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Trembling at the Word

  • Isaiah 66:2 For all those things has my hand made, and all those things have been, says the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word. 

Isaiah 66 is speaking to Israel. Israel always took pride in their temple, they gloried that they were Godís chosen people and took pride in their religious observances. In verse 2 we see that God never emphasizes outward religious observances, fancy buildings or great entertaining services. He looks for those that tremble at His word. 

A poor and contrite spirit is one that is willing to admit they are helpless to go it alone. They recognize their need for God. When the word is preached to them, they are quick to receive the word, tremble at the word and apply that word to their own lives. When he or she discovers by the preaching of the word that they are in need of God, they turn to God. This type of person never takes the word of God lightly and when the Holy Spirit convicts them of sin, they will respond and not fail to change. 

To tremble at the word does not mean scared to death or trembling in fear. It means to respect the word, take it seriously and give heed to the word.

To those that do not tremble at the word or they take the word lightly, they will not have the word to guide them in the path they choose in life. If they are of the Christian faith and take the word lightly, they are more likely to fall for every doctrine and precept of men that may come down the pike in the name of Christianity. Their Christianity if they had any, might become "in name only" and their worship is turned into rituals, ceremonies, form and tradition rather than true worship in spirit and in truth. We have to take His word seriously.

  • (Psalm 138:2) I will worship toward your holy temple, and praise your name for your  loving kindness and for your truth: for your have magnified your word above all your name.

There are some translations that explain this verse a little differently but I see this as God showing us His word is so important that it is exalted above His name. Other translations explain this as equal to His name but whichever the meaning, the word is exalted to a high position. Since Jesus Christ is the word made flesh, it is very important and we are tremble at the word of God. 

Much suffering and death has occurred over the centuries for us to have this word in written form. This book contains the words that could mean our eternal death or eternal life. 

Our fear of God must come from the word itself or from a faithful pastor, preacher or teacher who is also faithful to the word. We need to tremble at the word and delight in its teaching, correction, conviction and comfort, for the word does all those things. We can't pull out all the comfort scriptures and neglect all the ones that rebuke and correct. We need both the negative and the positive parts of the word. 

Notice that a battery will not work if its not hooked up to both a negative and a positive connection. 

I've heard preaching before that preach all that is wrong with the church but fail to tell us how to correct the problem and get turned around the right way. I want to hear the prophetic preachers because I desire to know the truth and not just hear ear tickling sermons that make me feel comfortable, but after hearing the warnings and judgments of God, I want to hear how to make things right with God and be restored. If I'm in trouble and my soul is in jeopardy, I want to know how to get things fixed. So we need the correction of the word but we also need the comfort and assurance of that same word. Once we repent and make things right with God after the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, we need to maintain the assurance of salvation which is what brings us the joy of our salvation. 

On the other hand, to constantly hear that God loves us and wants to bless us with both spiritual and material blessings with no preaching of repentance, correction, and warnings, it could cause the worst sinner among us to think they are okay because they believe in God. They believe He exists. They may be bound by besetting sins and need to hear a message that will bring change into their lives. All feel good preaching might make us think that God loves us too much to judge our sin and we go along comfortable thinking we are okay while we slowly slip back into the same sins that Jesus once saved us from. We need both the positive and the negative teaching of the word. In reality though all of God's word is really positive if we receive it into our spirit and let it flow through us changing our lives into someone that is fruitful.

  • Psalm 119:9 How shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed according to your word. 
  • Psa 119:10 With my whole heart have I sought you: O let me not wander from thy commandments. 
  • Psa 119:11 Your word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. 
  • Psa 119:103 How sweet are your words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
  • Psa 119:104 Through your precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. 
  • Psa 119:105 Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

I heard a preacher the other day say that if pastors and teachers stop preaching against sin, they will most assuredly return to sin. I could add to that. If pastors stop preaching the word, people will return to sin. We have to make sure we are not preaching legalistic opinions or traditions but the actual word of God taken in context.

This is why the church is here. This is why God sets up pastors and teachers in the word. If we are just to get people saved and then just trust the Holy Spirit to lead them in the right direction, we are missing our calling. God uses us to minister to fellow believers.

First of all we need the word preached under the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit to get people to be saved in the first place. We preach the word and the Holy Spirit takes that word and brings conviction to the heart of the one that needs salvation. The word and the spirit is needed to save a lost soul. After salvation though the word is needed to bring us into a life of holiness and a life filled with the spirit. 

All of us need to be taught and reminded to study, to worship and to help one another. If we fail to do this, some may return to sin. We are here for a purpose. We are here to learn, study and increase in the knowledge of the word so that we can teach others this good way. 

  • Deuteronomy 4:2 You shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish aught from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. 

The importance of obedience to the word in the Old Testament was so important that it was a death penalty to break it, change it or use it to deceive. Yet obedience to the word brought a blessing while disobedience to the word brought forth a curse. 

We must be very careful not to be deceived by those that misuse the word or change it to mean something other than what was the original intent. I realize there are different interpretations of the word and not everyone who disagrees on the word is necessarily a deceiver.

Usually the motive for reading Godís word, will usually indicate whether or not one is going to understand what he reads. For instance. If we study the word to find out what God has to say to us, how to please God or because we really care about what God has to say to us, we will be more likely to eventually come to understand it more than the one who reads the word just to be able to say to himself, he did his part and read the bible today. Some may search the word to find justification for something he wants to do that his conscience is telling him not to do. 

Here are some examples of the need to study all the word and not just pick out certain parts.

Concerning Israel. Both these passages were written by Paul

  • Acts 13:43 Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. 
  • Act 13:44 And the next Sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. 
  • Act 13:45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spoke against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. 
  • Act 13:46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. 
  • Act 13:47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou should be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. 
  • Act 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. 

If we stop at this and do not read other scriptures by the apostle Paul one might assume that the gospel was taken permanently from the Jews and given to the Gentiles. Not so. 

  • Romans 11:24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? 
  • Rom 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. 
  • Rom 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 
  • Rom 11:27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. 
  • Rom 11:28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. 

So we see that God has not cast away Israel. All through the ages after Christ, the Jews were persecuted by the many nations, religious bodies, governments and even some who named the name of Christ but did not really know Christ.

This is an example of how we need the whole word of God and not just part. Another example concerns our salvation. 

The verse, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." If we quote that and do not study the rest of the scriptures on salvation, we could get the idea that all we have to do to be saved is to believe that Jesus Christ exists. We know though that there is more to the message of salvation, yet the message is still simple. It is not a complicated message. 

Let's look at that verse again. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. If we look at it closely we can ask ourselves. Saved from what? 

We know our physical lives are not saved for they eventually will die if the Lord does not return before that day. So we have to search other scriptures to find out what we are saved from.

  • Matthew 1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privately. 
  • Mat 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary your wife; for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 
  • Mat 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and your shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 

Now we see that when we are saved, we are saved from sin. Jesus died for our sins so we know that we are saved from sin. Without the written word, we would not really understand how to be saved or what we are saved from. So we see that we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ but we believe in Him to the point that we allow Him to cleanse us from sin. True saving faith causes us to turn from sin and turn to Christ. That is how we are saved and born again by the spirit of God. 

There is no accepting Jesus in our hearts without being saved from sin. To be saved from sin, we believe in Christ but we turn away from sin. 

Every time we read about being saved, we should remember what we are being saved out of and then the salvation message is easier to understand. Without the study and teaching of the word, we will get only half the truth and not the whole truth. 

I do not believe the bible ever contradicts itself, I believe careful study will reveal that every word confirms another part of the bible in some way. 

  • Luke 11:27 And it came to pass, as he spoke these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. 
  • Luk 11:28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. 

When someone was proclaiming a blessing upon Mary the mother of Jesus, Jesus said, yes but rather than major on that, blessed are they that hear the word and keep it. Jesus Himself proclaimed a blessing upon all those the not only hear the word but keep the word. 

First we read or hear the word, then we believe the word but we can't say we believe the word if we do not go on and keep the word. We see both Old Testament and New Testament examples of the importance of keeping the word of God. 

  • Revelation 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things says he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that opens, and no man shuts; and shuts, and no man opens; 
  • Rev 3:8 I know your works: behold, I have set before your an open door, and no man can shut it: for you have a little strength, and have kept my word, and have not denied my name. 
  • Rev 3:9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. 
  • Rev 3:10 Because you have kept the word of my patience, I also will keep you from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. 

Because this church kept the word, they were promised to escape the hour of temptation which is to try the ones that dwell upon the earth. Keeping the word seems to be important to Jesus Christ who gave this prophecy to the church so I believe it must be pretty important. 

I personally love the teaching and preaching of God's word more than the song service. I don't want to put down gospel sings. I enjoy them but if I know there is no preaching, it is very hard to get me to go to a service if I know ahead of time that its all singing and no preaching. Remember this is just me and I am not sitting in judgment upon those that love all singing services. But the word is the part I look forward to. 

I feel robbed if there is no preaching or teaching. I love good bible teaching as much as preaching. Verse by verse study is the delight of my soul. The study of the word reminds me who I am singing about. To me praise and worship is all about worshipping the one we have studied about from the written word. 

Praise and worship is greatly needed even more than we have now but if we do not study the word and receive it, we will not really understand the one we are worshipping. We will not know who we are worshipping fully without the study of the word or in hearing anointed preaching or teaching of the word. 

Without the preaching of the word down through the centuries we wouldn't even know who Jesus was and how to be saved from sin. 

The first thing I see in reading church history that may have caused some control freaky types to stray from the truth was to start suppressing worship in the spirit among the congregation and try to take complete control over the services with their own form or ritualistic practices. In other words they threw out any dependency upon the Holy Spirit. They really didnít have as much of the written word of God as we do today so people had to depend upon the church leaders for instruction. If the church leaders could get people to depend upon them for salvation, their jobs would be secure and the people could be kept in control.

Unfortunately though for the flock of believers in Christ, they will not be edified or built up in the true faith. Without the Holy Spirit any proper understanding of the word of God would cease to exist because the Holy Spirit is the true teacher of the word. 

When the leadership of a few churches (thank God not all of them) began to forbid the common people from reading the word, the doctrines of men became the doctrine of the church. The way of salvation became dependent upon outward religious observances instead of individuals getting to know the Lord and receiving Him into their lives on a one on one basis. 

Forbidding individuals from studying and learning on their own may have begun with the motive of keeping them from misunderstanding the word and forming cults or getting into serious error; but the problem with that is this; if the leadership is the ones that get into error, everyone is in trouble. Freedom to study, learn and seek God on their own should never be removed from the people.

We have a problem in social media today of censorship by liberals upon those that are conservative. This is not freedom. We on the conservative side should not do the same to liberals if we had the upper hand. Let's wait on the return of Jesus literally before we try to control someone's speech. Jesus knows how to do things in the right manner. I'm not speaking of law and order, that has to be enforced, but expression one's opinions should be respected and free.

When the word is stopped from being preached and taught, we would have Christianity in name only. There will be no changed lives. That is why some wayward control freaks got to the place where they could burn people at the stake. They didnít even know the God they were supposed to be representing because they forgot the word and just had religion. Today we can have the same thing but it is a little different. 

If all we do is go to a church where one has only a ten minute sermonette on how to have a successful life or how to have a good day, we will not see many souls saved and entering into the kingdom of God. So in a way some within a few of our modern churches have departed from the truth just like some within the middle age churches did; except not by forbidding the word but by preaching stuff that has nothing to do with our eternal souls or repenting from sin yet they use just enough scriptures to justify what they say. 

I don't know what these prosperity blessing preachers are going to do if the economy crashes and everyone loses their riches. Some will give up on God altogether but I hope some will return to the word and allow God to bring them back to the right way. If I miss a couple of days without the study of the word, I miss it. This is food for the soul just like we need food for our bodies.

  • Psalm 119:103 How sweet are your words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 
  • Psa 119:130 The entrance of your words gives light; it gives understanding unto the simple.

So how can we learn of the true way of salvation, how to obtain holiness and how to be filled with the spirit? By taking heed to the word of God. Without the written word, we would never have known all these things. As I said before the word was removed from the common people during the Middle Ages. Now we have the word in every bookstore. I hope we are not letting it lie dormant on our shelves when within its pages, we see our eternal destiny. Where we spend eternity will depend on what we do with the word of God. 

This is what is grievous in today's world. So many do not realize the importance of God's word. Here it says that the word is even above His name. We must never attempt to change the word to fit our particular lifestyle. We must never water it down so that the meaning changes. Look at the way Jesus' own words concerning divorce is ignored today. We want to divorce anyway so we look for a way around it excusing ourselves. We need to repent of these things that we do. God will forgive but we must change and stop going in the wrong direction. The word will judge us in the last day if we do not repent.

In Acts 8 we shall see an example of how reading the word, led to a manís salvation. He was even reading from the Old Testament which was the only bible they had at that time. 

  • Act 8:26 And the angel of the Lord spoke unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goes down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. 
  • Act 8:27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, 
  • Act 8:28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Isaiah the prophet. 
  • Act 8:29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 
  • Act 8:30 And Philip ran up to him, and heard him read the prophet Isaiah, and said, Understand what you read? 
  • Act 8:31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. 
  • Act 8:32 The place of the Scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: 
  • Act 8:33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. 
  • Act 8:34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaks the prophet of this? of himself, or of some other man? 
  • Act 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same Scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 

My own Dad was saved by the reading of the word. Even before he was saved, he liked to argue over the scriptures. Dad had lots of friends and they would argue over scriptures and dad would always try to prove his points by looking it up. Eventually he was saved by the study of the word. 

This is powerful stuff. It is enough to save a soul and grant them eternal life. I remember when I was seeking the Baptism with the Holy Spirit, I would read every scripture I could find on the Holy Spirit. I knew every one of them. 

The word strengthens our faith. When we come to worship God, we need the word to abide within us when the music stops, when the pastor is not speaking and when we are in school or on our jobs. Praise and worship is important and we need to increase in this but like I said before, if we do not study His word, we will not really appreciate the one we are worshipping. The more of the word that enters our hearts, the more true worship can come from within us. 

When I remember His word, it makes me all the more ready to worship when its time to worship. The word will help us to know who God is, what God has to say to us, why Jesus had to die in order for us to have eternal life, what true holiness is, whether or not the gifts of the spirit are for today or did they die out with the apostles. If we are not rooted and grounded in the word will may open ourselves up to deception. 

Holiness is not wearing our hair on top of our heads although its okay if someone wants to wear their hair that way. Iím not making fun of them in no way but we can look holy on the outside and be filled with bitterness, hate and not even be saved. By the study of the word, we will know what holiness is. The Lord requires holiness so we need to study the word to find out what it really is. 

There is a couple of religions that teach that a womanís salvation depends on her husband. Iím so glad God gave the Holy Spirit to women as well as men for it refutes all false religion that oppresses women. 

By the study of the scriptures we will avoid confusion, deception, getting bogged down with tradition, ritualism, the wrong kind of fear and many other things but by the study of the word will come an awesome love and respect for God. 

  • Deuteronomy 8:3 And he humbled you, and suffered you to hunger, and fed you with manna, which you knew not, neither did your fathers know; that he might make you know that man does not live by bread only, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD does man live.

Jesus repeated this when he spoke to Satan when Satan was tempting him in the wilderness. 

  • Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.

The importance of the word.

  • Jeremiah 23:29 Is not my word like as a fire? says the LORD; and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? 
  • 30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, says the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbor. 
  • 31 Behold, I am against the prophets, says the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He said. 
  • 32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, says the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, says the LORD. 

The word is like a hammer and beats and crushes. It is important that we take heed of how we use the Word of God. It must not be used to deceive or teach false ways. 

God is pictured here as being very angry at false prophets and teachers who misuse the word or who say things like, "God says," when He didn't say it. We must be very careful not to add to or take away from the word of God. We must be careful also not to claim that God says something or revealed to us something unless it is really so. God takes it very seriously when we teach something as His word when it is really our own word. 

I do fear doing or saying something that may cause a soul to be lost or to mislead anyone the wrong way. I take this so serious. I hope that we all can learn to tremble at the word of God because many deceivers are in the world. Jesus warned of these. 

  • Matthew 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
  • Mat 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 
  • Mat 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 
  • Mat 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 
  • Mat 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 
  • Mat 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. 
  • Mat 24:10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 
  • Mat 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 
  • Mat 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 
  • Mat 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 

They donít have to just claim to be Christ but claim to represent Him. The study of the word diligently will help us not to be among the deceived. Its okay to check all that I say, all that any pastor says by the word. If a pastor feels threatened by someone measuring his words up with the written word, then he is no pastor I want to have. 

Iím not advocating finding fault with the pastor, talking behind his back and having roast preacher for Sunday dinner. What Iím saying is that we have to measure the words he preaches or she preaches with what thus says the Lord. If they conflict, ask questions. Ask the pastor directly in the spirit of meekness of course. 

Remember the Lord is looking for people who have respect to His word. He is looking for those who care what the word says. I cringe when I hear someone say that they donít care what the bible says, they are going to do what they want anyway. Or they accept the words of Jesus but not the apostle Paul. That scares me. 

  • John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that hears my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. 
  • Joh 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 
  • Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 

The bible is a book contains powerful words. It is more important than all the highest education one can attain. If I had a choice between obtaining the highest degree in education possible or knowing the word of God, I would pick the word. 

His word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. 

Original Message given on April 13, 2008

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