Everything That Can Be Shaken, The Revealing of Christ
The writer of Hebrews clearly expresses that everything that is seen comes from a realm that we do not see with our natural vision. That’s a lot of words to say what we must recognize. No one sees God fully and directly in this life. I use the word fully very purposefully. Many of us, by the Holy Spirit, have had a revealing of God to our spirits, to our inner man. This is what the new birth, being born of the Spirit of God is about. We know Him. It comes by faith, because of the words spoken by others. (John 17:20) Some have had open visions of the Lord Himself. Peter, James, and John saw Him in a glorious way on the mountain. (Matt. 17:1-9, 2 Peter 1:16-18) John experienced that at a higher level on Patmos when a more glorious revealing came that caused him to fall down. At that time, Jesus Himself had been fully glorified and restored to the heaven. In our day, stories of dreams and visions of Jesus Christ Himself abound and are increasing. It seems He reveals Himself to the extent that is required. We could say that it is according to the purpose and calling in a man or woman’s life.
I think His revealing carries more than the thought of purpose and calling. He reveals Himself to the ones He loves; the ones who love His appearing, His presence. Francis Frangipane shared a wonderful teaching on Jesus revealing Himself to Mary Magdalene. Jesus had cast 7 demons from her. The one who is delivered from much, loves much. She had gone to the tomb and found it empty. Peter and John had gone away but she remained weeping. At first she did not know it was Him, but when Jesus called her by name, she recognized Him. So she is the first to see Jesus Christ raised from the dead. While calling and purpose are always part of the Lord’s work in us, here with Mary, we see it is all about love. She loved Jesus and Jesus loved her. Only John records these details but no surprise for he is the disciple that deeply knew Jesus love.
When Jesus appears, when angels show up, when the reality of the kingdom of God hits us, we are shaken. People trembled. The Lord says He looks to this one who is humble, of a contrite spirit, and trembles at His word. As we read in the reference from Hebrews, he speaks and says, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth but also heaven.” And the writer says, this indicates the removal of things that are made. Heaven and earth will pass away, but His words will never pass away. Everything will be shaken. We must be aware that this includes the natural earth. A new heaven and a new earth are on the horizon. It will be totally new, a spiritual new creation in which righteousness dwells. It will be incorruptible. For that to be, the old must be removed.
Jesus spoke of earthquakes and famines and other trouble that would come upon the earth. So it has happened and continues. We read of a man, Agabus, who was a prophet and revealed by the Spirit that a great famine was coming to the world (Acts 11:28). That phrase, by the Spirit, is so important. Through history, some believers have made predictions, declarations, started projects, or built churches, and God was not in it. Such things fail, they collapse and the fall of such a house is great and devastating for those who were drawn into it. Agabus and the ones who came together at Antioch were truly led by the Spirit. His words were accepted to the extent that they gathered resources and sent relief to the believers in Jerusalem. A practical response followed the expectation of trouble. The Lord warned and they responded with preparation.
In Matthew 24, Jesus plainly explained that great trouble would precede the end of this age. He said many would be indifferent, and in violent opposition to the truth. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be. Noah was led by the Lord to prepare. Today we are hearing of coming earthquakes. After hearing this myself, two earthquakes on consecutive days registered in California. A sister shared that 34 minutes after one occurred, the shock was felt on the east coast. Some shakings are with purpose as idols, the work of men’s hands, the products of our pride, are brought down. Do we mourn their loss? Will any of those wonders of our hands be brought into glory? The Lord’s works are greater. Our response to human opposition must be in love. Prepare as we are led by the Spirit and be ready to help in practical ways. Jesus included earthquakes as well as famines when He spoke of the days coming. The Lord will shake until His great and terrible day when the heavens will pass away with a great noise. And Jesus Christ will be fully revealed to all.