Question for you: When is the Church going to have such an impact on the world so that our very presence makes them uncomfortable? You may be saying why should we make them tremble? We aren’t God. You’re right that we aren’t God, but we are His representatives. The military isn’t the President, and neither are their generals, but whenever they show up at his word enemy nations tremble. Especially if you start talking about special forces. We have a Greater Commander than any government official. So why are we so timid? In the Old Testament whenever a prophet showed up the people trembled. The Word of God and the One who sent them drew immediate reverence. Alright I’ll prove it to you.
“Now the Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons.” And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” But the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ Then invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; you shall anoint for Me the one I name to you.” So Samuel did what the Lord said, and went to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, “Do you come peaceably?”
I Samuel 16:1-4 NKJV
It wasn’t Samuel that the people were trembling at, it was Who and what his presence represented. Samuel stood in the place of Jehovah. The problem we’re having today is that the Church has become too familiar with the world. We have forgotten our assignment. We no longer speak for God, we speak what the people want to hear. We believe ‘thus saith the Lord‘ is old fashioned. So we replace it with, ‘this is what I think the Lord is saying.’ The last I read about folks who dared to tell God what to think, the earth swallowed them alive. Numbers 16
Whenever we replace God’s Word with our opinion, the reverencing of God is removed. We’ve forgotten who He is and what He’s capable of. He’s not us! But when we stand in His place things are supposed to change.
I’m not speaking of lording over or being superior or better than. That’s pride on steroids. I’m speaking to the heart of a committed servant of God. Do you know that they labeled Paul a pest? Do you know why? Everywhere he went he turned the city upside down. Someone tried to get in his way when he was ministering to a city official and..well let’s read it.
“Now when they had gone through the island to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus, who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man called for Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.” And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand. Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.”Acts 13:6-12 NKJV
What happened? A trembling. 21st century Christians would join the mob denouncing Paul for not showing love in the age of grace. But guess what? That was in the age of grace, this is after the death burial and resurrection of Jesus. The power is within and not on. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us. Paul was availing himself to the power within. Jesus has given us authority in His Name. The world of darkness should tremble when our feet hit the floor in the mornings. But if we look and sound like them then we tremble when they show up. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be!
The anointing was so strong on Elisha that he wouldn’t even tolerate taunting from young men who should’ve known better.. 2 Kings 2:24. Oh Lord! He would’ve been locked up for life today. But read it. They were being disrespectful, that would be equivalent to our kids using profanity to us. Well of course that’s normal for both parents and children using foul language to each other in normal conversation today. Parents tremble at the sound of their kids' voices. The devil is a liar! Please note that Elisha didn’t cause the bears to maul the children, he called on the Name of the Lord. It doesn’t mention what he prayed, but the bears are irrelevant to the story. This was a disrespectful mob of teenagers that were probably kept from doing harm to the man of God had those bears not showed up. Saying that God killed children simply for making fun of His prophet is ignorant of what was really taking place. It’s equivalent to tear gas and rubber bullets or police feeling threatened firing their weapons on a mob that’s about to kill them. Different times, different methods, but justified.
Elisha didn’t need bears, he could have prayed that they be struck dumb. The problem then as it is now, is total irreverence and disregard for God, His prophets and adults in general. Children used to respect adults until they were taught not to. The chanting of “go up bald head” was mocking in relation to what had just happened with Elijah. They wanted Elisha gone as well. The culture was no different than it is today: Get the prophets out of town so we can do what we want. See the hearts behind the mocking and you’ll understand the punishment. These weren’t innocent five and six year olds, these were a gang of youths surrounding a prophet of God. What happened? A trembling!
A similar trembling happened when Elijah showed up on Mount Carmel. He told the four hundred false prophets to prove whose God was legit. What happened next caused such trembling, that Jezebel put a bounty on Elijah’s head. 1 Kings 18
Peter caused quite a stir in Samaria when he encountered a “former” sorcerer. I said former because he was supposed to have received the message of salvation but most people who claim to be delivered still try to hold on to past sins.
“Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.” Then Simon answered and said, “Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me.”
Acts 8:14-24 NKJV
Oh my! Christians aren’t supposed to speak that way. We’re all about the sweet and fuzzy religion. We can’t win souls that way. I beg to differ. Ahem. Jesus said, you shall know the truth, was Peter being truthful? And the Truth will set you free. Simon was called out and repented. The reason people get offended for “other people” isn’t because they care about them, it’s to conceal their own guilty conscience. Have you noticed that most of the pushback in society today is coming from people who are offended for other people? You haven’t been paying attention. Peter nailed it. Sin must never be courted or coddled. It must be denounced. If we repent we’ll be forgiven. If we get offended we’ll be destroyed. What happened to Simon the sorcerer? A trembling!
“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.”Matthew 2:1-3 NKJV
This was where the trembling of the New Testament Church began. At the birth of Jesus. And it has continued to shake up the world. Why do you think Christians are being persecuted all over the world? They don’t carry swords and guns. They’re not leading a revolt against their known governments. Yet they are hated, maligned and lied against incessantly. They’re murdered and arrested like criminals. We in the west wouldn’t understand this. Some of you don’t even know what I’m referring to. Most pastors don’t talk about this in the churches. It's too depressing, it’s not their problem. After all, we live in a democratic country. It will never happen to us. Think again. These persecuted Christians are feared simply because they believe in Jesus Christ. These leaders tremble at what they don’t know. Maybe they have secretly read the Bible. The Church of Jesus Christ is a powerful yet submitted Church.
We’re submitted to the authority of Jesus Christ. This is the fear of communism and socialism. That we answer to the Word in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. We live by His written Word. We refuse and reject anything or anyone who tries to usurp the Word of God. Whenever we live what we say we believe there’ll be trembling. I guarantee you that not one more person mocked Elisha. That man lived in such anointing that his bones raised a dead man. 2 Kings 13:21. The king kept sending military men to get Elijah, every time they mentioned that he was a man of God they were burned up. 2 Kings 1. Don’t you believe that caused a trembling? I know it did. The last set of soldiers took a different approach.
“Again, he sent a third captain of fifty with his fifty men. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and pleaded with him, and said to him: “Man of God, please let my life and the life of these fifty servants of yours be precious in your sight. Look, fire has come down from heaven and burned up the first two captains of fifties with their fifties. But let my life now be precious in your sight.” II Kings 1:13-14 NKJV
When we get back to God’s business, doing things the way He intended it to be done, the world and the Church will once again call men to reverencing and fearing (not be afraid of) God. There’ll be a different respect for that which is Holy. The persecuted church like the apostle Paul is a pest to those who oppose righteousness. Are we known as pests? Is sin uncomfortable in our presence? Are we known as children of God only because we have long faces, and wear long skirts? Or are we so full of Jesus that darkness trembles? God wants to perform His Word but He’s having problems finding world changers. The Church is filled with people who don’t know who they are or who He is. We’re inconsistent in what we believe and practice, we’re so relevant we no longer stand out. But God is about to make us tremble. Making a distinction between the fake and the authentic.
“Thus says the Lord: “Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest? For all those things My hand has made, And all those things exist,” Says the Lord. “But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word. “He who kills a bull is as if he slays a man; He who sacrifices a lamb, as if he breaks a dog’s neck; He who offers a grain offering, as if he offers swine’s blood; He who burns incense, as if he blesses an idol. Just as they have chosen their own ways, And their soul delights in their abominations, So will I choose their delusions, And bring their fears on them; Because, when I called, no one answered, When I spoke they did not hear; But they did evil before My eyes, And chose that in which I do not delight.” Hear the word of the Lord, You who tremble at His word: “Your brethren who hated you, Who cast you out for My Name’s sake, said, ‘Let the Lord be glorified, That we may see your joy.’ But they shall be ashamed.”
Isaiah 66:1-5 NKJV
Do you tremble at His Word? Or do you only read the feel good parts of scripture? All scripture is from God. The parts we like and the parts we don’t. Jesus shook up the religious and irreligious world. Do you want to know the answer to race relations? Preach Jesus! The Church has lost its focus, we’re distracted, we’ve taken our eyes off the true message of why the Church was born in the first place. Christians aren’t being persecuted because they’re black or white, they’re hated because they preach Jesus. Jesus disseminated the race issue when He declared through the apostle Paul that there’s neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free, male or female. Galatians 3:28. There’s no hierarchy. We’re all the same when we meet Jesus. That’s our message. If we stray from that, the battle for the souls of men is lost. His birth caused a trembling, His death caused an earthquake, His resurrection created a firestorm. Are you in? Are you ready to be called a pestilent Christian? It’s a badge of honor. Or is just going to church enough for you?
Pestilent definition:causing annoyance; troublesome. In other words, true Christianity causes a TREMBLING.
Written by permission of the Holy Spirit
November 16, 2021