Spiritual Violence

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force”—Matthew 11:12(KJV)

As we begin to discuss about this topic of spiritual violence, we’ll be looking into three other bible translations of the opening text in order to get a clearer understanding…

Revised Standard Version (RSV)

From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been suffering violence, and the violent take it by force

New English Translation (NET)

From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and forceful people lay hold of it

Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been suffering violence, and the violent have been seizing it by force

The words ‘violence’ and ‘violent’ as translated in the above scripture are from the Greek words ‘biazo’ and ‘biastes’ respectively…

Biazo means—by force. While Biastes means—Forceful.

So from these definitions we can confidently define spiritual violence as spiritual fervency (Romans 12:11). And spiritual fervency means: boiling love and zeal for God. In clearer terms, spiritual violence means, boiling anger (righteous indignation—for good and against evil). It means boiling zeal for God and the works of his kingdom.

The opening text tells us that from the days of John the Baptist, the kingdom of heaven has been suffering violence. And the violent people has been seizing the kingdom by force. So the Lord recommends spiritual violence as a major way of gaining entrance into the kingdom of God, and its privileges.

To buttress this great truth, let’s see other cross referencing scriptures. Because a matter must be established in the mouth of two or three witnesses.

Luke 16:16

The law and the prophet were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.

Luke 13:24

Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

Jude 1:3

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

Ephesians 6:11-12

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places

1Timothy 6:12

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”

In each of the above five cross reference scriptures, there are striking keywords that buttress the meaning of spiritual violence being discussed here.

The Cross Reference Keywords

  1. “Every man PRESSETH into it”—Luke 16:16
  2. “STRIVE to enter”—Luke 13:24
  3. “EARNESTLY  contend”—Jude1:3
  4. “We WRESTLE”—Ephesians 6:12
  5. “FIGHT the good FIGHT of Faith”—1Timothy 6:12

From all these scriptures it is very clear that spiritual violence or fervency is a major requirement for accessing the kingdom of God and its awesome privileges.

What Are We to Be Violent For?

The list below are the major things we need spiritual violence or fervency for:

  1. We need violence to maintain or keep our position or place in the kingdom of God.
  2. We need violence in exercising our authority or privileged rights in the kingdom of God.
  3. We need violence over the devil, his cohorts and their manoeuvres.
  4. We need violence to enjoy our enormous and great possessions in Christ Jesus

Scriptural Examples of Spiritual Violence

  1. The Canaanite woman who wouldn’t take no for an answer from the Lord Jesus until her daughter was made whole (Matthew 15:22-28)
  2. The Lord Jesus’ display of zeal by driving the folks that bought and sold in the temple of God (see John 2:13-17)
  3. The Apostles’ refusal to succumb to the threatening  of the Jewish leaders that they should not speak at all nor teach any more in the name of Jesus—Acts 4:18-31
  4. Paul’s declaration of blindness on Elymas the sorcerer at his resistance of the gospel (Acts 13:8-11)

The above list shows a few examples of spiritual or kingdom violence displayed in the bible. Thus, as Christians, we require spiritual violence to possess the kingdom of God. We require spiritual violence to deliver on our kingdom assignments effectively and maximally…

We require spiritual violence for godly living. We are to be violent in our love and zeal towards God. We are to be violent in faith towards God. As we keep on pressing into the kingdom by the help of the Holy Ghost, we’ll certainly seize the kingdom and its matchless privileges by force.

May the Lord fire up our love, zeal and faith in him in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. I command every form of lukewarmness concerning the things of the kingdom in you to be replaced with fresh spiritual fire in you right now in Jesus Name.

Remain Blessed!

Emeke Odili

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Emeke Odili