Fast forward thousands of years and there’s another man with an army. His name is Jesus and his name also means “salvation”. He is the promised One, the coming Messiah, the fulfillment of thousands of years of prophecies, laws, and songs. And he too has an army. Jesus said some interesting things that are recorded in the book written by Matthew. He said that “the kingdom of heaven is like yeast.” Or one time, “the kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed.” He also said this: “from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of Heaven has been subject to violence, and violent people take it by force.”
For four hundred years, there has been no prophet. The nation of Israel has continued to slowly rebuild the temple and the walls of her beloved city, Jerusalem. Their only hope for security and safety rests on a few hundred obscure prophecies spoken hundreds and hundreds of years ago about a Messiah King. You see, for thousands of years, they’ve been tormented by the Egyptians, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, and the Romans, just to name a few. The kingdom of Heaven looked like a fortress on a hill. The cry of its hopeful citizens was to find a paradise of safety void of enemy dictators. And then John the Baptist came. He was the first of the Messianic generation.
…sparks fly and blood sweeps from stinging wounds. Cries of rage and indignation mix with screams of severe pain. Suddenly the army of Joshua turns and flees, they drop their swords and shields and run like scared gazelles. The men of Ai yell with evil pleasure and they plunge their swords into the air. They chase the Israelites, hungry for blood. But then a man stops. He is the one they call Joshua. He lifts his crimson javelin and screams with all his strength. Behind him a chorus of a trumpets sound a terrifying melody. This is the signal. This is the moment. Far away, on the opposite side of Ai, a few thousand chosen men rise up and descend upon the town. They capture it with ease and as they burn down the fortress of the enemy, smoke begins to rise. One by one the men of Ai hear a cry, turn, and see the smoke rising from their homes and beneath the smoke, small figures appear. It’s the ambush party, the thousands they had never ever seen before and they are running on the wings of victory! The fleeing Israelites also saw their brothers and with a shout of triumph, they turn and massacre the army of Ai. Hours later the sun sets on an empty battlefield and the ashes of a powerful stronghold. The victory had been won.
The signal for the ambush of heaven was a man, John the Baptist. When Jesus rallied his disciples and lifted his staff, he said, “I tell you, from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of Love has become violent. You see, the kingdom of Heaven is like both yeast and a mustard seed. Both of them contain an active, violent, expansive ingredient. I tell you, now, the yeast is reacting and rising the loaf and the seed is germinating and explosively growing.” You can be certain, those around him struggled to understand. It wasn’t until years later that the stronghold of death was broken and Jesus pushed away the stone at his own gravesite. But their hearts must have lifted. Their spirits must have soared! They must have sensed the shift and excitedly whispered about the kingdom to come.
I tell you this because I believe we are still living in the shift, in the momentum of the ambush of the Cross. Jesus said until now. I tell you: the days of fleeing from pain and fear and shame and responsibility are over. He has given all who believe the right to become sons; and with the right comes an inheritance; with the inheritance comes a shield and a sword.
So who is with me? Who is tired of only hearing apologetics at Christian rallies? Who wants to stop defending themselves and God from the continuous barrage of lies? Who wants to start attacking the writhing serpent whose head has been already been crushed? My brothers and sisters, we aren’t defeated. The church might be asleep, but it is not dead. Jesus has sent his Holy Spirit to all who desire to walk with power and love. It is by his manifested grace that we can not only reclaim the land we’ve lost but move on to attack and destroy everything that is not aligned with the Kingdom of God. I encourage you: get in the gospels. Take Jesus at his word. You are his disciple, you must listen to his teachings. It is then that you will hear the signal.
If you are ready to pursue love with ferocity, I welcome you to the violent Kingdom.Together, we will turn back the army of Ai. Together, we will walk in the love. Together, we will prepare the way of the Lord in his second coming.
*Check out Joshua 8 and Matthew 11 for the full stories! Also please comment and message me with any thoughts on this idea. Thank you!