The Fear of God
Do you have the Fear of God? Do you find the fear of God in churchianity today? Do we even know what the fear of God is? As we went to attend the gathering with Brother R.G. Stair, everywhere we read in the scriptures for 10 days, the Spirit quickened the most essential foundational truth of the Fear of God to us. This continues to be a major focus in my study since September '98. I need to thank my friend Gene Bartholf for much help in understanding this. Gene is a highly called and anointed prison chaplain. I have been one and known many good ones and Gene is one of the best. I have borrowed liberally from Gene because there are no copyrights in the Kingdom. Without the Fear of God, it is sure we will perish.
Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding. Wisdom and knowledge of the word of God will soon provide the only stability of the days that are now at hand. The Word of God, and your KNOWING Him, and OBEYING Him, will soon be your only source of strength of salvation. Yeshua is the Hebrew word for salvation. The only treasure that is worth seeking now is the fear of the LORD. The fear of the LORD is His treasure. Have you found His treasure, the fear of the LORD? Did you know the fear of the LORD is His treasure? (Isa 33:6)
Yeshua Messiah tells us in Rev 3:19 that , "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." As it was in the days of Noah, we have become a people that cannot be reproved or rebuked. We have grown to despise reproof, rebuke, and correction, and instruction in righteousness. We are a people and a generation who do not seek, and will not hear, reproof and rebuke and righteous judgement. Churchianity has been reduced to "be nice." Yeshua is the TRUTH and the truth is offensive and not nice. Adam was being nice when he followed Eve who wanted the nice fruit at the suggestion of the nice serpent. Nice comes from the Latin word nescius. Back before gay meant sodomite, nice used to mean ignorant, stupid, and wanton. The truth is offensive. Our faith will not stand in the wisdom of men, but only in the power of God, which is found as the fear of God moves us to the Truth of the Word of God.
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. Do you know someone who is spiritual enough to judge you? Do you seek righteous judgement or just confirmation and affirmation?
Yeshua said pay close attention to this, in other words TAKE HEED. Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
"Oh, I don't fear God, I love God." If you don't fear God you don't even know Him. Only a fool would not fear a God that hath power to cast into hell. Don't tell me you love God. Show me! There is only one way to demonstrate that you love God.
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 1 John 2:3-4 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
Those who regard and strive to keep the laws of God are not legalists. They are obedient. They fear God. Their regard for His laws proves that they know Him and have responded to His love. They are proving their response to the love of God to THEMSELVES. They don't give a rip what you or any other religious churchman thinks. If you think that keeping the law is legalism, and not obedience, you have been deceived and have bought a strong delusion. Go to Toronto so that you will feel real good in your strong delusion. You could even find a strong delusion in Pensecola. You could find a strong delusion to make you feel good in most Laodicean apostate churches that teach you to just be nice and not to judge, reprove, or rebuke. Go find you a strong delusion where they teach that gain is godliness. Lucifer will make you feel good in whatever strong delusion that is taking you to hell. 2Th 2:11-12 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. The LORD hates the froward mouth. Froward means perversity or fraud. May I say that it is froward to reduce Christianity to being nice? It is froward not to judge, reprove, rebuke, correct and instruct in righteousness. Folks who love and strive to obey God's laws are not legalists, they are obedient, and may have the fear of God.
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Has the HOLY Spirit called, and you have refused to hear His convicting voice? Could we have even despised the Blood of Yeshua? Yeshua has stretched out His hands to be crucified in our place, to pay the penalty for us, and to empower us by the HOLY Spirit to go and sin no more. Could we have been so strongly deluded that we have allowed the sacrifice of the Blood of Yeshua to be so disregarded and rejected that it has become a license to sin, excuse sin, and continue sinning?
There is a place where the word of God says,--- But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. The prosperity of fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.
If you have ears to hear, HEAR this: You will either fear God or you will fear everything else. You will either fear God properly, or you will soon fear everything else. The fear of the Lord is His treasure. Do you understand the fear of the Lord? Do you have the treasure of the fear of the Lord?
If thou seekest for this treasure as silver, and searchest for it as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened. The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish. The way of the LORD is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity. In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility. By God's mercy, and our agreement with the truth that we have sinned, iniquity is purged by the Blood of Yeshua. And by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil. When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
Isa 2:2-5 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people:
The awful punishment of unbelievers is coming. Enter the ark. Enter into the rock. Who is the Rock? Messiah Yeshua, Christ Jesus is the Rock. Only He can protect you. You will fear G-d rightly, or you will soon fear everything else. All will soon fear the LORD. The wise will fear Him NOW! Not one will stand outside of the Rock before the glory of His majesty. All the lofty looks of man shall soon be humbled. All the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down. All the false humility of men will be exposed and brought down. Only fools think they can fool God. Only fools think they can hide anything from God. Only fools think God does not know what they do and what they think.
The LORD alone shall be exalted in that day that is coming soon. For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low. All who think that they are high and lifted up, will be burned up. The military might of America is coming down. There will be no strong high towers left in America. America's ships, even entire carrier battle groups, will be destroyed. The pride of the people will be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low. The day is coming soon when the LORD alone shall be exalted. And all the idols He shall utterly abolish. And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.
In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of His majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?
The Rock, Yeshua Messiah, is the stem of Jesse. The Rock is the Branch grown out of the roots of Jesse, and to Him alone, belongs the throne of David. Only Yeshua Messiah will finally stand in GLORY on His holy temple mount in Jerusalem. And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. He is the ark. He is the Rock. Apart from Him there will be no man that lives. Only He can make anyone have true understanding in the fear of the LORD.
He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears, because He knows what is within men. He knows the thoughts and intents of the hearts of all men. But with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth. And He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked. At His word the creation came to be. And by His word shall the earth be made to tremble and the mountains and even the elements be made to melt with fervent heat.
God, in His infinite wisdom and mercy allowed us to be alive today. If you do not know what it means to be alive in this time, may I remind you that you are still sleeping. It is very fascinating and exciting to see what God is doing in our lifetime. Consider yourself blessed to be alive at this time.
Moses looked for this day and did not see it. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Elijah, David, even Paul the Apostle, they all looked for this day and did not see it.
That is why it is very essential for us to realize the importance of the word -- "To whom much is given, much is required." Most of us have no clue what that really means.
You see Moses lived for us. Abraham lived for us. Jacob, Isaac and all the rest of them lived for us. 1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Heb 12:2 Looking unto Yeshua, (Jesus), the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
He went to the cross for you and me. We who were no people, as we were not even to be born for almost 2000 years. We had no god in this world. Eph 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. We were reserved for eternal damnation. So that God would be justified in everything He does, you and I were given a chance that is very unprecedented. We were given a chance to know God as Lord and Savior.
All that Moses knew was the God that came down on Mt. Sinai, the pillar of fire by night, and a pillar of cloud by day. The manna that fell from heaven, the water that gushed forth from the rock, that is all he knew. No wonder most of the prophets could not comprehend, this Messiah, this God Who would become a human being. It was mind boggling, they never understood it.
The angels do not know Him as Savior. They can not even behold His face. The bible says that you and I, the people of today, TODAY, -- that those things which were hidden, hidden from time immemorial, will be made clear to us by the Holy Ghost. We are the people to whom the hidden treasures of God will be revealed. For that reason I say that we are the most blessed generation. Because, Yeshua, the Messiah Himself said, that the generation which would see the things that we are seeing happen, is the last generation. We will see the Son of God coming back in Glory.
No generation is more blessed than that generation who would see what we are seeing. We are the most blessed generation of all time. For that reason we must understand, "To whom much is given, much is required." We have to be meticulously serving God. They asked the Apostle Paul, art thou a Roman? He said, Yea. And in Acts 22:28 And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born. People that do not make full use of what privileges of freedom we have are to be pitied.
If those who lived many years ago looked forward to today, and never saw it, -- How much more you and I, who have seen it, should make good use of it. That is what I am trying to say. Without the treasure of the fear of the LORD, soon all you will have is the fear of what is coming on this world. That is dreadful. So we do have an opportunity to make better use of what God has prepared from time immemorial. If we don't use it, we will be of all men most miserable.
Eph 5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. Rom 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 1Th 5:6-8 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
Let us. It is not talking about Moses, or Abraham, it is talking about us. Let us, WHO ARE OF THE DAY, BE SOBER, walking in the fear of the LORD. If you think US WHO ARE OF THE DAY, is talking about Abraham, you are making a mistake. Let us, who are living today, children of light, us who are of the day, be sober, and walk in the FEAR of GOD.
We may say the fear of the Lord is not being drunk. Well, are you drunk? Why would God want you to be SOBER if you are not drunk? This is not just talking about not being drunk. Let us walk circumspectly. Eph 5:15-16 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Cirumspectly means exactly, diligently, perfectly. To walk circumspectly is to walk in the fear of the Lord.
Why do I need to be sober, and walk circumspectly, in the fear of the Lord . What does this word and command mean in this context for the people of God in this day?
First we read, awake from sleep, arise from the dead, and Messiah shall give thee light. Again we see, therefore let us not sleep. It is telling those who are sleeping to wake up. It is telling those who are dead to arise up from the dead. That Messiah will give them light. It telling us, who ARE OF THE DAY, this group of people of which you and I are included, are to sober up, let us not sleep, let us be sober. This is not for everybody. This is for those people who are of the day. There are people WHO ARE OF THE DAY, living in this day, who are NOT with US WHO ARE OF THE DAY. It is not for those who are of the night. It is not for those who are of the darkness. It is not for those soundly sleeping in pre-trib la la land. It is not for those who do not want to be reproved, rebuked and corrected. It is not for those who do not regard and strive to obey the law of God. It is not for those who do not KNOW God. It is not for those who want to be nice rather than bear the offense of the truth. It is not for those who do not have the fear of God. If you walk in the fear of God, you are of the day, and it is for you.
Putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. How does this match up with being sober and walking in the fear of the LORD? Do you have to be sober to know how to put a helmet on? Do you have to be sober to know how to love? Is it love if it is not based on the truth? NO!!! It is flatery. If it is not based on the truth it is not love.
Have you come to the point in your life that you no longer worry about what you are going to say. If God wants me to say something it is not my word anyway. If He doesn't give it to me, I will shut my mouth. I will read His word, a sacred and biblically sanctioned practice which is lost in modern churchianity. There are many preachers that always want to say something, even when God is not speaking. God, please don't allow me to speak unless you want to speak through me.
The INIQUITY(click here) article was a direct revelation from G-d. I had never studied it. I had never even considered it before it came out of my mouth at a recent Shabbat gathering. That understanding of how serious iniquity is and the difference between sin and iniquity is a most important word from the Lord for us, if we are of the day, and walk in the fear of God. I don't want a show. The time for putting on a show is over. If it is a show, I don't want any part of it. There are still those who are putting on a show. Whose servant are you? God's servant? Now, if God doesn't want you to move, would you move? Even if everybody wants you to move? Do you believe that God overrules people? Isn't it wonderful that God will overrule us sometimes if we listen to Him? Don't you see that if it is of any value it is because of God, and not because of man? God knows better than we know, what we are doing.
The fear of God takes on special significance in the context of the last days. We must be sober and walk in the fear of the Lord. The people of God need to walk cirumspectly, exactly, diligently, and perfectly in the fear of God. It is not having cool headedness. It is not being intelligent. It is not being quiet. The Apostle Paul would say, "Understand what the will of God is." UNDERSTAND WHAT THE WILL OF GOD IS. Understand what it is to know the will of God. You may want to start with Exodus chapter 20 and Deuteronomy chapter 5. It is in understanding what the will of God is, at this particular time, that we will better serve Him.
If you want God to move, you need to have come to the end of yourself. Because if God is not in it, it will not make any difference. Lives will not be changed. This is why I don't prepare sermons anymore. I will either be instant in season, knowing His anointing, or I will ask someone else speak, or I will read the Authorized scriptures. I don't know how to prepare sermons anymore. I have stopped trying, because every time I have tried, it did not change people's lives. If we are walking in the fear of God, then we will know what God wants us to say and do.
If God is leading and directing, if we have come to the end of our self, then we are walking in the fear of God, and the right and powerful things happen. The work will not be in vain. People will be changed and God will be glorified. If God does not speak to me, I just sit back and believe that God wants me to listen to someone else preach. For all you preachers out there, learn this. All believers, can use more depth in understanding the fear of the Lord. If you get new reveleations, experiences, and understandings of the fear of God that you may want to have added to this topic e-mail them to me. No, I won't mention your name. There are no copyrights in the Kingdom. If it is from the King, I am interested. If it is from your copyright stuff, please keep it for yourself.
The fear of God makes us straight forward in character. The fear of God keeps us serious, and focused. There are those who are expecting Yeshua Messiah to be coming back but they are not preparing for His coming. There are not serious. The churches are filled with them. Walking in the fear of God means that you do not fear either men or circumstances. Your important fellowship is with the Lord, not with the church folk. You do what you do and say what you say to impress God, which will usually not impress the religous church folk.
It is possible to watch and be sleeping at the same time. The policeman in the parked patrol car is a good example. You may think he is watching but he could be sleeping. He is watching but he is not serious if he is sleeping and he will not catch any law breakers if he is sleeping.
During His agony in the garden Yeshua said watch and pray. Be serious in your watching. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. In these last days, God wants us to not only watch spiritually, but for us also to be seriously involved in our physical lives. We have to bring our flesh under subjection. Our flesh is causing a lot of trouble.
Weakness to sleep comes from the flesh. The Spirit wants to pray. Have you ever woke up early in the morning wanting to pray but you start to pray and fall asleep? It happens to me. Sometimes I read my bible and doze off. People don't say things like this. I am serious. That is the flesh. We sleep away our time.
Walking in the fear of God also means being serious, grave, quiet, and plain or subdued. It is characterized by self control and not indulging in the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. We are to be serenely diligent, and deliberate in character. We are talking about being composed and thoughtful. To be grave means to be extremely serious. We should be dignified in our conduct in these critical days.
Brother Ebenezer says. "Be serious brethren. There are many Christians who are not serious today. They hear the word of God and they still are not serious. They are not diligent to bring the flesh into subjection. They are not disciplining themselves. They are not doing their own part. They expect God to do everything. Hear me correctly, there is a job for you and I to do. What God will do He will do. You see God did not put you in your car and drive you down here to be a part of this gathering of saints today. You came. You did something. No angel drove your car for you. You drove it yourself. If you did not drive it you would not be here. There is our own responsibility in these last days. We are to watch out and be serious. Know what God is doing. Know which way the wind is blowing. Go along with God Almighty. You have to be a follower of God. You have to go with Him. That is why the bible says watch."
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, arrogancy, and the evil way, and the crooked perverse mouth. God hates pride, arrogance, the evil way, and the crooked, perverse or lying mouth. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom. To depart from evil is understanding. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do His commandments.
He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. The governors had taken of them bread and wine, beside forty shekels of silver; yea, even their servants bare rule over the people. But so did not I, because of the fear of God. Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts. David was the servant of the LORD. What makes one wicked it that he saith within his heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes. He thinks that God does not know what he is thinking. The wicked does not remember that God knows what he does, and what he thinks. God knows our motives. We do not like to look at the desperate wickedness in our heart. God knows what is in our heart. The wicked thinks he can hide something from God.
They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.
See then ye walk circumspectly, (knowing God watches your every step, and knows your every thought). Walk in obedience to God's commands and ordinances, not as fools, but as wise. Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Thus shall ye do in the fear of the LORD, faithfully, and with a perfect heart.
Dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. He has given us commandments, not suggestions. It is not legalism to keep His commandments. It is simple obedience. Otherwise you do not have the fear of God. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit. Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints. To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of? Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
Do we compromise? Do we do things to impress the church folk? Are we free to do it because we have no sense of the fear of God? Is it possible that we compromise the truth in our own lives because we do not sense the fear of God? If these things happen it is because we do not know the fear of God. We, as a people in this perilous time, US WHO ARE OF THE DAY, need a genuine revelation of the fear of God. What is the fear of God?
Turn to the Book of Acts, chapter two, beginning with verse forty-two. The writer is talking about the early believers at the outpouring of Pentecost.
[Acts 2:42] And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
[Acts 2:43] And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
We like to talk about the shouting! We like to talk about the manifestations and miracles during the days of the early church, but we miss a key that was crucial to everything that happened, and that is verse forty-three. "And fear came upon every soul."
What kind of change would happen in our gatherings if the fear of God settled down on every one of us? I will tell you what would happen. The same thing that happened in the early church would take place here. Signs and wonders! Marvels and miracles! Salvation of the lost! Overwhelming, but the truth of the matter is we are void to a strong degree of the sense of the fear of God.
Acts 5:1-11 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it, at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband. And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.
Look at verse eleven.
[Acts 5:11] And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things. [Acts 5:12] And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch.)
What produced it? It was the fear of God that suddenly settled down on that church. It settled on not only those who were part of the church, but also those who heard about it. The fear of God!
[Acts 9:31] Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.
As a result they were multiplied. It is not our talent, ability, or great preaching! It is the fear of God. The reality that brought the manifest glory of God was that the fear of God rested on the people. The fear of God took away the foolishness, the silliness and the fleshliness. The fear of God stripped away the carnality.
We see that the fear of God is the main principle through the entire word of God from Genesis to Revelation. The command of the Lord is FEAR NOT! The fearful go to the lake of fire. Only the FEAR OF GOD will cure the fearful and cause us to FEAR NOT what the man of sin and his beast government can do to us. The fear of God is the only, good, right, proper, and healthy fear. The fear of God can and will remove and help you overcome any other fear. It is a foundational principle of the overcoming saints of the glorious last days. If you do not have the fear of God you are not filled with the Spirit.
[Eph 5:20] Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
[Eph 5:21] Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
Wherever there is the fear of God there is no rebellion. Wherever there is the fear of God there is no contention. Wherever there is the fear of God there is no resistance. Do we really understand that when you submit, you are not resisting? One of the evidences of being filled with the Spirit, is the heart motivated by the fear of God! The fear of God causes us to have a spirit of submission. The fear of God will produce a spirit of being in one accord. It is worth repeating -- The fear of God will produce a spirit of being in one accord.
We should serve because of the fear of God. No wonder the apostle Paul said concerning his preaching "Woe is me if I preach not the gospel." There was something driving him that was more than the accolades of the people! Something drove him more than what people thought about it! There was something driving him that was deeper, and we learn as we listen to his challenges that it was the fear of God.
[Col 3:22-23] Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
We should serve in the fear of God. Whatever you do, do not do to impress men. Be obedient! Be the best servant you can be! Whatever you do, do it heartily as unto the Lord because you have the fear of God."
[Ecclesiastes 12:13-14] Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil.
I have been wrestling with this message since September '98. Every time I explore the topic, it makes me uncomfortable. I end up asking "Lord, is it possible that I can know all of these truths, and yet not have the fear ofGod?"
Let me tell you what the fear of God is.
The fear of God is an awesome reverence of His presence.
I want to ask you a question. What would happen if all of a sudden you were to hear an audible voice, and the voice would say "I am the Lord your God, and I want you to meet me in the office." Would you be moving toward the office in the fear, or an awesome reverence that you were going into the presence of almighty God?
That is what happened to John. He fell at his feet like a dead man. It happened to Ezekiel. His lips were sealed that he could not speak. He said that his bones melted within him. It happened to Saul of Tarsus. It made that persecutor of the saints a powerful evangelist for the cause of Messiah.
It is an awesome reverence for the presence of God. You and I may never hear an audible voice saying "Meet me in the office!" But when two or three of us gather together in His name, He is there! He is in this place! He is here in a different way than He is when He walks with us individually, privately and personally. That is the reason when you assemble together, let's push aside those things which are so insignificant, and so tied to the system of this world. The scripture tells us if we will draw near to God that He will draw near to us!
When Isaiah was saw God, and drew near to God, he saw God, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Isaiah had an awesome reverence for the presence of God.
The fear of God is a dedicated respect for the things of God.
It is a respect for His people! It is a special respect for His anointed servants. It is a respect for His Word! It is a respect for God ordained authority! It is a respect for what God is doing! Is it possible that we are so familiar that we have lost respect?
The fear of God is obedience at any cost to what God wants. It is a respect and reverence which says what God wants is more important than what I want. What God requires and desires is more important than what I think I ought to do.
If the fear of God were to fall on any gathering the way I believe God wants it, we would not have people doing other things that they want to do. People would be of one heart and one soul and that fear and respect of God would cause us to see the manifest power and glory of God. Beware of any attitude, person, places, or thing that would steal the priority that the Lord deserves. Do we really just give Him what is convenient. Just being nice and comfortable without reproof, without rebuke, and without correction, is churchianity. It is not the fear of the Lord.
There are things that are dangerous. In the last days it is very dangerous to not to walk in the fear of the Lord or to loose the fear of God. Be aware of the things that hinder the fear of God and recognize the danger.
The danger of excusing sin.
Understand how serious iniquity is. Understand the difference between sin and iniquity. The most GROSS INJUSTICE is to say that Righteous Judge of all the Universe, is wrong in any judgment. That is precisely what we do whenever we excuse or cover our sin. Excusing one's sin is iniquity. Heaven is full of sinners. Only sinners, forgiven and redeemed by the Blood of Yeshua will be in the Kingdom of Heaven. The INIQUITY(click here) article will give you much help and encouragement in this regard.
The danger of casualness.
We can become so casual that when God meets among us, or the Word of God is heard which produces faith, that we take it as a light thing. We are casual with it. We are living in a society that is casual. Very often when casualness becomes predominant, respect is lost.
I am a casual guy. But there is a time and place to be casual, but there is a danger associated with it. The danger is lack of respect. Don't become casual with the G-d ordained authorities that He has placed to give you His directions, that you call him by his first name! Do you know what makes the prophet, elder, or pastor different from everyone else in the room? The difference is the call of God on his life. The call of G-d should be respected. With our casualness, we throw out the sense of the fear of God.
The danger of failing to sense of the presence of God.
God is not far away. The fact of the matter is you cannot go any place to get out of His presence. Where are you going to go? You see, the problem is not that God is not around! The problem is that He is around, but we do not recognize Him! I do not pray "Lord, I come into your presence." I am never out of his presence. I just say "Lord, I acknowledge your presence." I have never done it without there being a witness of spirit. Don't buy into the notion that you have done something that banished you from the presence of God. No, you did something, and God who knows all about it loves you anyway! Confess it. Don't hide it. Get it covered by the Blood of Yeshua. Stop doing any sin by the power of the HOLY Spirit.
The danger of spiritual contamination in our lives.
The greatest danger is unconfessed sin! Then it becomes iniquity. Why is that so important?Mat 7:22-23 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Also see Mat 13:41, Luke 13:27, and Acts 8:23.
We do not need to have emotional highs! We don't even need signs and wonders. We need to stop sinning and walk straight in the fear of the Lord!
The danger of familiarity with spiritual matters.
Have you ever when someone is praying or preaching, carried on a conversation to the person next to you. I hate to confess that I have done this! We MUST know we are in a gathering of the saints. How could I have the fear of God if I were talking during prayer or preaching? Brothers and sisters, God is not hard of hearing. I don't know how anyone will make it through the coming tribulation without the gift of tongues. However, when we pray in tongues in assembly, the word of God tells us that it is to be done silently, unless God says otherwise, and gives the interpretation. I will never forget what the angel told William Branham he MUST communicate as he was called to minister to pentecostal holiness people. "You MUST tell them their thoughts speak louder in heaven than their words." God is not hard of hearing. Audible tongues in assembly without interpretation is not an expression of spirituality. Hab 2:20 But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him. Such things happen because we are so familiar with holy things that we forget godly fear.
It is possible that we just play church!
The danger that we have no revelation.
Turn if you will to Revelation chapter three. Listen to what Jesus says to the church that represents where you and I are today. Jesus is talking to us because this is the Laodicean age.
[Rev 3:18] I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire
Why did He tell us to buy gold tried in the fire? Because it is possible to be fooled, and not have the real. There are things that look like gold, but you have to take it to an expert to discern the difference. It looks like gold, but it will turn your finger green. Is it possible that in the house of God, we have things that are not gold? It is not the real stuff! It is phoney! It looks like it, but it is not real.
[Rev 3:18] I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed,
Yeshua is the only place we can obtain righteousness! It is not by good works, and who I am. Only God can clothe us in true righteousness that He gives us by His mercy and grace through the shed Blood of Yeshua! Have you received the love, mercy, and grace of God? The way I prove to myself that I have, is that I stop sinning. I repent. I turn away from sin. That law which used to be carnal has become spiritual to me. It is the only right way of responding to such love, mercy, and grace. I want to keep His commandments. Call me a legalist. I consider it a complement. Thank you.
[Rev 3:18] . . . and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Revelation! Do you know what will cause the fear of God to come on us? Revelation - seeing things that the natural eye cannot see. The INIQUITY article came by revelation. I had never studied it nor considered it before the Holy Spirit brought it forth as I began to speak. It was revelation that I have since found to be true and diligently studied and proved before getting it up on the GJiGT www site.
All of a sudden something is revealed to us that is eternal truth. That will produce the fear of God! When is the last time you have had a revelation of some dynamic spiritual truth that changed your life? Or have we gone along spiritually blind with no revelation? What drove great men of faith like Paul the apostle through the storm? What drove Paul when he was beaten, chained in a prison cell, cold without a cloak, and assisted Paul when he was all alone? He had a vision. God let him see, and he was never able to get away from it.
The Holy Spirit has been speaking to my heart concerning the fear of the Lord. When I talk to you about the fear of God, it is what we know to be reverence. The fear of God is the reverence of God.
There are other words which can help to explain what the scriptures mean when it talks about the fear of God. It has to do with respect, dignity and reverence. It also has to do with obedience. The fear of God will produce obedience.
There is another element to the fear of God. The Bible says that the fear ofGod will "perfect" holiness. When holiness is reduced to living by a set of rules and regulations, it will produce a false holiness. It will produce a self-righteousness. Only the fear of God produces holiness.
There is a danger when a trend sets in to the Body of Messiah. It never comes abruptly. It is not that we coast along, and suddenly it happens. That is not how we backslide. We drift. Drifting can be so subtle that we are not even aware that we are moving. When things happen which are compromising in our relationship with God, they happen most often without us even being aware that it is happening in our hearts.
We are not made aware of it until the Holy Spirit pulls us up short, and permits something to take place to bring us to the reality that things have happened which should not have happened. When Jesus gave a warning to the church in the Book of the Revelation, his warning to the Laodocean church was that they were luke-warm. It was not that they were in any kind of sin. They were so far gone, they were comfortable not knowing how wreched, poor, blind, and naked they were. They were approved by each other, and none approved before God. None walked in the fear of God. The Ladocean walk is the the walk in the fear of man, seeking the approval of man.
When we talk now about lack of respect, reverence and godly fear, it has crept in among our gatherings. It has crept in so subtly and quickly that some of us are wrapped up in it. We have no way of knowing simply because we do not have a point of reference. We have come in during a time of drifting, and we are not even aware that we are a part of the drift.
I pray that God will restore to my heart and to His saints in a way that is different from anything that has happened in a long time that will give to us godly fear. I pray that God will give to us a deep respect. I pray that we will be given a dignity as we acknowledge God. I pray that we are caused to respect God in ways that maybe we never have.
[Psa 89:7] God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all those who are about him.
I would like to go through a list of things that God has pointed out to me for my own life and as man of God in a gathering of His saints, that are hindrances to manifesting the fear of God. We can go through our worship time, and have no fear of God. I am speaking of reverence, respect, and a dignified honor. We can get caught up in the mechanics of what we are doing, and our heart be far off from an intimate relationship. We must not lose our sense of the fear of God. This will always happen when we lose the sense, the awareness, the consciousness of the presence of God. I have been privileged to lead in worship services for many years. It can become like breathing. It can become mechanical. It can become professional. There is nothing wrong with that unless it is mechanical. The scripture says "You worship Me with your lips, but your heart is far from Me."
I have sung all the way through a song, and ask myself "What did you just do?" because I cannot even remember the words I just finished singing. Have you ever done that? It is what the Bible calls a form of godliness that denies the power thereof. One of the great dangers is that we can know the mechanics and functions, and yet never enter into the presence of God.
It is possible to sit through a church service, and not be aware of the presence of God. What kind of response would we have if suddenly our eyes could see Yeshua standing on the platform? All attention would be focused on Him! There would be no visiting. No one would get up and move around. There would be rapt attention because the Lord of Hosts is in the midst of his people. When we do not have a sense of the presence of God we lose a sense of the fear of God.
I want us to be able to leave every gathering and not say "O that was a great song service!" Or "Wasn't it great to hear the preacher?" I do not want people to go away saying that! I want people to leave saying "Wasn't it good to be where the Lord was!" God help us when we gather, that we come in ready to be in the manifest presence of the Lord.
I am amazed at the things the Holy Spirit has dealt with me about since September '98. Sometimes it has been an attitude! A remark that was made, but the Holy Spirit says "You just contaminated yourself." Sometimes it is so subtle, and we develop a so-what attitude.
And yet, God says "if you have a godly fear, divine reverence and respect you would recognize that what you are doing does not please Me." You see, that is not something with which you can judge another person. It becomes a very personal thing.
I want to ask you, have we lost a sense of the fear of God because we have let things contaminaee uc? We are dull! We are not sharp! We have lost the edge! Oh, we still worship. We know what to do!
Listen carefully! We are more involved, concerned and influenced by what the Bible calls perverse things than by the truth.
Listen to the last words of Paul in Acts chapter twenty. He knew he was going to Rome, and to be killed there. He gave these words to the elders at the great church he raised up at Ephesus.
[Acts 20:28] Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
[Acts 20:29] For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
[Acts 20:30] Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
Did you hear that? We can become so familiar with spiritual things that we do not listen to the admonition of the Word of God. Here is what perverse things are. Perverse things are spiritual things that you have no Bible for.
I am talking about things which are spiritual. No question about it, but things which you have no Bible for it. There is no merit in having something spiritual, if it is not based on thus saith the Lord, it is a perverse thing.
We are influenced by many things, and it sounds nice! It may look religious! And it is religious, but it is perverse. It will happen from outside influences, and it will happen on the inside as well. If any time a person comes up trying to draw little groups of disciples to their way of thinking, you can be certain you are about to hear some perverse things.
Revelation has to do with spiritual vision. Revelation has to do with the ability to see. Without vision or revelation men perish. One of the great driving factors in my life over the years has been revelation. I am in this gathering now because of revelation. No denomination sent me here.
Revelation sent me here.
When I get discouraged, God holds me steady by revelation! When I have a tendency to backslide, you know what keeps me? Revelation! God spoke to me about it, and when the fires came I was not burned! When the flood came, I was not drowned! When they blew, the revelation was not blown away. It was the revelation that made me know that God put His hand upon me. I pray "Oh Lord, renew revelation within me and your children so that none of us will just go along in this day when hell presses in from every side, worldliness is trying to absorb us, and the powers of darkness wants to override us!"
It is an awesome thing to spend time in the Bible both privately and personally and suddenly have the Spirit of God make alive to you something that may have little significance to someone else.
Everything that I am trying to share with you was based on one phrase. Job 28:28 Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding. God has caused those words to burn in my heart. With that living word came godly fear. Do you think that will only happen to preachers? No, no. It happens to every one who will eat it! You must eat more than just a spoon-fed meal! You have to feed yourself.
You will not read much before the Holy Spirit will make the Word burn in your heart. You will say like the two men on the road to Emmaus "Did not our heart burn within us when he revealed the scriptures to us?"
Any time there is danger in the spiritual direction we may be going it is difficult to identify it. Seldom does it come instantly. Seldom is there a cut-off point where we can say "This is where it happens." Take backsliding for example. Backsliding is a slow and subtle process. People do not backslide overnight. Backsliding can be so subtle that we might not even know it has happened to us.
Let me give you another example about losing our first love. We do not realize when we have lost it. When Jesus talked to the church in the Book of Revelation, He said "I have somewhat against you because you have left your first love." That church did not know they had lost their first love because they were still going through worship. They were even true to the Word of God. Yeshua indicated they had an excellent testimony. But Jesus said they left their first love.
It is a process of drifting. It happens with prayerlessness. It happens with our testimony. It happens in our spiritual growth. It happens when we do not let the Holy Spirit produce fruit in our lives. This can happen to faithful people.
Review the dangers that hinder the sense of the fear of God, which have to do with respect and reverence. As we look at these things and do not stop and reflect we will drift. Ask yourself "Is this touching me? Am I guilty?" As we examine ourselves, and find out that it is so, if we do not seek His mercy through the Blood of Yeshua, it will rob us of the sense of the fear of God. It is a shock to me to discover that I can do all that I know to do in worship, and yet be void of a sense of the fear of God.
Isaiah was a godly prophet. He was driven to the house of God by sorrow because of the death of his friend Uzziah, the king. While he sought God in his grief, God broke upon him suddenly in revelation. He was overwhelmed with a sense of the fear of God. Isaiah cried out! A righteous prophet cried out "I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips!" He was suddenly seized by a sense of the fear of God. The songs that we sing "Holy, holy, Lord God Almighty" come from two places in the scripture. One is this experience of Isaiah, and the other is the experience of John when he wrote the revelation.
I am concerned that as we move along in what God wants to do, in and through us, that we not move along mechanically. We should ask God to let the fear of the Lord settle down upon us. I must tell you why this is so vitally important in these last days. We must respond to the fear of God, which is a godly reverence and honor. Here is the botom line verse on what happens when the fear of God is present.
[Psa 34:7] The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
You cannot have a better bodyguard than that! You can have no better shield of protection than the angel of the Lord. It is impossible to have tormenting fear when the fear of the Lord brings the angel of the Lord. I want the angel of the Lord to be at my side, don't you? But we forget the qualifier. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him. He will not be there without the fear of the Lord.
Some of us, and I have been guilty, quote this passage about the angel of the Lord being present. But a qualifier is put on that great promise. The angel is round about those who fear him. So the angel of the Lord is looking for that reverence. He is looking for that respect. He is looking for that high honor. He is looking for that sense of the presence of God.
When you maintain that, lay hold of it! When you experience it, and manifest the fear of God it creates an atmosphere that brings the angel of the Lord. The angel of the Lord is continuously in an atmosphere in the spirit world which is permeated by the spirit of the fear of God.
He comes to deliver us. Are you in trouble? Are you under pressure? Do you have your back up against the wall? Is there something pressing on you? Is it so intimate and close that you do not feel free to express it? Are you in a vice? Have you been backed into a corner?
You say "What is my answer?" The fear of the Lord. The angel of the Lord will come in that spirit, and will deliver us. I am not reflecting negatively. I am trying to draw a comparison. No one has to touch us. No one has to pray for us. We do not have to find a high-powered person to pray for us. No, the angel of the Lord campeth about those who fear him, and delivers us!
If you are bound by something, if something is tormenting you, if something has laid hold of you and robbed you of your joy, if something has sapped your spiritual life, ask God "O Lord, give me a revelation of your greatness and awesomeness. Give me a revelation of your righteousness and your mercy. Make me god-conscious." Into that atmosphere the angel of the Lord will come, and he will deliver us out of all of our trouble.
Can you imagine a gathering of the saints, and finding it full of people who were delivered? Every body delivered! Delivered from offense! Delivered from anger, and rejection, and resentment! Delivered from fear and torment! Delivered from pressure that had developed from relationships that were not what they ought to be!
You can say "Lord, give a revelation of your holy presence that will cause me to respond to the fear." The angel of the Lord will come and deliver you out of all of your trouble.
A friend recently sent me this. I am known to them as BOOM. They did not say if it was original or if it just reminded them of me. I did appreciate it and perhaps you will too. It does represent a summary of how I seek to pursue the fear of God:
I'm part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I'm a disciple of Yeshua Messiah and His opinion of me is the only one that matters. I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I'm finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by power. My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven, my road is narrow, my way rough, my companions few, my Guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, deluded, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won't give up, shut up, let go, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, preached up for the cause of Messiah and the Truth of His Word. I am a disciple of Yeshua. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, and work till He stops me. And when He comes for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me...my banner will be clear! I will not be hidden in a crowd.