What is the shaking?
“Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.”
Understanding the shaking is critical because it helps us to understand what God is doing, and what we can expect to befall the earth. Can we be prepared to meet such an event. Well, let's turn to God's Word for the answer.
6 For thus saith the Lord of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land;
7 And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts.
21 Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth;
22 And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother.
23 In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the Lord, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the Lord of hosts.
What is significant, in the book of Haggai, the Lord is saying that he will shake the heavens and the earth "Yet once", but in Hebrews he says that he will shake the heaven and the earth "Yet once more". I do believe if we look at what God did the first time, we can understand what he will do the second time.
If we examine the verses mentioned in Haggai, verse 6 and 7, God said he will "shake all nations and the desire of nations will come". Who is the "desire of nations?" Let's turn to the Bible.
Genesis 12: 2,3
2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.
Now if we compare these verses with Haggai 2:6,7 we can come to only one conclusion. The desire of nations is Jesus Christ.
Haggai tells us that the nations will be shaken before the desire of nations should come. When we look at the history of nations before Christ's first appearance there was turmoil. Daniel chapter 2 chronicles the shaking of the nations, including the Romans that unified the world, facilitated a universal language and prepared the way for our Lord and Savior. God placed kings on their thrones and took them down and by his providence, he shook the nations. Could we see a shaking of the nations again, a unified world, a universal language for the second time before Christ's second coming.
In Haggai 2:21-23 God again says he will shake the heavens and the earth. He explains what he means, he says he will overthrow the throne of kingdoms and break the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen. However he says that he will preserve Zerubbabel who represents the people of God during the shaking of the nations. Do we not see this narrative in the vision of Daniel chapter 2 that goes all the way down to the end of time when a remnant shall be preserved and Christ's kingdom will be setup for ever.
When God says that he is shaking the nations he is trying them by methods that he has chosen to turn them to him. When they reject him in open rebellion, and their cup of iniquity is full, then judgement will fall upon them.
13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;
14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.
15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.
16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.
So God tries nations or in this case he shakes the nations and those that honor a false god will be broken. Just as Babylon was destroyed and will never be rebuilt, just as Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed without a trace, just as Assyria, Moab and many others, so the nations of the world as Paul confirms in Hebrews will be shaken a second time. God reveals himself to the nations through his faithful servants in every era, and when they would have refused his wisdom and counsel, then calamity would fall upon them, thus they were shaken. A good example is Nineveh. The book of Jonah is God reaching out to Nineveh in mercy. The book of Nahum is God's judgement upon them because of their apostasy and rebellion against the truth.
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. - 2 Peter 3:10
What will be shaken?
We can conclude that all who have not made God their strength will be shaken. The shaking will separate the world ( as well as God's people ) into two classes. Those that serve God and those that do not serve God. We will explore this some more later on.
What will remain?
The Kingdom of God will stand forever.
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:
44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
For further reading see Joel 3:9-21
Testimonies for the Church Volume 9 Ch.1 pg. 15.5 - 16.1
Not all in this world have taken sides with the enemy against God. Not all have become disloyal. There are a faithful few who are true to God; for John writes: “Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12. Soon the battle will be waged fiercely between those who serve God and those who serve Him not. Soon everything that can be shaken will be shaken, that those things that cannot be shaken may remain.
Will the Church be shaken?
The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and trust in Him. And all the upright in heart shall glory.
Devotional - From the Heart November 28th pg.341.2
This scripture will be literally fulfilled. Everything is to be shaken that can be shaken, that those things that cannot be shaken may remain. I am amazed as I consider the past, present, and future of the people of God. The Lord will have a pure, holy people—a people who will stand the test. All believers need now to search their hearts as with a lighted candle…
The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.
2 The cities of Aroer are forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid.
3 The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria: they shall be as the glory of the children of Israel, saith the Lord of hosts.
4 And in that day it shall come to pass, that the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean.
5 And it shall be as when the harvestman gathereth the corn, and reapeth the ears with his arm; and it shall be as he that gathereth ears in the valley of Rephaim.
6 Yet gleaning grapes shall be left in it, as the shaking of an olive tree, two or three berries in the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in the outmost fruitful branches thereof, saith the Lord God of Israel.
7 At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.
8 And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect that which his fingers have made, either the groves, or the images.
9 In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the children of Israel: and there shall be desolation.
10 Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength, therefore shalt thou plant pleasant plants, and shalt set it with strange slips:
In the House of God, have always existed two classes of people. Those who are truly His and those who are His in word but not in deeds. Isaiah presents a very clear picture of what will befall those who have not been sanctified by the truth, they will be shaken out.
Ephraim which is Israel, the ten tribes of the north made a confederacy with Syria to invade Judah. The plan was to put a puppet king on the throne in Judah. ( see Isaiah 7:1-9). Ephraim was shaken because of idolatry. Israel was shaken because they, turned their backs on God.
Notice that God comes in Isaiah chapter 17 to deal with Damascus, the main city of Syria but while he is about to reign judgment on them he shakes Israel. Israel is shaken because the have made an unholy alliance with satan which is revealed in there outward alliance with Syria.
We can clearly see from this example that all who profess to be followers of Christ and yet will make a confederacy with the world, will be shaken when God should visit his judgement's on the World.
Isaiah 17:10 tells us why Ephraim was being shaken, he had forgotten the God of his Salvation.
Interestingly, if we look at Isaiah chapters 14 - 24, God is pronouncing judgement on the nations around and in the midst of that Israel was being shaken for their apostasy. Verse 17 focuses on God's people specifically being shaken at that time because of their loyalty to false gods.
What is even more interesting is that by the time we reach to Isaiah chapter 24 the whole world is in turmoil and again from a global perspective the shaking separates the remnant from the rest of the world.
5 The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.
6 Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.
7 The new wine mourneth, the vine languisheth, all the merryhearted do sigh.
8 The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth.
9 They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it.
10 The city of confusion is broken down: every house is shut up, that no man may come in.
11 There is a crying for wine in the streets; all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone.
12 In the city is left desolation, and the gate is smitten with destruction.
13 When thus it shall be in the midst of the land among the people, there shall be as the shaking of an olive tree, and as the gleaning grapes when the vintage is done.
14 They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of the Lord, they shall cry aloud from the sea.
15 Wherefore glorify ye the Lord in the fires, even the name of the Lord God of Israel in the isles of the sea.
We see here that when the earth shall be terribly shaken that a remnant will be left and while they will be rejoicing in the Lord, they will have to endure some very trying times.
So lets summarize, what we have learn't thus far. There will be a shaking of God's people, and a shaking of the nations of the world. God have to separate the wheat from the tears that are currently occupying His House. He will also shake the nations so that those who will serve Him must come out from Babylon to be united with His Wheat, to make up the final number of His kingdom. The tears and the rest of the world will then join in open rebellion to persecute the children of God. God's church is not shaken in isolation of the world, both must be shaken in order that two classes, globally, will emerge. Many may be wondering when will this happen? Is it happening now? The real question and the most important one should be am I ready?
What will cause the shaking among God's People?
The Shaking – Early Writings pg.269-272
I saw some, with strong faith and agonizing cries, pleading with God. Their countenances were pale and marked with deep anxiety, expressive of their internal struggle. Firmness and great earnestness was expressed in their countenances; large drops of perspiration fell from their foreheads. Now and then their faces would light up with the marks of God's approbation, and again the same solemn, earnest, anxious look would settle upon them.
Evil angels crowded around, pressing darkness upon them to shut out Jesus from their view, that their eyes might be drawn to the darkness that surrounded them, and thus they be led to distrust God and murmur against Him. Their only safety was in keeping their eyes directed upward. Angels of God had charge over His people, and as the poisonous atmosphere of evil angels was pressed around these anxious ones, the heavenly angels were continually wafting their wings over them to scatter the thick darkness.
As the praying ones continued their earnest cries, at times a ray of light from Jesus came to them, to encourage their hearts and light up their countenances. Some, I saw, did not participate in this work of agonizing and pleading. They seemed indifferent and careless. They were not resisting the darkness around them, and it shut them in like a thick cloud. The angels of God left these and went to the aid of the earnest, praying ones. I saw angels of God hasten to the assistance of all who were struggling with all their power to resist the evil angels and trying to help themselves by calling upon God with perseverance. But His angels left those who made no effort to help themselves, and I lost sight of them.
I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this is what will cause a shaking among God's people.
The shaking will be very terrible and only those whose names are recorded in the lambs book of life will be able to endure.
The People of God will endure a terrible shaking which will be caused by the straight testimony. This shaking will reveal God's true Church and it is this Church that will give the loud cry to a world of which the nations will also be shaken. When the entire earth would have been shaken by the proclamation of the present truth, God's judgement will soon fall upon it. The Remnant Church, Christ's Bride will stand victorious and those who have persecuted her will fall.
Question ? What is the straight testimony and why will it cause a shaking among God's people? We will discuss this in our next study titled "The Straight Testimony".
May God bless you as you continue to study His Word.