Whole lot of shakin’ going on
In many circles it is accepted as a matter of fact that if God shows up some will shake or laugh when they feel His presence. Churches have been split and people have both left or been attracted to churches which allow shaking and laughing, but what does the Word say? I will also include the ever-popular “Let’s give the Lord a clap offering”, and its variations as they often seem to go together.
First let’s ask; ‘What is it about the presence of the Lord that might cause people to shake (or laugh)?’
Earth bodies/heavenly bodies – Our bodies are made of earthly materials, and only Jesus now has a human body made of heavenly material, that is to say, glorified. I Corinthians 15:40-52.
When we receive our heavenly bodies, we may condescend to earthly things, as when Jesus ate regular food after His resurrection. But if a person in an earth body eats heaven’s food, it supercharges the body, as when Elijah ate two meals prepared by angel and went 40 days on it, in I Kings 19:5-8.
Our earth bodies are like the coil on an electric stove; when energy (electricity) is put into it, it heats up because that coil resists the power – the more power the hotter it gets. Our bodies, not yet being of heavenly material which can handle the unlimited power of the Father, is resistant to the Spirit because it’s earthy.
So when a person first feels the presence of the Lord, they may feel flushed, get red faced or feel warm, or maybe bumps on their skin, but of course in their spirit there is big sense of peace. At this lowest level they may feel shaky, or joy from His presence within, and this is where the shaking and laughter comes from.
Turn up the power – If the power is turned up a bit the body may lose strength, such as happens when someone falls under the power, as seen in John 18:5-6 when Jesus told His captors “I AM, and they fell backwards to the ground”. (Then they got up and He allowed Himself to be arrested)
If someone loses their strength, sometimes the next ‘turn of the dial’ up in power could be knocking them unconscious for a time, or even a trance as what happened to Peter in Acts 10:10, and often people report either a deep sense of His presence or often a vision or words spoken to them. Some have even been taken to heaven ‘in the Spirit’ in such a condition. This has happened to me a few times. When it happens it seems so normal, so natural, you aren’t always sure if you are in the body or just in the Spirit, which is why Paul wrote that he was unsure of which when he was taken to heaven. (II Cor 12:1-4)
If the Father continues to raise the power level, it will kill the human body. This is what happened to Uzzah in II Samuel 6:7 (David brought the ark up incorrectly, on a cart, rather than carried by Levites on poles, so Uzzah died - after this David followed God’s guidelines (v11-13).
Paul says it is that power that goes beyond death, like Jesus raised from the grave, that will go beyond merely killing the earth body; it will actually rearrange the molecular structure at what is called ‘the rapture’, or as Paul said; ‘we will all be changed’ into heavenly material – that’s how Jesus was raised from the dead – a power more powerful than death transformed His dead earth body cells into eternal heavenly material!
So now to shaking
Knowing how the earth body reacts to the presence of the Lord, we have to ask how that reaction should be managed. The best advice I’ve heard on the subject goes back to the mid 1970′s, when I was a teenager and Charles and Francis Hunter were in town for healing meetings, and a teenage girl was called forward whose right hand and forearm was shaking noticeably.
Charles brought her forward in front of maybe 1000 people, hand shaking dramatically, and asked if she felt the presence of the Lord, to which she said yes, and that her hand always shook like that in His presence. He taught I Corinthians 14:32 that says ‘the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets’.
That means whatever is in your spirit can, and should be controlled by you. Paul’s context was people who were in a home based meeting – Acts 18:7 says they initially met in Justus’ house – and how they should take turns or even not speak if they had something from the Lord but there was not the opportunity to share, or the timing was wrong, or if someone else had something to share. Whatever is in your spirit is subject to you – so you must determine by timing, by politeness, by opportunity, to share what God gave you or not – and if not you haven’t sinned (I Cor 14:28)
Charles instructed the girl that her body was under her control. He had her concentrate on slowing down the shaking, and then asked if she still felt the presence of the Lord, to which she replied ‘Yes’. Then he had her stop the shaking completely, and asked if she felt the presence of the Lord, and again she said she did.
He then had her return to her seat, and then further explained that God is a gentleman and does not interrupt Himself. The girl’s shaking had drawn people’s attention away from Charles and Francis’ teaching as a distraction, so it clearly wasn’t God to have that happen; it was a matter of the inexperienced girl learning to control how her body reacted to God’s Spirit and power.
That is true of laughing, shaking, and sometimes even dancing around up front – God wants you to control yourself. God doesn’t interrupt Himself, but pastors fear the people who think if it is God it needs to be let loose. If that were true we’d have chaos in church, which is exactly what Paul was writing about in I Corinthians 14:26-32 when he told them to take turns, defer to another, keep quiet if others have something, only allow 2-3 prophecies or tongues & interpretation – your spirit is subject to you so maintain your control. You are not sinning against God to do so. Good hearts all, but lacking knowledge of the ways of the Spirit.
When in doubt, cast it out
But there is another possibility. Shaking is seen in the Gospels when demons shook people before being cast out – a manifestation of a demon ‘near the surface’ so to speak, being pushed into manifestation by the Holy Spirit in the hopes that someone would cast the thing out of the person.
In my experience much of the shaking called ‘God’ by ministers, is actually a demon needing to be cast out. Convulsions, shaking uncontrollably are all demonic – if you can get control it may be God remember. If involuntary, it’s a demon being ‘brought to the surface’ (manifesting) by the Holy Spirit to be cast out.
A girl came down front during a meeting, and the big name revivalist ministers were yelling at her to call out to God because God was all over her – I was 30 feet away on the platform but knew a demon shaking a person when I saw it – so under my breath, because I was the host for the night I had the authority in the Spirit/spirit – I commanded the spirit to leave her immediately. It did, the girl fell limp, and the ignorant (big name) ministers had everyone give God a hand clap for touching the girl. They were absolutely clueless what had just happened.
Later the girl approached me, and asked for prayer. She described what others often said that need deliverance, a voice of hate or confusion rising inside, convulsing and shaking uncontrollably – and then peace when the spirit suddenly left. I prayed for her and the Holy Spirit came on her so heavily, I had a prophetic word for her, and she said she felt overwhelming peace…The shaking is either the flesh due to ignorance, the Holy Spirit who will always allow a person to keep control, or a demon. So when in doubt, cast it out.
(Tell a shaking person they have a demon and you are going to cast it out of them, and see the reaction – you’ll know from that because you either just rocked their idea of God, or if a demon, it will be scared because someone discovered its little game and you can just tell it to come out in Jesus’ name and it will)
Clapping, applause to God
This is easy to think through. There are 9 verses using ’clap’ or some variation in the KJV, with references to trees clapping, floods clapping; but only one reference to people clapping in the Lord: “Clap your hands all ye people, shout unto God with the voice of triumph.” That is a clapping of victory won – a person is so happy they clap - no problem.
But…God is not an entertainer that He needs or wants to be applauded. He is not Hollywood Jesus. “And here is a beautiful sunset compliments of your Father God – what do we have for Him Johnny – let’s have a round of applause for those blues and red and pinks as the sun sets – take a bow Father.” NOT!
God is God, we are not. We clap, it’s of the earth, it’s a reaction of joy to victory won, clapping before Him, not TO Him. In every instance of worship to Jesus in scripture, do you ever read of someone clapping to Him? At His resurrection when He stood in their midst, did the 11 gathered burst into applause? Or did they fall at His feet in awe? In The Revelation do you see the multitudes before the throne clapping, or bowing in reverence and awe as they pour forth worship from their hearts?
To clap to God is an insult. To clap because you are happy is fine. Remember the scene where the children in “The King and I” are playing in the throne room of their father-king, some laughing, some dancing and running, some clapping in joy, some quietly playing? None of them stopped to look at their father and direct a clap offering to him – that would be insulting both to him as King, and to their parent/child relationship. They are in the throne of their father, applauding dad would be an affront.
But to clap because they are happy while in his presence among themselves - no problem. So too is our Father, who dwells within – Jesus said He seeks worshipers, not clappers and laughers and shakers.
But the underlying issue is the culture of church that has lost true revelation and knowing the presence of God…but don’t get me started on that one…lol….another ‘fad’ next week.
Please send all personal emails or questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org