The Coming Collision Between Shaking and Glory
A violent collision is coming, but what will the result hold for you? (Flickr/texaus1)
There are diverse views on the End Times, including at least three different historical theological views concerning eschatology. Major different voices contend for our attention today, everything from escapism to run and hide, to replacement theology concerning Israel and the church, to ultimate reconciliation, to the absurdity that there is no literal hell, and on and on it goes. In this age of false acceptance, just about anything goes. After all, God is a God of Grace and Love, right? Yes, but He is also the God of Justice and Truth.
Let’s make sure we keep certain basic truths in place in the swirl of many opinions. I often find myself in the role of taking complex things and deciphering them into foundational simple and understandable truths. But for now let’s push a pause button on that subject, and let me give you a partial biblical perspective I hold. Yes—the Glory AND the Shaking Come Together!That’s clearly what the Word of God says.
FROM HAGGAI 2: 2-9
“Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people saying, ‘Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory? And how do you see it now? Does it not seem to you like nothing in comparison? But now take courage, Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord, ‘take courage also, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and all you people of the land take courage,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ declares the Lord of hosts. ‘As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt, My Spirit is abiding in your midst; do not fear!’ For thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,’ declares the Lord of hosts. ‘The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and in this place I will give peace,’ declares the Lord of hosts.”
LAYERS OF SCRIPTURAL INTERPRETATION
There are often layers to scriptural interpretation and application: the context of the historic setting, the prophetic perspective for both then and later on, the personal application for our own lives, and much more. Another principle in interpreting Scripture is: first in the Natural and second in the Spiritual.
Here in Haggai 2 we have the historic recordings concerning the first and the second temples. The first was grand in external splendor, an architectural wonder of all the ages. After the desolation and then a time of despair, a second temple was built—but it did not compare to the earlier grandeur. But the Word of the Lord came forth in that situation declaring that the latter glory of this house will be greater than the former. Bottom line:
The First Temple was Built in Grandeur
The First Temple was Destroyed
The Second Temple was Built—Appearing in the Natural as “nothing in comparison”
A Prophetic Declaration was released in the midst of disillusionment, “The Glory will be Greater!”
Likewise, the early church saw great glory followed by a great decline. Five hundred-plus years ago we stepped into a new era called the Great Reformation with such truths as “the just shall live by faith.” Now we are stepping into the Convergence of the Ages with accelerated movements and motion of the current-day operation of the Holy Spirit.
The pattern is similar in the natural and in the spiritual. Bottom line:
The First Apostolic Church was Birthed in Glory
The Church went into a Great Decline
The Second Apostolic Age Appears on the scene in Infancy and Controversy
A Prophetic Declaration is released in the midst of uncertain times: “The Glory will be Greater!”
It is my belief that in modern church history, we have crossed the threshold from the Third to the Beginning of the Fourth Great Wave. (See my article on The Beginning of the Fourth Wave. For more on this subject, please see the new book by Julia Loren,The Future of Us, with my chapter concerning these issues—available in our EN Resource Center.
FROM JAMES 5: 7-11
“Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door. As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.”
As I have read this passage over and over for years, there are at least seven things to glean in parallel understandings from these writings of James 5.
Do Not Complain
Look to the Model of Job
Know that the Lord’s Dealings ultimately result in Compassion and Mercy!
THE EARLY AND THE LATTER RAIN
In the natural, in the Middle East, the early rain falls from mid-October to mid-December. The purpose of the early rains is to soften the ground for plowing, and it waters the freshly seeded fields so the seeds can germinate. The latter rain falls from late February to early April. The purpose of the latter rains is to cause the grain to come into full growth and maturity and thus preparing for a harvest.
Jer. 5:24 proclaims, “They do not say in their heart, ‘Let us now fear the Lord our God, who gives rain in its season, both the autumn rain and the spring rain, who keeps for us the appointed weeks of the harvest.'”
So which is it? Shaking or Glory? Darkness or Light? Fear or Faith? Fatalism or Furious Love? Stagnation or Progressive Revelation? Lukewarm Churchianity or Passionate Believers with Hearts on Fire? Tribulation Generation or Hope Ambassadors Generation? Desolation or Restoration?
Oh my beloved, the Scriptures in the New Testament say that in the Last Days difficult times will come. But that is not the end of the story!
Yes, the shaking and the glory are on a collision course. But guess which force wins? Or maybe it should be stated, ‘But guess WHO wins?”
Is. 60: 1-3 says it really well. “Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples; But the Lord will rise upon you; and His glory will appear upon you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.”
I see a glorious eschatology where light exposes darkness—and the glory of the Lord covers the Earth as the waters covers the seas. Amen and Amen!
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