Pinecrest Bible Training Center

John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone.

Beginning in 2008 the vision and bible school that God so graciously gave Wade Taylor beginning in 1968 came to an abrupt end, falling into the ground and dying.-

We now wait for God to raise up and bring forth His seed of promise in another, that the vision fail not.

Summer 1987
They That Thrust Men
Tom Worth

"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.

Thus Jesus describes the awakened hopes and the eager thronging of the multitudes after John's clear cry in the wilderness cut through the religious, political and social fog of that time. John directs men's attention to the approaching kingdom of God and especially the King of that kingdom. The excitement of those early days, full of the promise of all that Israel had longed for drove men to meet and hear the Man from Galilee. The pushing and shoving, the jostling of one another, the eagerness and excitement all motivated by consuming spiritual hunger and heartbreaking human need are brought out more clearly by another rendering of the same verse of scripture.

"And from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven is gotten by force and they that thrust men take it by force" Matthew 11:12Margin.

The phrase, "they that thrust men," is an apt description. One can readily picture the crowds and those individuals in the crowds who would not be hindered in their effort to get to Jesus. The woman with the issue of blood is an example. She thrust her way through the crowd until she touched the hem of Christ's garment and was made whole.

How about today's situation? Do we still need to thrust men? What sort of "violence" is it that takes the kingdom of heaven? Certainly God has not called us to be religious bullies, rude, insensitive, selfish, etc. We all have unpleasant memories of being shoved aside by someone who had little care for us. Yet there is a "violence" that wins the kingdom of heaven in our day, and like those hungry hearts in the gospels, it is found in those who simple will not let anyone hinder them from coming to Jesus.

We still need to "thrust men." In other words, no one should come between us and the Lord. Many times we have heard this excuse, "I won't become a Christian because they're all hypocrites," or "I won't go to church because they're hypocrites." Here is an example of how the sinner has let the hypocritical behavior of some who name the name of Christ get in the way between him and the Lord. Those "hypocrites" are between him and the Lord and he's content to let them stay there. He won't thrust them out of the way.

Christians also suffer from failing to thrust men in a number of ways: some will idolize a particular minister because they are so pleased with him that he(in their thinking at least) comes to stand between them and the Lord. Others, through error, are made to feel the minister should stand between them and the Lord and they let it happen out of a sense of duty. Then disillusionment may come in either of these two examples when the minister fails in some way and even that failure can stand between them and the Lord. Ministerial failure can also stand between Christians and the Lord even if neither of the first two examples held true for them. How many people have walked away from the Lord because someone offended them? They let the offences of others crowd them away from the Lord. In all of these cases, Christians failed to thrust men andf ailed to take the kingdom.

The above examples are just a few in the vast multitude that we need to thrust our way through. Even more numerous are effects from the influences of friends, peers, relatives, associates, employers, employees, the makers of opinion in the mass media, singers and songwriters, actors and scriptwriters, teachers, students, parents, children, husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, buyers, sellers, writers, advertisers, the owners of the dog next door, neighbors, doctors, nurses, patients, and the list could go on and on. Each one of the categories mentioned, and the thousands not mentioned, contain people to which we need to relate rightly and in a right relationship they don't come between us and the Lord. We need to love, honor or respect, as the case may require, but when it comes to our relationship with the King of Heaven's kingdom, the Lord Jesus, no one should come between us and Him, either by their design or ours. We need to thrust men. That means we submit, we cooperate, we consider others better than ourselves but above all we consider the Lord. We "thrust men" when we forgive them. When we forgive them, they nolonger stand between us and the Lord. We "thrust men" when we accept them and not make more or less of them than they really are. We "thrust men" when were fuse to be seduced by fast talk, flattery, impressive arguments, public acclaim, position and so on.

And this leads us to the final man we need to thrust, ourselves. We "thrust men" when we refuse to use them for our own ends and in that refusal we really thrust the final man, the self. Walt Kelly, in a marvelous parody of Commodore Perry's victory dispatch, makes his comic strip character Pogo say, "We has met the enemy and it is us!" In taking the kingdom by force, in thrusting all these other men out of our way, if we do it rightly, we thrust ourselves out of our way as well. As the Lord said, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself. . ." Matthew 16:24. In coming to Jesus, we must not let self stand in the way. We come to Him, not with what we shall tell Him to do, but with an openness to what He shall tell us to do. After all, we are coming to the King.

When we come to Jesus we need to truly deny self. Much religious exercise, asceticism, and much of what has been called self denial can become self-exaltation. How ironic that many who think they are exercising self denial come into a vicious cycle of pride and condemnation where self is confirmed instead of denied because that false self denial depends on the self! The false self denial says that we come to Christ by our own efforts. The real self denial denies any value in the self to bring us to God but instead on the blood of Jesus and the mercy of God. When we trust in Jesus instead of self, we deny self and "thrust" that man out of the way.

The kingdom of heaven suffers only the violence of the faith that works by love. Those who have been amazed by the grace of God see a beauty in the face of Jesus that they will let nothing obscure. The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence and they that thrust men take it by the strongest force of all, the love of God in Christ.