Matthew 11:12 reads, “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.” The violent take it by force, what does this means and how can the kingdom of heaven be taken over by violent men?
Reading this verse, we should want to know how it is possible for the kingdom of heaven to suffer violence, and for violent men to take hold of it. And again, we should want to know how then is the bible saying the kingdom of heaven will come down out of heaven? Because, if the kingdom of God is not here on earth, how then are violent men taking hold of the kingdom so that the kingdom of God is suffering violence?
To help us understand the scripture, it is important we understand first and foremost where the kingdom of heaven is and how it is possible for the kingdom to be suffering violence. And what we need to understand is that the kingdom of heaven will not come by observation, but rather the kingdom of God is in us the people of God and wherever we go, the kingdom of heaven follows.
Listen to what Jesus said to his disciples when he sent them out into the cities and towns to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom. Because in the revelation of this message from Jesus, we will come to realize the kingdom of heaven is here and now.
Jesus said in Luke 10:8-12 “Into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, “The kingdom of God comes nigh unto you.”
But into whatsoever city, ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, “Even the very dust of your city, which cleaved on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God came nigh unto you.” But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.”
The kingdom of God is under physical attack because when the people of the world oppose the people of God through their policies, and when they attack and persecute the servants of God, they are attacking the kingdom of God. And because the kingdom of God is in us, Jesus made the statement “The kingdom of heaven has been overtaken by evil men because as the kingdom of God advanced against the world it is coming under great persecution.
So, how is it possible for the kingdom of God to be suffering violence? It is possible for the kingdom of God to be suffering violence because the kingdom of God is in us, and wherever we go as the people of God the kingdom follows because we are the government of Jesus Christ. Therefore, when the world attack and persecute us, they are attacking the kingdom and government of God. Acts 9:4 “Saul, Saul, why persecutes thou me?”
Nevertheless, there is something else we need to know when it comes to the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is not only in us, but also the current state of the world in which we live. Because we are to remember, God is over the kingdoms of the world.
The problem we have in understanding why the kingdom of God is currently being taken over by violent men, it is because we have totally removed God from the world and are believing he is not currently the governor of it all. That is a big mistake on our part and the reason so many of us are unable to stand strong in our faith.
Here is what the word of God has to say about this truth. Psalm 24:1 reads, “The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” This was a Psalm written by a king, King David who although was the ruler over a kingdom knew his rule over the kingdom of Israel was installed by the true king God the creator.
With this in mind, it is now easy for us to understand the world under the leadership of kings who are ruling without reverence for God, kings in rebellion. Which is why the scripture prophesied about those kings who will meet a terrifying end upon the return of Jesus whom God has made king to sit and role on the throne of his father David.
So, how is it possible for the kingdom of God to suffer violence? It possible for the kingdom of God to suffer violence because this world being ruled by rebelling kings have taken over the world and are leading the world and those who will follow them in rebellion against God.