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Lesson # Matt. 11:12-15
Study Material - Matt. 11:12-15
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
12 And [de] from [apo] the days [hemera] of John [Ioannes] the Baptist [Baptistes] until [heos] now [arti] the kingdom [basileia] of heaven [ouranos] suffereth violence [biazo] , and [kai] the violent [biastes] take [harpazo] it [autos] by force [harpazo] .
13 For [gar] all [pas] the prophets [prophetes] and [kai] the law [nomos] prophesied [propheteuo] until [heos] John [Ioannes] .
14 And [kai] if [ei] ye will [thelo] receive [dechomai] it, this [autos] is [esti] Elias [Helias] , which [ho] was for [mello] to come [erchomai] .
15 He that hath [echo] ears [ous] to hear [akouo] , let him hear [akouo] . KJV-Interlinear
12 'And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force. 13 'For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14 'And if you care to accept it, he himself is Elijah, who was to come. 15 'He who has ears to hear, let him hear. NAS
From the time of John's ministry until the time when it ceased (approximately 1 1/2 yrs, maybe a little less), the ministry of John and that of Jesus Christ was met with violence. The Pharisees, the scribes, the politicians, all the important people of the nation, the masses of people who hold lower, most of the population met John and Jesus with violence. Resentment at first, then contentiousness, then hate, then threats, then their eventual death.
Both the herald and the one being heralded, the Messiah, were executed. The kingdom of God was rejected from all quarters.
The picture should be clear. Since the last books written in the Old Testament, some 400 years earlier, through and until the time of Christ, the only prophecy that anyone could look to was the detailed history prophesied by Daniel. All of it came true. But then there were two prophets prophesied by Malachi - the forerunner of the Messiah, which we have already seen in John the Baptist, and the forerunner of the Kingdom of God, Elijah, Mal. 4:5-6.
John the Baptist was the forerunner of the Messiah, and could very well have been the forerunner of the Kingdom of God too, if only the world had accepted Christ. But that was not to be, of course.
Jesus states that this John could have very well have been the Elijah, or one similar to Elijah to come, if the people and nation of Israel would accept the Messiah. They did not. The next herald, Elijah is still to come, Rev. 11.
After 400 years of relative silence from God, after many, many centuries of prophets from Adam to John, all prophesied the coming of the Messiah, then even the experts (the priests) rejected the scriptures as to their intent and they crafted their own spirituality in a fashion more to their liking.
So it all comes down to what is the intent of anyone who comes to God via. Bible study or any other means of learning Gods truth? Jesus has already asked this question? Did the people go out into the desert to watch the reeds grow? For many, that is all they accomplished. They were neither interested in God, nor interested in His doctrine.
What people did in general then and even in our current day, is they meet God with violence. First it is apathy or indifference through pretended interest, then it become more of an outright rejection, then hate, then violence. Some groups around the world make it their policy to attack Christians wherever they find them.
Even in the relative safety of our prosperous homes we face social circles that would gossip us into oblivion. So where is that red carpet laid out by mankind to greet and receive God? Nowhere. And that greeting will never come about. Those who expect mankind to bring in the Millennium in our time or anytime in the future are mistaken. Man is incapable of bringing in the Kingdom of God. Gods Kingdom will not come about until after that terrible 'time of tribulation', which we just happen to call the Tribulation, which will not come until after the rapture of the Royal Family of God (that is us by the way - believers who have and are and will live during this dispensation of the Church Age).
He who hears? Hearing comes in two forms. There is the hearing function of the ears which conveys sounds to the brain, and then there is the hearing function which conveys understanding to the soul. Too many people on planet earth fall into the former category. They hear but they do not understand. Many do not realize that they do not understand correctly, though they will adamantly argue that they understand life completely.
Too few hear and see life in all its truest forms - with the spiritual component included. This is presumably you, a believer in Christ, who are positive and advancing toward your spiritual maturity. Understanding is preceded by hearing, learning and applying doctrine to ones life. Those who are not interested in God, do not understand because they do not listen and do not want to listen.
Last in this passage, John has been said to be the greatest person (excluding Christ) who has ever lived. Why? He never conquered any vast territories, he never invented great technology, he never discovered new medical procedures, he never was a leader of nations, none of these. So why was he so great? John was not encumbered with the distractions of this world. John knew his purpose in life. He did not seek the comforts of life, nor did he desire them. But that is not the basis of his greatness. His greatness was from his orientation to life, from his orientation to God, from his orientation to his own spiritual condition. John was comfortable in life because he fulfilled his intended purpose which God set before him.
It is not his (John's) life style that we are to copy, but it is Christ whom we are to imitate. Many will try to go out into the bush country and try to suffer for Christ. Wrong pattern of life. Christ did all the suffering that was necessary. Our seeking suffering is ludicrous. It adds nothing to life. It certainly adds nothing to our spiritual life. Our purpose is to learn doctrine and to grow up spiritually and to imitate Christ in His thinking, not in his work. God has set out a purpose for each one of us in life. We will not function in that purpose until we grow up spiritually. And of course growing up requires learning Bible doctrine, not walking over hot coals.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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