This is the third and final post in the series on The Holy Fear of the LORD. In the prior two essays I covered what the Scriptures state about the importance of the Holy Fear of the LORD, the consequences of not fearing the LORD, a working definition of the fear of the LORD, the profound difference between the destructive fear of man and satan, and the dynamic faith that is generated by learning and living by the Holy Fear of the LORD.
I also covered in some detail up to this point the different definitions of the various words that make distinction between the types of fear revealed in the Word of GOD… (terror; fright; dismay; astonishment; trembling; dread). Please take time to review Part I and II as the complete revelation of the Holy Fear of the LORD is so critical at this time in the Father’s economy at the end of the Church Age. As we grow more intimate with the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the precious indwelling Holy Spirit- our communion in true fellowship allowing GOD to make His habitation in us will empower each of us to move forward… step by step… into fulfilling our divine destinies.
Consider How Small We Are In GOD’s Vast Cosmos
Psalm 8:3-5… When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor.
Psalm 19:1-4 (lsm)… The heavens declare the glory of God, and the expanse proclaims the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night tells out knowledge. There is no speech and there are no words; their voice is not heard. In all the earth their line has gone forth, and their words to the end of the world.
There is a silent testimony in the heavens by GOD’s design whose purpose is to declare the story of redemption. We see in Genesis 1:16 that GOD created the stars, and in Psalm 136:5 we read that by wisdom GOD created the heavens. GOD set the stars in their places and in Psalm 8:3 it says: When I see Your heavens, the works of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained… the word ordained means set or appointed. In the book The Panorama of Creation by Dr. Carl Baugh he states that there is a strong implication in the original language that this “set or appointed” means that each and every star was set in specific location and orbit instantaneously– all at the same moment of time.
In Chapter 1 of my book Thy Kingdom Come- Here and Now! (free PDF download on linked post- or available paperback on Amazon), I submit the proposition that the entire universe was created with age as if it had already been here for billions of years! How can we discern this? Well, Adam was created a full grown man- Eve was ‘built’ from his rib, and all creatures large and small must have had ‘prototype’ full grown species from which all offspring came… ‘kind begets kind.’ The issue is that GOD is not concerned about proving His existence… He is self-aware and knows He is Eternal. He is primarily concerned about ‘birthing’ children of the Kingdom who are activated by faith in Him, His revelation in all creation, and in His pure word- the Holy Bible (in the original languages of Hebrew and Greek).
Our glorious GOD named and numbered each star…
Psalm 147:4,5… He counts the number of the stars; He calls them by their names. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.
Isaiah 40:26… Lift up your eyes on high, and see Who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number; He calls all of them by name.
In many of the Psalms King David often expressed his awe of GOD by meditating on His creation. When GOD gave His Law to the nation of Israel, He first revealed His mighty power through nature and dramatic phenomena so that the people would learn to fear Him.
Exodus 20:18, 20… And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off… And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for GOD is come to prove you, and that His fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.
And in the New Testament the Apostle Paul affirms the fact that GOD shows His mighty power continually through nature, revealing Himself to all mankind:
Romans 1:19, 20… Because what may be known of GOD is manifest in them, for GOD has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.
I look back at my gullible foolishness when as a teenager I considered myself an atheist and Darwinian evolutionist. I was deceived as are most of those who are indoctrinated with so much pseudo-science in the public school system worldwide. Because the Bible threatens man with accountability before a Holy GOD, the evil one concocted a “theory” of fantastic inconsistencies. Fortunately modern science in many disciplines has lead to the incontrovertible conclusion that the universe, all creation in its diverse lifeforms, and the subatomic realm clearly demonstrate Intelligent Design. The Divine Watchmaker has even set His signature in the cell (see Dr. Stephen Meyer‘s outstanding work: The Signature in the Cell).
Revere the Universal, Non-Optional Principles of GOD’s Word
Just as our bodies are nourished daily with wholesome food and pure water, our spirits and in fact our entire beings are edified, strengthened, and empowered for victorious living by the daily ‘feeding’ on GOD’s Word. The fear of the Lord is learned by a daily commitment to the principles of GOD’s Word. This was the requirement of the kings and priests of Israel, just as it is today with Christians who are “kings and priests unto GOD (please see Revelation 1:6).
Joshua 1:8… This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then shall you make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Colossians 1:9-12… That you may be filled with the knowledge of His Will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may have a walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of GOD; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.
Our vengeful adversary’s many devices include hiding the existence of the forces of darkness, ridiculing the truths of Scripture such as special creation (Genesis 1), the historical Biblical account, the claims and deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, and causing fallen man to substitute all manner of false religions and corrupt worldviews- for the reality of salvation only through the atoning finished work of Christ on the cross.
True believers have been lethargic and timid in not refuting the damning heresies that are sending countless numbers to perdition around the clock! As I have stated before in my past series on the reliability of the Holy Bible, please get a copy of Prepared to Answer by Rob van de Weghe on the windmill ministries website linked via the book title. Single copies are available for only $10 which for a 450-page book of outstanding scholarship is a clear sign that the author is laying up treasure in Heaven in seeking to advance Christ’s Kingdom… it’s all about souls!
The Fear of the LORD is learned by relating the reproofs of life to the violation of divine yet basic life principles
The fear of the LORD as it relates to design is recognizing that He has specific purposes for each and every thing which He has made, and honoring those purposes. The fear of GOD also involves the awareness that if we violate His design there will be serious consequences. For example if we violate GOD’s design for money, we will have financial bondage. If we violate His purposes in marriage, we will have disillusionment and divorce. If we reject His design in bearing children, we will suffer abortion and future loneliness and guilt. If we despise any of the unchangeables in our lives we will have a deep, low self-image and feelings of inferiority. The first step of applying the principle of design is self acceptance.
The fear of the LORD as it relates to authority is recognizing that GOD has given power to parents, church leaders, and government officials to carry out His will in the world. If we resist the will of GOD through these authorities, we will receive the condemnation of both GOD and man (see Romans 13:1-7). And yet if we obey unscriptural commands of any authority, we will also reap condemnation… nothing supersedes GOD’s Laws! It is therefore imperative that we learn the will of GOD through the Scriptures and make wise informed decisions in appealing to any authority who would ask us to violate it. It is only on this basis that we will have proper submission.
We must be convinced of the truth that some day we will answer to GOD for every word, thought, attitude, action, and motive… which must engender in each of us the Holy Fear of the LORD. Broken relationships result from offending GOD and others. The consequences of broken relationships and the pressure of personal guilt should motivate us not only to gain forgiveness from GOD, but also to seek the same from others thereby having a clear conscience.
Suffering is a part of life not only because sin has come into the world, but also because GOD has chosen to demonstrate His love through suffering. This is a difficult subject for many in the Body of Christ, since we have been taught that all suffering is to be avoided. The true challenge for the Christian is to avoid suffering for one’s own faults and to learn how to suffer graciously for Christ’s sake. Jesus Himself said that in the world we will suffer persecution, yet we lean on Him and His boundless grace. The fear of GOD is knowing that He is no respecter of persons when it comes to chastening us for our offenses, and also that He will not forgive us if we refuse to forgive our offenders. Because of this hard truth we must respond to those who wound us in word and deed with full forgiveness.
The principle of ownership is recognizing the fact that everything we have received in this world belongs to GOD and is entrusted to us temporarily for His purposes. The fear of the LORD is knowing that we must give an account to Him of our stewardship. If we claim anything as our own, it will become an idol because we will expect from it benefits which only our GOD can give. If we violate this principle, GOD will send leanness to our soul, insecurity, and the pain of losing what we cherish above the LORD. Lasting security comes by us yielding our rights.
Freedom is not the right to do what we want but the power to do what we ought. It is only by the Holy Fear of the LORD that both Christians and non-Christians will depart from moral impurity. The fear of the LORD is strengthened by the spiritual, psychological, and physical consequences of immorality. By learning to walk in the Spirit instead of the lusts of the flesh, we will experience consistent moral purity.
True success is achieving the full potential GOD planned for our lives. The fear of GOD is knowing that those who seek fame, riches, and pleasure in man’s way will experience disgrace, poverty, and despair. Contrary to our natural inclinations, we ‘exercise’ the fear of the LORD in following His way and not the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life. These ways of GOD bring true and lasting success through meditation on His Holy Word.
Honor GOD with the First Fruit of all your increase
Most Christians don’t understand ‘tithing’ and the primary purpose of the tithe. It is not to support the work of the local church, which is of course is very important. The primary purpose of tithes and offerings is to teach the giver the Holy Fear of the LORD! The truth of this fact is clearly laid out in the following passage:
Deuteronomy 14:22-23… You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year… that you may learn to fear the LORD your GOD always.
Long before the Law was given to Moses, Abraham demonstrated his fear of the LORD by giving tithes (see Genesis 14:18-20). His grandson Jacob also honored and feared the LORD as revealed in his oath to tithe acknowledging that everything that he would ever receive is from the hand of GOD.
Genesis 28:12-22… v20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If GOD will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the LORD shall be my GOD… and of all that You give me I will surely give a ‘tenth’ to You.
The fear of the LORD is acknowledging that GOD is in control of our funds and that He will reward our faith when we give to Him. Otherwise, when we try to withhold the tithe, the devourer is allowed to consume our resources (see Malachi 3:8-11).
The Apostle Paul reaffirms the same truth in 2 Corinthians 9:6 and Hebrews 7:1-10. Many in the church insist that tithing is not a New Testament principle, erroneously stating that it is legalism- when the Scriptures are clear: GOD considers the tithe to be Holy unto HIM. He will make the 90% go farther than the 100% if we will but trust Him according to the Malachi oath of GOD.
Relate the Consequences of Sin to the Holiness of GOD
The chastening of GOD for sin is painful, as it must be because sin in the children of GOD brings shame to the name of Christ- and diminishes an intimate relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is a faithful Father and therefore:
Hebrews 12:3-11… For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. For you have not yet resisted to bloodshed striving against sin... My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD. Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives… Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but grievous; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
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.
What Happens to a Nation that has no Fear of GOD?
I- It will be a victim of its own wickedness.
Because there is no fear of GOD the people decide what is right and what is wrong. Every man does what is right in his own eyes and the wickedness of immorality abounds. GOD’s moral standards, however, do not change and as His word says He will not be mocked:
Galatians 6:7,8… Do not be deceived, GOD is not mocked; for whatever a man shows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
With the total depravity of sexual promiscuity that is rampant in our society- winked at and promoted by all manner of media, we are experiencing the pandemic of venereal diseases including HIV/AIDS. The warning of the prophet Jeremiah is coming to pass in America and worldwide:
Jeremiah 2:19… “Your own wickedness will correct you, and your backslidings will reprove you. Know therefore and see that it is an evil and bitter thing that you have forsaken the LORD your GOD, and the fear of Me is not in you,” says the LORD GOD of hosts.
II- Its legal system will become unjust.
When men’s hearts are set on doing evil, they will reinterpret existing laws and create new laws to justify greed and wickedness. Two prominent examples that are daily bringing the whirlwind of devastation to our society and world at large- are abortion, the murder of innocent ones in their mother’s wombs… and homosexuality which is prominently condemned in Romans 1:18-32.
III- Its wealth will be controlled by other nations.
When our nation trusted in GOD, read His Word in our public schools, and taught His moral standards in our classrooms, we were the richest nation in the world. We are now the greatest debtor nation in the world! Scripture is clear that the borrower is servant to the lender. We are not only debtors, but citizens of other nations now own and control significant portions of our land, resources, and companies. Please read Deuteronomy Chapter 28 in its entirety… it clearly shows where America is because of our nation’s willful rejection of the GOD who founded our Republic on Judeo-Christian principles based upon His Holy Bible.
What is GOD’s cure for a nation that does not fear Him?
GOD’s only remedy for a nation that turns from Him is the active presence of righteous and GOD-fearing people. GOD would have spared Sodom and Gomorrah had there been only ten righteous people in these cities. Never before has it been so vital for GOD’s people to be totally dedicated to Him and being living testimonies of the enduring principles of His Holy Word.
One of the primary functions of the local church should always be to teach Christians, the community, and the nation the Holy Fear of the LORD. If satan can hinder the church in carrying out this vital role, he has accomplished a major victory. We will have a strong nation when we have strong churches. We will have strong churches when we have strong families that love, fear, and obey the LORD. We will likewise have strong families when we have fathers present in the home who learn and know how to be strong spiritual leaders. Without the Holy Fear of the LORD and a wholesale return to obeying the whole counsel of GOD revealed only in the Holy Scriptures, our nation is doomed! Again:
2 Chronicles 7:14… If My people who are called by My Name- will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways… then will I hear from Heaven, I will forgive their sins, and heal their land.
Excerpts taken from: God’s Requirements For Riches, Honor and Life: Humility and the Fear of the LORD by Dr. Bill Gothard
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!”
“Heart After You” ~Luke Wood