The Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence

Have you ever read the verse about the kingdom of heaven suffering violence and the violent taking it by force, and wondered what it meant?

"And from the days of John the Baptist 
until now the kingdom of heaven suffers 
violence,  
and the violent take it by force."  
Matthew 11:12

John the BaptistThe context for the verse is “the days of John the Baptist.”

“In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”

For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying:
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord. Make His paths straight.’ ” 
Matthew 3:1-3

After hearing him preach, what do you think the Jews were looking forward to?

They wondered if John was the Messiah, or Elijah – who Malachi prophesied would be sent before the day of the Lord (Malachi 4:5.)

The Jewish leaders in Jerusalem asked who he was: “Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was.  He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”

They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”

He said, “I am not.”

“Are you the Prophet?”

He answered, “No.””  John 1:19-21

Jesus indicated John was a type for Elijah when He said, “And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come.” Matthew 11:14 

The Day of the Lord is yet to come and so is Elijah.  He may be one of the two witnesses described in Revelation 11.

Elijah will explain both Testaments and unite Jews and Christians, as he shows how Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Old Testament.

And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers. Malachi 4:6

Elijah will probably also heal a generational divide which I fear will happen as our children are being taught a different version of end-times after receiving an Agenda 2030 based green gospel at school.  Imagine being a climate skeptic with a child like Greta Thunberg.

Hitler said, “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.”  It doesn’t bear thinking about.  If it’s uncomfortable now – what will it be like in the future?

But getting back to Jesus’ day, the Jews believed John the Baptist when he announced the Kingdom of God was at hand.  When Jesus fed the crowd of 5000 bread, they intended to make Jesus king by force. (John 6:14-15)

Were these people violent or enthusiastic and desperate?  I don’t know, but Jesus separated Himself from the the crowd.  Their idea of the kingdom of God was not His or His Father’s.

Before the Kingdom of Heaven can come, a false messiah and a false kingdom headed by ten kings will come first.  Jesus warned us not to be deceived.

Will we have to go against the crowd at a time when truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey?
(Isaiah 59:14-15)

Matthew-11-12-How-to-Enter-the-Kingdom-of-Heaven


I’ve written about the Kingdom to come in my second book “The Wayfarer’s Guide to the Apocalypse.”  It’s a unique peek at the happenings in Heaven and on earth as the world lurches through the apocalypse.   Book link: https://books2read.com/u/3RaOvG

The Kingdom of God – Whiteboard

Many scenes in my book “The Kingdom, Here Be Dragons, Here Be Dreams” take place in the Kingdom of God.  What is the Kingdom of God?  It’s hard to explain because the Kingdom is both personal and all-encompassing.  It’s not about church – although church can be part of it.  This short whiteboard explanation is worth watching.

Taking a stand

How essential is it for a nation to know their identity, their DNA, who they are and what they stand for?  What have we been taught about our origins from the academic and scientific establishment?

God says “my people perish for lack of knowledge”, Hosea 4:6.  It’s followed by a solemn warning about the consequences of rejecting knowledge.  Again, he says “people without knowledge will come to ruin.”  In Proverbs he urges us “Whatever you do, get knowledge, get wisdom.”

I’ve just finished reading for the second time a book “After the Flood” by Bill Cooper, an English historian.  This book shows how European history can be traced right back to the flood and the descendants of Japheth, the son of Noah, through contemporary accounts and the table of nations.

The third chapter opens with a quotation from Nennius, a Welsh monk from the 9th Century;  “I Nennius, pupil of the holy Elvodug, have undertaken to write down some extracts that the stupidity of the British cast out; for the scholars of the Island of Britain had no skill … I have therefore made a heap of all that I have found …”‘

Bill Cooper suggested the word Nennius used for stupidity would have been better translated as “complacency” or “lethargy,” the mood of the Britons that followed in the wake of the massacre of the monks at Bangor.

You see, their knowledge had been taken away from them.

“The profound cultural shock of seeing their finest scholars and spiritual leaders massacred by supposedly fellow Christians at the instigation of a Roman Bishop no less, would have left a very deep wound indeed, and it is this state of mind amongst the British or Welsh that Nennius laments and which lead to the neglect and loss of many records and books.”

Christianity was already established in Britain before Rome arrived.  “That Christianity was firmly established in even remote parts of Britain at the close of the second century is shown by Tertullian stating “the Britons in parts inaccessible to the Romans, Christ has truly subdued.”

British Bishops attended the Council of Arles in 314AD, before the Roman Catholic church was formed.  When Augustine went to Britain in 601AD as a representative of Rome, he could not get them to convert.  The Welsh already had the true faith, given to them by the early church, and they did not need any new innovations from Rome.

When the monks refused to accept the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, he instigated the Saxon army to attack the monastery at Bangor-is-y-coed, killing 1200 monks and scholars.

Much was lost, including the history of the early British kings.  To regain what was lost, I recommend you read the book “After the Flood.”

And now here we are at the end of the age.  Has Britain abandoned its Christian heritage?  Is Britain again in the grip of a culture shock following political correctness and imposed multiculturalism, with the resultant Islamic attacks in its cities?

Dunkirk70th AnniversaryDid you know that in World War 2 the nation, led by its King, prayed?  When Britain stood on the brink of invasion, with 330,000 men trapped on the beach at Dunkirk, King George VI called for an unprecedented week of prayer.  Throughout the country, people prayed on 26 May 1940 for a miraculous delivery.

May 29 was the day of the evacuation of Dunkirk.  We know what happened.  On the 28 May a storm of unprecedented fury grounded the German Luftwaffe – while the English channel became as still as a millpond, despite the storm in Flanders, enabling a vast armada of little ships, big ships, warships, privately owned motor-cruisers from British rivers and estuaries – in fact, almost anything that would float – to get the men off the beach.

The Queen has the title “Defender of the Faith.” Does she defend it?  In 2014 she gave into political correctness, signing into law same-sex marriage, a law that the nation never gave the government a mandate for.  Following that, Britain had a series of storms that were described by the British prime minister as “biblical.”

flooded-crypt-at-winchester-cathedral-2-14

The flooded crypt at Winchester Cathedral, 2014

Who is going to the defend the faith now?  British people, you do have a King … the same King as the Polish people.

Here is Poland the following year.  In November of 2015 Poland marched in the streets and took a stand for Christianity. They declared boldly to the world “here, Jesus Christ is our King!”  It was the biggest march in Poland’s history.  The media were silent.

Is it time for the spirit of the nations to rise, to go to war again through intercessory prayer?

John R. Mott, Nobel Peace Prize winner, said “The Church has not yet touched the fringe of the possibilities of intercessory prayer. Her largest victories will be witnessed when individual Christians everywhere come to recognize their priesthood unto God and day by day give themselves unto prayer.”

Britain, as the sun sets in the west, may you remember who you are.

Bregret


Link

Battles in the spiritual realm
Massacre at Bangor
After the Flood

Nennius and the Table of European Nations

 

Ishmael

Ishmael, a character in my book is about to read my story.  That’s not his real name, but it suits him.  He is a Moslem.  Before reading it, I was at pains to explain who “the King,” the main character in my book is.

“We worship the same God,” he replied, wanting peace between us.

Are God and Allah same

Really?  I heard the same thing from my new age publishing consultant.  She believed the market would be fine with my story as “any deity could play the King.”

“You mean, Jesus could be the same as Allah?” I asked the publishing consultant, to clarify.

“Well, yes – as the Bible and the Quran contain many of the same elements” she replied.

It is true that Islam’s warlike prophet Mohammed did include parts of the Bible in the Quran.  The Gospels had been around at least 500 years before Islam.

But both books can’t be right.  I made it quite clear before publishing the book that I would not change the name of the King or dilute his persona or character – not for anybody.  He is who he is.

wpid-who-do-you-say-i-am-question

“Who do you say I am?”  Jesus asked. 

“What is truth?” Pilate asked. 

These are the questions we all have to decide.  I only hope my book “The Kingdom, Here Be Dragons, Here Be Dreams” presents the King as he is in the Bible; the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God. 1 Timothy 1:17

For Ishmael’s sake, I did try to read the Quran years ago.  I got through a good part of it before stopping at the part which advocated killing Jews and infidels.  There are over a hundred verses in the Quran dealing with Jihad or holy war.  That’s why we’re having so many problems with terrorism, which would be better named “Muslim fundamentalism.”

At his arrest, Jesus, the King in my story, told Peter “Put away your sword, for those who live by the sword will die by the sword.”  Matthew 26:52.

Jesus fought with a different sword – the word out of his mouth.

After praying for wisdom, I tried a different tack with Ishmael.  I looked at who Jesus, Isa is in the Quran.  Much to my surprise, in the Quran Jesus is called “Spirit of God” and “Word of God.”  And he is mentioned more in the Quran than Mohammed, their prophet.

But it’s like the truth is veiled from Ishmael.  His religion is designed to keep them away from Christ.  Knowing that only the true God can remove the veil.  I presented Jesus, Isa to him as the “Spirit of God.”  I can remember Ishmael referring to Jesus as such.

The Bible explains that with the Lord, there is freedom; “But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  2 Corinthians 3:16-18

This poem is for Ishmael.  Although we are related through Abraham, peace cannot come through compromise.  To agree that God and Allah are the same is to break the first commandment, which says;  “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.  “You shall have no other gods before me.”  Exodus 20:1-3

Ishmael, my brother,
 How long shall we fight each other?

My brother from times bygone,
 My brother - Hagar's son,
 My brother the wandering one.

One angel was sent to us both,
 One angel watched over our growth -
 There in the wilderness, death threatened through thirst,
 I a sacrifice on the alter, Sarah's first.

Ishmael, my brother, hear my plea:
 It was the angel who tied you to me. . . .

Time is running out, put hatred to sleep.
 Shoulder to Shoulder, lets water our sheep.

Here is a Moslem who was asked “who is Jesus?”  It’s 3.31 mins.

God is fussy about His name.

Islam has 99 names for God and they don’t match up.

How Muhammad Broke the 10 Commandments – #1 I am the Lord thy God
Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’  Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”  Acts 4:11-12

The fading flower …

Shortly after my last post where I asked “Who wants to live forever?” my mother passed away.  For most of her life she grappled with the highs and lows of bipolar disease.  She’s free of her demons at last. 

My memories of her when she was bipolar aren’t good, but in between times she had a happy, sunny nature.  And that’s how I want to remember her.

I’ve made a youtube video of the powerpoint I prepared for the funeral, showing scenes from her life, which I and my family feature in.

It’s here if you want to see it.  The music is “Who am I?” by Casting Crowns.

It brings to mind the scripture that God has compassion on us mortals – who are here today and gone tomorrow, just like the grass and flowers.  That’s why Jesus wept at the grief of Lazarus’s sisters.

As a father has compassion on his children
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.
The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.”  Psalm 103:13-19

I wasn’t sure of how things were with her and God.  He gave me a story to tell her on the last occasion she had a serious heart attack, which I wrote here.

superscript_seven_u2077_icon_256x256God gave us a sign that she’d gone to be with him.  Seven is the number of rest, and she’d entered his rest, dying at 7pm on the 7th day of the 7th month, aged 77.

He explains about that rest in Hebrews 4;

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest … Hebrews 4:9

I recommend reading the whole passage from Hebrews 4:1-11.

SeriousFaith_ImagesREST

Hebrews 4:1-10 The Promise of Rest

So now I know what can go on my mother’s headstone; “At rest.”  Two simple words that say so much.

Having ears to hear

When Jesus wanted to communicate truth, he used stories and said it was “for those who had ears.”  How many of us are deaf to God because of unbelief?  It shuts us down because we can’t believe God would want to have a real conversation with us.  And when we do, we don’t always hear in the same manner – or we doubt what we’re hearing.  We’ll trot out our objections with “Yes, but …”

We have to test the spirits.  Because Lucifer can pretend to be an angel of light.  He is completely deceptive.  Don’t go near him.

My spiritual hearing wasn’t that great.  That’s why I constructed my story, so I could keep a record of the things that God told me and check it against the Bible.  God became the main character in “The Kingdom” through me doing that!

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAMy husband hears God’s voice differently from me and wants to hear from him better.  He’s a bit goofy at times, as you can see with these ‘ears.’

We spend our day solving technical problems on computers and computer networks.  He has to think on his feet.  Sometimes he arrives at an answer so quickly I go “How did you get that?

He doesn’t know whether his decision speed is from his thought processes or God’s voice.

Early one morning he was thinking about the day ahead. “God, the other day I asked you about my decision speed getting in the way.  Is it my thought processes, or is it you?  I never heard an answer.  So what is it?” he asked.

John 3″ was the instantaneous reply.  In John 3, Jesus was explaining to a religious ruler what people have to do to see the Kingdom of God.  The verses that spoke the most to my husband were 3:8 and 3:29.

“8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

The same month I watched kite surfers on the beach at the end of my street, as they were borne along by invisible wind currents.  It was on a hot Sunday afternoon a couple of weeks ago.  I didn’t even notice the breeze but they were finding it offshore.  It was a beautiful sight to see them glide across the water.

So it is with us when we are born of the Spirit and are able to hear God, the Holy Spirit’s voice.  When we realise we can hear him, we can actually hear God, it brings joy – and hope.  Our morale and spirits soar.

If we hope in the LORD we will renew our strength. We will soar on wings like eagles; we will run and not grow weary, we will walk and not be faint. 
That’s a promise from Isaiah 40:31.

Wind

Snells Beach, Feb 2016. This is my picture which you are free to use.

The master’s voice

The other verse that spoke to my husband, verse 29, was where John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus exalts the King.  John is comparing himself as the best man at Christ’s wedding.  29″ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete.”

I can’t find a picture for that – but look at the joy this dog is showing to hear his master’s voice.  It sums it up for me.

One in a million

The inspiration for my book “The Kingdom, Here Be Dragons, Here Be Dreams” came from Psalm 45 – which speaks of a King who is the most attractive man on the planet; “fairer than the sons of men.”  In the world his appearance was rather ordinary.  The prophet Isaiah wrote of Jesus 700 years before His birth saying “He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him.  He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.  Isaiah 53:2-3. 

To start with, I admit I too saw him like that.  As I began to know him from the Bible and from experience, I got to see him as beyond handsome – wise, witty, subtle and gentle with unimaginable power.

Here’s a screen shot of page 1 of “The Kingdom,” circa 1997.  I took a trip down memory lane and came back with a screen shot of page 1 the original story.  I’ve still got the story on the old software in DOS, which I run in DOSBox just because I can.

Now I’ve got to promote the story.  I’ve discovered that’s not going to be an easy matter!  There’s been millions of eBooks published.  My book is literally ‘one in a million.’  Sigh.

If you want to read an inspirational story where Jesus is the mighty one clothed with splendour and majesty with his sword girded on his side, this is the one.  It’s Jesus from the point of view of His Kingdom.  It’s Jesus without the religious exoskeleton.  Come and read all about him.

Kingdom 1997

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If you have any ideas how to market this ‘one in a million’ book I’d love to hear from you.