large multitudes crowded the ministry of John, of Christ, and of his apostles; the people flocked in great numbers to hear the word, and seemed disposed to embrace the good news of the kingdom of heaven. They “pressed” on one another to hear it. The Scribes and Pharisees did all they could to hinder and inhibit the multitudes. (cf Mat 23)

When Jesus came preaching the good news of the kingdom of God, the most unlikely people, the tax-collectors and the sinners, came storming into the kingdom even when the scribes and Pharisees would have set up barriers to keep them out. But Jesus emphasized that the kingdom was not the end of the law. No man was to think that Christ offered an easy way in which no laws remained. The great laws stood unaltered and unalterable. Certain Hebrew letters are very like each other and are distinguished only by the serif, the little line at the top or bottom. (Also known as Jot, Dot, or Tittle) Not even a serif of the great laws would pass away.
As an illustration of law that would never pass away Jesus took the law of chastity. This very definite statement of Jesus must be read against the contemporary background of Jewish life. The Jew glorified fidelity and chastity.

But the tragedy was that at this time the marriage bond was on the way to being destroyed. In the eyes of Jewish law a woman was a thing. She could divorce her husband only if he became a leper or an apostate or if he ravished a virgin. Otherwise a woman had no rights whatever and no redress, other than that the marriage dowry must be repaid if she was divorced. The law said, "A woman may be divorced with or without her will; a man only with his will." The Mosaic law (Deut 24:1) said, "When a man takes a wife and marries her, if then she finds no favour in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a bill of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house." The bill of divorce had to be signed before two witnesses, "Let this be from me thy writ of divorce and letter of dismissal and deed of liberation, that thou mayest marry whatsoever man thou wilt." Divorce was as simple and easy as that.

Jesus here lays down the sanctity of the marriage bond. The saying is repeated in Matt 5:31-32 where adultery is made the sole exception to the universal rule. We sometimes think our own generation is bad, but Jesus lived in a generation where things were every bit as bad. If we destroy family life, we destroy the very basis of the Christian life; and Jesus here lays down a law which men relax only at their peril.

Continuing:

The tax collectors and sinners, whom the scribes and Pharisees think have no right to the kingdom of the Messiah, filled with earnestness, seize at once on the offered mercy of the Gospel, and so take the kingdom as by force from those learned Pharisees who claimed for themselves the chiefest places in that kingdom. Christ himself said, The tax collectors and harlots go before you [Pharisees] into the kingdom of God. cf, Luke 7:28-30. He that will take, get possession of the kingdom of righteousness, peace, and spiritual joy, must be in earnest. (Like the story in Mark 2:1-5)

The Savior of all is simply stating a fact in figurative language. He says (to the Pharisees v. 14) there was a great rush, or a crowd pressing to hear John. Multitudes went out to hear him (cf Matt 3:5), as if they were about to take the kingdom of heaven by force. So, he says, it has continued. That is to say, the people kept coming. Since good news of the kingdom of heaven, has been preached, there has been a rush to it. Men have been earnest about it; they have come pressing to obtain the blessing, as if they would take it by violence. There is  an allusion here to the manner in which cities were taken. Besiegers pressed upon them with violence, and demolished the walls. With such earnestness and violence, he says, men had pressed around him and John, since they began to preach. There is no allusion here to the manner in which individual sinners seek salvation; but it is a simple record of the fact that multitudes had thronged around him and John to hear the good news of the kingdom of heaven.

Maybe if I explain it in this manner, the place you shop at is having a great after Thanksgiving Day sale on an item you and everyone in your area needs. People will start lining up on Wednesday for the sale that doesn't start until Friday. By the time the store is opening up on Friday there is a massive crowd pressing literally into the store to get at the item that they earnestly desire. It's not the best analogy, I'm sure, but it shows the activity in a modern perspective.

And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them [the Pharisees] and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it.
(Luk 17:20-22 KJV)

Have a happy and be sage  :)
Brian
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mharrell08

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Re: What do these 2 verses mean?
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2008, 09:15:47 AM »

Hi again Marques,

Hasn't the present "kingdom" been led captive into Babylon?

Haven't the "sheep" been lied to and coerced into believing the false doctrines of 30,000 plus denominations?

Joe



You know what Joe, it just dawned on me while I was about to write back Brian what you were truly saying.

From John the Baptist until now (this 'until now' threw me off until I see that 'until now' means when Christ ministry starts in each person's lives individually)

We the kingdom have suffereth violence [being led into Babylon] and the violent [Babylon] taketh by force. That's why 'presseth into' from Luke is spurious because it does not go along with what Christ says in Matt.

OOOOOOHHHHHHHH  ;D

So I get it now. Am I looking in the right direction?


Thanks,

Marques



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hillsbororiver

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Re: What do these 2 verses mean?
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2008, 09:52:41 AM »

Bingo!  ;)

Hi Marques,

Yes, that was my point exactly. We know that the Word speaks to all with eyes to see and ears to hear through the centuries, Jesus could not have been speaking only to those who were alive during those few years between the ministries of John the Baptist and Jesus.

As a matter of fact there was probably no one present there who understood a Word of what He was actually saying at that time!

Peace,

Joe
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hillsbororiver

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Re: What do these 2 verses mean?
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2008, 10:35:13 AM »

Hi Marques,

I wanted to get back to that most relevent verse that Kat quoted in her post.



John 6:15  Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.


This is what Satan constantly and consistantly does with man, refocuses our eyes from the spiritual to the material, or heavenly to earthly.

Where does the true Kingdom eminate from?


Joh 18:36  Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews:

The people (multitudes) who followed Christ during His ministry wanted a messiah in/of this world, they wanted to be physically healed, once it became clear that Jesus was not going to fulfill their carnal desire of throwing off the chains of Rome they despised Him as shown in His trial with Pilate. The religious leaders of the day, a type/shadow of religious leaders/shepherds throughout the history of Christianity inspired the people against the heavenly King(dom) in exchange for the temporal benefits of an earthly king(dom).

When presented with that ultimate choice what do the people cry out for?


 Mark 15

 6Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired.

 7And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection.

 8And the multitude crying aloud began to desire him to do as he had ever done unto them.

 9But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews?

 10For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy.

 11But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them.

 12And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews?

 13And they cried out again, Crucify him.

 14Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him.

 15And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.

I find it very interesting that the people shouted for Barabbas to be released (he was to be crucified as well), a murderer who attempted to lead an insurrection against Rome rather than the Man of Peace, coincidently(?) Barabbas actual name was Jesus bar-Abbas.

Peace,

Joe






 
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mharrell08

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Re: What do these 2 verses mean?
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2008, 11:50:48 AM »

Very interesting...thanks to all for your inputs. And thanks again Joe.



Marques
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