When was the last time that you heard a sermon, message, or teaching about sin… or hell… or The Holy Fear of the LORD? The last time we did was in the late 1980’s at a Principles of Life Seminar facilitated at the Long Beach Arena by Dr. Bill Gothard. I readily admit that it changed me forever- in many ways. Up until that time everything was about GOD’s Grace, Blessings, and Provision… little about accountability and nothing about the appropriate and necessary fear of the LORD. This is the first of a set of three essays dealing with a comprehensive Biblical understanding of the subject- what it is, what it is not, and the many remarkable benefits of living and obeying GOD with this critical understanding.
Proverbs 22:4… By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches and honor and life.
Malachi 3:16-17… Then they that feared the LORD spoke often one to another and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a Book of Remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the LORD, and that meditated upon His Name. “And they shall be Mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make them my jewels…”
2 Corinthians 7:1… Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of GOD.
Since this Proverbs 9:10 verse is irrefutably true- and daily seeking His Wisdom and a deeper knowledge and understanding of the Holy One is so critical to our success in the Biblical Christian life, let us lay to rest any preconceived ideas about what this important reality is all about. This is not fear that turns into psychosis, or that produces unwholesome results- but rather as these three posts will show, it will strengthen our perseverance, our ability to overcome in all earthly circumstances, and will promote us in the LORD’s eyes as His own special jewels in the Kingdom!
How do we fathom the importance of the Fear of the LORD?
The Proverbs 22:4 verse above is just the beginning of coming to grips with the fact that all good things that a person could hope for come with a healthy fear of the LORD. And they come with a spiritual dimension that goes far beyond the limitations of worldly ‘goods’; worldly riches, health, or honor among men. The many amazing rewards of learning the fear of the LORD are highlighted and emphasized throughout the Holy Bible. In just a few of the great many verses in Psalms and Proverbs- we find these gems of wisdom:
Proverbs 16:6… By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil. Overcome sinful habits.
Proverbs 1:7… The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction. Gain pure instruction in the principles of life.
Proverbs 10:27… The fear of the LORD prolongs days, But the years of the wicked will be shortened. Long life, and yet all our days are in His capable Hands.
Proverbs 14:26, 27… 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 avoid the snares of death. An artesian well of living waters springing from our spirit union with His Holy Spirit- guiding our daily steps.
Proverbs 15:16… Better is a little with the fear of the LORD, than great treasure with trouble added. He will make it stretch for our needs.
Proverbs 15:33… The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honor is humility. We stay humble acknowledging His daily provision.Proverbs 19:23… The fear of the LORD leads to life, And he who has it will abide in satisfaction; He will not be visited with evil.
Can we learn to hate the things that GOD hates? If we don’t then the enemy compels us to make allowances for these and other snares. I am appalled when I see people say the word Holy and the word ‘crap’ together… devoid of any understanding of the offense to a Holy GOD. Too many words also give way to sin- all too easily.
Psalm 5:7… But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy; In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple. King David acknowledged his total dependence on a Holy GOD!
Psalm 25:12-14… Who is the man who fears the LORD? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses. He himself shall dwell in prosperity, And his descendants shall inherit the earth. The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant.
Psalm 31:19, 20… Oh, how great is Your goodness, Which you have laid up for those who fear You… You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.
Psalm 33:18, 19… Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine.
Psalm 34:9, 10… Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. The young lions lack and suffer hunger, But those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing. Are you one of His saints? Well, there you go… no want of any good thing.
Psalm 61:5… For You, O GOD, have heard my vows; You have given me the heritage of those who fear Your Name.
Psalm 85:8, 9… I will hear what GOD the LORD will speak, For He will speak peace to His people and to His saints; But let them not turn back to folly. Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in the land.
Is this why America is in such deep trouble, because of no fear of GOD before their eyes? NO DOUBT! Without the Holy Fear of the LORD, there is no restraint of evil.
Romans 3:10-18… As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; There is none who seeks after GOD. They have all gone their own way; They have become altogether unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.”
“Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced 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 they have not known.” “There is no fear of GOD before their eyes.”
Psalm 103:11; 13… For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him… As a father pities his children, So the LORD pities those who fear Him.
Psalm 111:2-5… The works of the LORD are great, Studied (accessible) by all who have pleasure in them. His work is honorable and glorious, And His righteousness endures forever. He has made His wonderful works to be remembered; The LORD is gracious and full of compassion. He has given food to those who fear Him; He will be ever mindful of His covenant.
Psalm 147:11… The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy. There are many ways to please our LORD; one being a Holy Fear of His awesome sovereign majesty!
What are the Consequences of Not Fearing the LORD?
There is no restraint of evil: (see Romans 3:10-18 above).
There is no effective church discipline:
1 Timothy:5:20… Them that sin rebuke before all; that others may also fear.
There is no guard against wrong church members:
Acts 5:11-14… So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard of these things. And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people… Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly. And believers were increasingly added to the LORD, multitudes of both men and women…
There is no Scriptural submission or perfecting of holiness:
Ephesians 5:20, 21… giving thanks always for all things to GOD the Father in the name of our LORD Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of GOD.
There is no maturity in salvation:
Philippians 2:10-13… that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of those in Heaven, and those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is LORD, to the glory of GOD the Father.
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is GOD who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
There is no entering into GOD’s rest:
Hebrews 4:1, 2… Therefore since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.
There is no influence to unsaved husbands:
1 Peter 3:1, 2… Likewise you wives, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.
There is no effective witnessing:
1 Peter 3:15… But sanctify Christ as LORD in your hearts, always being ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you the reason for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and godly fear.
There is no fulfilling of Godly desires:
Psalm 145:18-20… The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them. The LORD preserves all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy.
There is no effective restoration:
Jude v23… And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
There is no courage for suffering (persecution and tribulation):
Revelation 2:10, 11… Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.
It is so obvious that since the Fear of the LORD is so important, the adversary satan is constantly working non-stop to try to confuse us about this precious truth, and about the tribulation that we are all headed into. Please see my Last Days 4-post series that began with… The Day of Christ- and the Day of the LORD. Be sure to return to finish this important message!
What is the Fear of the LORD?
Just as every child does not initially fear fire and must learn to recognize its awesome potential for both benefit or destruction, so every one who calls upon the name of the LORD must learn what the Holy Fear of the LORD means in every area of his or her life. Most people will quickly misinterpret Scripture references to this phrase as simply having a reverential trust in the LORD… but that is far from a complete understanding! That very limited perception does not open up the full power and significance of this pivotal concept in the Biblical Christian life and walk.
Though still limited- an operational definition of the Fear of the LORD is:
The continual awareness that I am in the presence of a Holy, Just, and Almighty GOD, and that my every thought, every word, and every action is open before His eyes… and is being judged by Him.
The assurance that GOD is watching
What if everything that we thought, said, or acted upon could be replayed publicly so that everyone could watch and evaluate our true character? Would that reality have a profound difference in the way we live… or could it possibly not make a difference at all? Only two ways could the second option be true: If we were unbelievers and didn’t care, or antinomian (against the Name) and in need of serious repentance, confession, and forsaking of secret sins.
If we care about what common man would think of us, how much more should we be concerned about our Holy GOD’s evaluation of our thoughts, words, actions, attitudes, desires, and motives. This is a future reality… everything we think, say, and do will one day be displayed for all the world to see and judge- for the word is clear: everything hidden will be made known!
- Genesis 16:13 (KJV)… Thou GOD seest me…
- Psalm 139:1-4… O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thoughts from afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down. And are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on tongue, But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
- Proverbs 15:3… The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
- 2 Corinthians 5:10… For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether it is good or bad.
- Psalm 94:8-11… Understand you senseless among the people; And you fools, when will you be wise? He who planted the ear, shall He not hear? He who formed the eye, shall He not see? He who instructs the nations, shall He not correct, He who teaches man knowledge? The LORD knows the thoughts of man, that they are futile.
- Jeremiah 16:17… For My eyes are upon all their ways: they are not hidden from My face, neither is their iniquity hidden from My eyes.
The Promise that all secrets will be exposed
- Luke 8:17… For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest, neither is anything hidden, that shall not be made known and come to light.
- Luke 12:3… Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.
How would the knowledge of the Fear of the LORD change your life? What thoughts would change? What words would not be spoken? What actions would immediately cease? What attitudes before GOD would need to be corrected? And what motives and desires would need to be purified?
In the next installment we will take a close look at the difference between the cleansing Holy Fear of the LORD and the destructive fear of our adversary, the fallen one. We will also examine how Holy Fear produces victorious faith in our dynamic Christian walk.
Our sublime Lord Jesus praying to YAHWEH Abba Father said:
John 17:20-23… I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know… that You have loved them as You have loved Me.
Can the truths of being one with GOD, receiving an impartation of Holy Glory, and that Father has loved us as He has loved His only begotten Son, the LORD Jesus Christ- be any more precious? Allow these three realities to compel each of us to walk carefully before our Holy YAHWEH!
My prayer is that this live worship by Jake Hamilton will touch you deeply. Close your eyes, and listen with your heart…
Kingdom Blessings, always in HIM… ~Santos
For deeper insight into how GOD the Father sees His children; to better understand the elementary principles of Christ (Hebrews 6:1-3); the ‘mysteries’ of Christ’s Kingdom; and our individual and corporate calling, commission, and empowerment- please review my first published book and the Table of Contents on the Amazon website linked here via Book Title: “Thy Kingdom Come- Here and Now!”
Marked by Heaven- Jake Hamilton