The first time I read the scripture from Matthew 11:12, I just did not understand what it meant. It read, "from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violent assault (from satan and his demonic forces), and violent men (operating under the influence of satan) seize it by force [as a precious prize]. The Bible calls it a precious prize. What is this precious prize?
Matthew 13:44-46 likens the Kingdom of heaven to a hidden treasure of fine pearls, quite similarly to Matthew's narrative of Matthew 11:12 "The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it , he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
There was a reason why John the Baptist suffered violence and his life was taken by force." The minute the forces of darkness saw that Jesus was coming, they ordered the death of even the one who paved the way for Jesus, John the Baptist. In fact he was beheaded by commands from Herod whose lifestyle operated contrary to God's Mosaic Laws.
Simply, to satisfy his evil desires, and also because of his wife Herodias' direct hatred for John for condemning and speaking out against the laws that were broken by Herod's illegal marriage to her. She was not only his niece, who he had divorced his wife to marry, but she was also his half brother Philip’s wife. Leviticus 20:21 says, "If a man shall take his brother's wife, it is an unclean thing...they shall be childless." Philip was still very much alive, so both Philip and Herod Antipas were Herodias uncles.
All this was against God's biblical laws based on the book of Leviticus 18:18 which states, "You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother’s wife; it is your brother’s nakedness". Herod was seduced through Herodias daughter Salome who danced for Herod in exchange to grant her any wish she wanted. Through Herod's anger kindled against John to defend God's Word and Truth, and to speak out against the abomination of their sin, her wish was for John to be beheaded in prison and it was granted by Herod.
The problem to them was, that hell hated even the very duty that was assigned to John the Baptist; which was to introduce the one for whom he paved the way through preaching repentance, Jesus Christ. John's message was on repentance, and living according to God's Word. They hated him for this because sin to them was their custom, and was sweeter than the Mosaic Laws. Jesus's first message was on repentance and living right, and they hated Him too. Both Jesus and John the Baptist were both murdered for defending, living and preaching the Word of God (Jesus Christ), the very thing that came to save them. John 1:11.
See, there is something that the enemy is after, and he is angry and determined to get it, and he will not stop, and at all costs he will try to get it, and that is totally dependent on you. That is YOUR SOUL. There is a very high value on your soul, and the enemy is fighting hard for it, and so is God, and He left the Word of God and His Holy Spirit to assist you in this fight against the enemy. God equips you with spiritual weapons of warfare to stand against the enemy because you are fighting in a spiritual battle according to Ephesians 6:12.
Ezekiel 18:4 says, "Behold (pay close attention), all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine. The soul who sins will (spiritually die/separated from God). This a very powerful claim that is made by God in this scripture; that all souls are His. After all, He created us all, but He also gives you a chance to make choices, and this was from the beginning of time with Adam. God laid it out to Adam, and gave him a choice. The tree was not hidden, it was evident and in sight, but God's instructions were clear.
All God did was to place a tree that consists of the knowledge of good and evil aside in the garden, and His instructions were clear. Do not eat of the fruit of this tree because you shall surely spiritually die (separated from God). God created Adam and Eve to be spiritual beings, so that He could fellowship perfectly with them and directly in His presence. That tree was strategically placed in the beautiful garden, and would not have been touched, if the master deceiver did not intervene to deceive Eve, who later convinced Adam through the same deception that was presented before her by satan to eat of the fruit God said no to. Look at the ricochet of similarities displayed throughout scriptures.
Rebellion and disobedience against God's direct commands is a soul killer. It was the very reason why Adam's soul died because he disobeyed the commands of God not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge. God had created the perfect world to lock them away to be with them to fellowship in a beautiful garden.
His soul had to die, and they had to be casted out because rebellion was the very thing satan had committed against God, to cause him to be casted from heaven along with one third of the angels. It was the very thing King Saul did, why He was casted away from the presence of God in 1 Samuels 15. It was the same reason Moses did not enter the promise land because he disobeyed a direct command from God, not to speak to the Rock ,and he instead struck the Rock in the book of Numbers Chapter Twenty.
The Bible however, tells you in 1 Corinthians 10:4 that, the Rock used in Numbers Chapter Twenty, is used as a representation of Jesus Christ. "and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ". Throughout their walk in the wilderness, Jesus was walking with them. How beautiful is God, who will go all out to be with you, even in your highest testing and affliction and hopelessness. He is always there to bring comfort. He is that same beautiful God.
Satan is very strategic, he knew that the very thing he did, rebellion against God which caused him to be casted from God's presence, would birth disobedience to Adam, and God would cast them and all mankind away too, and he devised his battle plan against them, and it worked perfectly. Just as he devises his plans against your life using the very same tactics. He had caused Adam and Eve to suffer the very same fate that caused God to him cast away from His presence forever. He had convinced a third of the angels to overthrow their creator Jehovah God the ALL POWEFUL. This is how powerful of a deceiver he is, but they all paid dearly for it.
The mere fact that he had thought and planned his overthrow against God, is a direct indication that he had rebelled in his heart against God a long time ago. It means that he was deceived to think that he could rise up against God in His place of authority. He harbored jealousy and pride, and allowed it to overtake his heart.
That is where it all begins, in your heart. Adam and Eve ended up suffering the same fate satan suffered, being casted away from the presence of God because they were deceived and did not honour God's commands. Pay attention to the details. The difference is, today we are granted grace, and the chance to repentance through the blood Jesus shed on the cross over two thousand years ago, so you could be set free from your sins and wicked deeds that may be secretly stored in your heart.
Please note importantly, that even though your soul belongs to God, you have a responsibility to fight for your soul. In Philippians 2:12, the Apostle Paul urged the Church in his epistle to the them, "to work out their own salvation, with fear and trembling. Especially those who are already redeemed from their sins, and would have been aware of satan and his devices. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 says, "May your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus". It can only be preserved blameless through living righteously in Jesus Christ. By living according to His Word and His will through His Word and being led by the Spirit of the Living God. It's the only way for your soul to live.
The kingdom of darkness is very strategic and deceptive. Satan is neither omnipotent nor omnipresent nor omniscient. As a result of this, all his demonic forces work together in unison to try and take down the kingdom of heaven, which is within us, and just as how they attacked John the Baptist, so the enemy will attack you in the spirit. Unknown to many, you are up against heavy demonic forces daily, unseen to the natural eyes, and the Apostle Paul explained perfectly in his epistle to the Church in Ephesus.
In Ephesians 6:12, he tells you who you are up against, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents, man], but it is against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places [satan and his demonic forces]". Chapter Six tells you how you should be spiritually attired to be able to stand against them victoriously. Therefore it is very critical for you to be aware that you are in a real war. There is a real war raging in the atmosphere invisible to the eye, and it is against your very soul.
John 16:11 shows that from the moment Lucifer was casted from heaven, he was judged by God. The scripture says that the ruler of this world is already sentenced and condemned (judged by God). The real issue is, that he is on a great mission that attacks the great commission, to take as many with him as he possibly can, even if it means you and those who are chosen by God for the purpose of the kingdom to be fulfilled. If he tried it with Jesus, He will try it with you. He will go after you. Your success or failure all depends on your resilience to the wiles and darts and strategies of the enemy against you. Success comes through knowledge of the Word of God. He will divinely protect you. Simply wear your spiritual armory.
The Greek word for soul is Psuche. This refers to your mind, will and desires and this is all reflected in the things you like, your desires, and even your lifestyle choices, and emotional responses to the situations you are faced with in any trial you may be facing. Your soul is truly reflected in your personality.
In Genesis 2:7, God described Adam when He created him as a living soul, but only after God breathed life in him. This explains how Adam became a living soul; Please note that this occurred when God breathed His breath in Adam's body. Man is being kept alive by God Himself. He is the breath of life. Job 27:3 also shows you. Job explained it. He said, "For as long as life is in me, and the breath of God is in my nostrils".
From the very day that God breathed life into Adam, there was a battle for his soul until this very day with ours. Whoever Adam chose to obey became his new god unknown to him. God gave him over to who he took orders from. He could no longer stay in the holy place because God was holy, and Habbakuk 1:13 tells you that God cannot be in the presence of sin, He CANNOT look upon sin so he was stripped of the once in a lifetime chance to be in God's presence daily because of his disobedience to God. His eyes became opened to what the world had to offer, the wickedness, the sin, the evil, sorrow, misery. The very place God was protecting him from the beginning, just as He still is doing with you today. Adam had taken on a new god, and that birthed sin throughout mankind to this very day. Psalm 51:5.
The Hebrew word for soul is Nephesh, and it is translated similarly to the Greek word Psuche. They both mean the same thing, which defines the soul as life or a person, which adds up to what Genesis 2:7 says about Adam that "he became a living soul when God blew His breath in him", which is what God also does with us. The “Soul,” in the Bible, is a living person with consciousness, desires and even emotions.
The Bible also describes the many things the soul is capable of doing. Jeremiah the prophet, also known as the weeping prophet shows you that your soul can weep. In Jeremiah 13:17 it says, "But if you will not hear it, My soul will weep in secret for your pride; My eyes will weep bitterly and run down with tears, because the Lord’s flock has been taken captive. Jeremiah was the weeping Prophet whom God had chosen from before he was conceived in his mother's womb, to prophesy to God's people. He constantly warned the children of Israel of what God said He would inflict upon them, if they didn't turn back to Him. Jeremiah's soul wept for his people who were taken captive by the enemy. He was God's direct mouthpiece.
As long as we are still alive, our soul will remain in our bodies, and we will be absent physically from the true presence of God at his throne because our bodies are just a shell that houses the soul and are mortal. The flesh bears absolutely no weight in heaven. The house for your soul is your body. When your body is marked for sure death, your soul can only die spiritually It is the decisions that you make in your life, that will determine whether your soul lives (In Christ) or it spiritually dies (Eternal damnation). The soul is immortal. The Apostle Paul in his second Epistle to the Church in Corinth explained why he would rather die. 2 Corinthians 5:6 says, Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord for we walk by faith, not by sight, we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body, and to be at home with the Lord. Pay keen attention to the emphasis.
When Ezekiel explained in verse 18:4 that the sinning soul shall die, he meant spiritual death, which means to be separated from the presence of God just like satan was in the beginning, and just like Adam and Eve was. His aim is to keep you as far away from the Truth (presence of God) the very thing that came to save you. The price of sin and death are intricately interwoven held firmly together by the master deceiver, but wow willing are you to fight to protect your soul from his strategies? .
Thank you for your grace over my life, even when I was not deserving of it. I thank you that You are my Rock. Help me to walk in obedience to your Word, knowing that you already paved the way for me to walk in your will and in your Word , so that I can do what is pleasing and right to you.
Forgive me of all the times I have disobeyed and rebelled against your commands and Your Word, whether you spoke through someone, or you spoke in my spirit. Help me to guard my soul to walk and keep on the paths of righteousness, so that I will never be casted away from your presence. Thank you for loving me enough to die on a cruel cross for me to be redeemed from all my sins. Help me to live my life to please You, and You only in Jesus name.