Heb 12:2-29 ďWhose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 For our God is a consuming fire.Ē God said he would shake everything that can be shaken, for the purpose of removing those things so that only that which cannot be shaken would remain. So what is it that canít be shaken by the judgment of God? That which is of His kingdom, the true church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Surely the present shaking that we have been experiencing is shaking the very foundations of our society and the world and it is a manifestation of the wrath of God against wickedness. The Lord is exposing and tearing down systems that men have put their trust in and said they were too big to fail.
Psalm 11:3 "If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?"
Consider? Nobody - no politician, economist or financial expert has been able to explain what has happened. No nation has been immune to this shaking. No corrupt corporation or system was as big and powerful as thought and the experts are baffled at what is happening.
In the midst of such as this time we are in, what are the righteous to do? What can we expect in this time of volatility and upheaval? And how are we to respond?
Let us consider a few things God says we are to do in such a time as this.
1. If you have by faith from a sincere heart, confessed Jesus Christ as Lord of your life, you need never fear the wrath of God.
Those who are in Christ are sheltered by the blood that Jesus shed for them. This truth must be the cornerstone of our faith. It will determine everything we think and all we do in these times of Godís chastening.
God says He reserves his wrath for the wicked, not the just. The mercies of the Lord's endure forever and are renewed daily and are available to all men. But unrighteous men not only reject the mercies of God, they despise them and reject His truth. Romans 1:18 ďFor the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.Ē
Those who are the objects of Godís wrath have hardened themselves against Godís truth. John 3:36 "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." Again in Ephesians 5:5-6 we read "For this you know with certainty, that no immoral, unclean, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with empty words: for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience".
What about the righteous? It is no different that at times of judgment in the past that we read about in Scripture. 1 Thessalonians 1:10 "Ö even Jesus, who delivered us from the wrath to come. 1 Thessalonians 5:9 ďFor God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ."
Paul gave the believers in Rome a similar reassurance: Romans 5:8-9 "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him."
Yet, we know that when Godís wrath is poured out upon the earth, that for a season, even Godís people are affected by it. The economic problems of the nation are affecting Godís people too. But what does God say to the righteous during such a time as this? What are Godís people to do when they are daily bombarded with nothing but bad news? When the markets are so chaotic, when major corporations are failing, when the world is being paralyzed with fear, like the recent minor flu outbreak Ė how are we to deal with these things?
2. Isaiah tells us God has a hiding place for his people during a time like this in which we are living.
Isaiah 26:20 "Come, my people, enter into your chambers [rooms], and close your doors behind you: hide for a little while, until indignation has past (or runs its course)." The word Indignation from the Hebrew speaks of froth at the mouth, the fury of Godís displeasure with sin. This was spoken to His people in a perilous time of Godís wrath. 26:21 "Behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity."
Sometimes when wickedness is increasing, God seems to just stay behind the scenes for awhile. Until the day comes when He comes forth in righteous indignation to defend His name. Today is a lot like the day in which this was spoken to Isaiah. The judgment that God sent forth then was like our Sept.11,2001 disaster, a Ďsignal judgmentí letting us know that God is warning of a greater judgment unless there is repentance in the land. Isaiah told us Godís purpose in sending such a Ďsignal judgment.í Isaiah 26:9 "When thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.Ē Godís signal judgment is meant to be a redemptive judgment.
Sadly, what Isaiah stated could be said about today, Isaiah 26:11 "0 Lord, thy hand is lifted up, yet they do not see it." In other words: "Lord, your judgment is clearly upon us. But the people pay no attention and continue on in their wickedness." That was when God told His people, "Enter your room and close the door behind you. Hide yourself until the storm passes."
As a Christian who puts his trust in God's faithfulness, you may be wondering, "Hide? Me, a follower of Jesus? Why? Never! May this not be true of anyone who claims to trust in the Lord." Yet there is a very special meaning to this passage of Scripture.
3. Isaiah †says it is possible to find a place of comfort and composure during the volatile times of Godís wrath.
When you are in distress; even overwhelmed by circumstances, knocked down by afflictions, troubled with concerns for your future, fearful; God says there is a secret hiding place, a place of comfort where we can find peace, rest† and composure for our souls. That secret place is a place within, a chamber in your mind. Isaiah 26:3 "He [the Lord] will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on him, because he trusts in him."
When God tells us to "enter your room and Shut the doors," this is what he means. He is telling us to shut the door, shut out the troubling negative voices of the world that are affecting our minds and our peace. He is telling us to close the door on all worries and cares about tomorrow and forget world events. Mat 6:31 ďTherefore do not be anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, With what shall we be clothed?Ē Why? 2Thess.3:3 ďBut the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.Ē Because the same faithful God who called us and brought us this far will see us through these trying days ahead.
Listen to David. Psalm 57:1-3 "Be merciful to me, 0 God...for my soul trusts in you: yes, in the shadow of your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities be over past. I will cry unto God most high; unto God who accomplishes all things for me. He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth."
Psa.4:4 "ÖMeditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still." Psa. 63:6-8 "When I remember thee on my bed, I meditate on thee in the night watches. For thou hast been my help, and in the shadow of thy wings I sing for joy, my soul clings to you; thy right hand upholds me."
When you lie down on your bed and all is quiet outwardly, when there is no noise and voices from the world, it is a time to find that place of peace within and worship in the secret place and find comfort in the Holy Spirit. Close the door to all the troubling, fearful voices and commune with the Lord and find peace and rest in Him.
4. Quench the fiery darts of Satan.
Ephesians 6:16 "Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked." How we are to do battle with the enemy, who sends tormenting thoughts of fear: Ephesians 6:11-12 "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, and the power of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
Brethren, we are in is not a human conflict. This fight cannot be fought in this earthly realm. It is a battle in the supernatural or spiritual realm. Here is where we are spiritually. Rev 12:12 ďTherefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. (Are you dwelling with Christ in heavenly places?) Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.Ē
Yes, we are facing a raging battle with Satan, but we must remember, Christ has already overcome and we are to enter into His victory. How? Rev 12:11 ďAnd they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.ď We may face the wrath of Satan, but that is not the same thing as the wrath of Godís judgment. We are up against a devil who is mad because he knows he has only a short time to stop Godís people from their inheritance and victory and His demise in the lake of fire.
Satanís battle is against those who are faithful followers of Christ. Rev 12:17 ďAnd the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.Ē So, if you are following Jesus and Satan is attacking you, it isnít because of your failure or sin, it is because he is trying to stop you from doing Godís will. This is a righteous saint being attacked for his trust in God. That is why the fiery darts are coming at you.
Psalm 11:2 "Behold, the wicked [Satan] bends his bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, to shoot in darkness at the upright in heart." But David said in Psa.91:2 ďI will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.Ē
So, what are these fiery arrows sent at us from Hellís demons? They are fearful, disturbing thoughts to make you fearful and anxious about your future and Godís ability or faithfulness to take care of you. It is the lies of the enemy designed to rob you of your faith in God.
5. No matter how long you have walked by faith in Christ, you are subject to facing Satan's fiery arrows.
At this moment, many believers all over the world are suffering pain and afflictions. Some have lost all their possessions, some are persecuted, imprisoned, tortured, for their faith in Christ. They know what Satanís fiery arrows are. They face the constant accusations of the enemy saying, "Where is your God now? You have not cried out to him for weeks, months, years. Why does he allow you to continue suffering with no answer? He has forgotten you." I am reminded of Jobís wife, ďhow long will you hold on to your integrity. Why donít you just curse God and die.Ē What? And lose the battle? Job might have been down, but he wasnít out of the fight, the final chapter was still to be written by God.
Many face battles from lingering sickness and pain. Caregivers also suffer taking care of a loved one with a terrible disease. Others are facing financial ruin or setbacks. They know the fiery darts of the enemy, saying, "Where is God now, when you need him most? And where will you be tomorrow?"
These have heard all the devilís lies, all the tempting thoughts that flash into the mind: "Just give up. You are on your own. God isn't keeping his promises to you. Your prayers aren't getting through. He has left you to face this by yourself." Satan is a foul Liar! And a defeated one!
Another trick of Satan when you are going through a battle is to accuse you and remind you of every past sin in your life, every foolish thing you ever did. Flaming arrows. Full of the wrath of Satan. Many brothers and sisters know the pain of hurtful words coming at them from someone around them, even someone they love.
At times you may think you are the only one under such attack. You will think, why am I the only one in church going through a battle like this. You feel isolated in your suffering. Even those who love you donít seem to understand what youíre going through. Youíre not alone. Iíve been there. Others here also have been there.
Listen to The apostle Peter. 1 Peter 4:12-13 "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy."
The apostle Paul added; 1 Corinthians 10:13 "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
Finally Ephesians 6:16 "Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench [extinguish] all the fiery darts of the wicked [one]. You ask, what is the shield of faith? It is an impenetrable armor that we build with the promises of God by our faith. This shield can keep us from every lying hurting word spoken against us. It can extinguish the voices of fear and unbelief. It will give you the strength of spirit to stand and confidently say, "Devil, I am not ignorant of your devices. Nothing - not terrible pain, not financial loses, not chaos in the world - can separate me from the love of God in Christ." Thatís Rom.8:39.
6. When the enemy comes in like a flood or a fury of rage, quickly speak the promises of God.
Speak boldly to the enemy that comes in the dark and say, "I will not fear. And I will not quit. I stand on my Lord's promise to keep me from falling and to present me faultless before his presence. God promises that no weapon aimed against me shall hurt me" (Isaiah 54:17).
Ephesians 6:10 "Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might." James 4:7 "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
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