The purpose of the Church.
“The Fear of The Lord”.
Scripture mentions the Phrase “Fear Not” 366 times. That is once for every day of the year including a leap year.
I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
When we fear the Lord, we don’t need to fear man, and we don’t need to fear Satan and the powers of darkness, and we don’t need to fear the future or anything else.
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
The midwives, however,
feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live.
When I am afraid, I will put my trust in Thee. In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can [mere] man do to me?
You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.
We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, he said, yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.
Peter and the other apostles replied:
We must obey God rather than human beings!
Their vine comes from the vine of Sodom and from the fields of Gomorrah. Their grapes are filled with poison, and their clusters with bitterness. Their wine is the venom of serpents, the deadly poison of cobras. Have I not kept this in reserve and sealed it in my vaults? It is mine to avenge; I will repay.
In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.
The Lord will vindicate his people and relent concerning his servants when he sees their strength is gone and no one is left, slave or free.
He will say: Now where are their gods, the rock they took refuge in, the gods who ate the fat of their sacrifices and drank the wine of their drink offerings? Let them rise up to help you!
Let them give you shelter! See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me.
I put to death, and I bring to life, I have wounded, and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand.
I lift my hand to heaven and solemnly swear: As surely as I live forever, when I sharpen my flashing sword and my hand grasps it in judgment, I will take vengeance on my adversaries and repay those who hate me.
I will make my arrows drunk with blood, while my sword devours flesh: the blood of the slain and the captives, the heads of the enemy leaders.
Rejoice, you nations, with his people, for he will avenge the blood of his servants; he will take vengeance on his enemies and make atonement for his land and people.
So the Lord said, I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created, and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground…..
Every living thing that moved on land perished, birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died.
Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.
Thirteen Chapters later once again we see God’s wrath poured out on wicked men.
Then the Lord rained down burning sulphur on Sodom and Gomorrah from the Lord out of the heavens.
Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities, and also the vegetation in the land.
But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the Lord.
He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace.
But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in Egypt, he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites.
And the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it.
7 & 8.
The Nile river turned to blood, the land was filled with frogs, gnats, flies.
Exodus 9:2-3 & 6.
And the next day the Lord did it: All the livestock
of the Egyptians died…
Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron. This time I have sinned, he said to them. The Lord is in the right, and I and my people are in the wrong. Pray to the Lord, for we have had enough thunder and hail. I will let you go; you don’t have to stay any longer.
Moses replied, When I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands in prayer to the Lord. The thunder will stop and there will be no more hail, so you may know that the earth is the Lord’s. But I know that you and your officials still do not fear the Lord God.
Exodus chapters 9 & 10.
There were Boils, hail, locusts, darkness
So Moses said, This is what the Lord says:
About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the female slave…
There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt, worse than there has ever been or ever will be again.
Then the Lord said to Moses, Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen. Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place.
The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the Lord swept them into the sea. The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.
But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.
That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore.
And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.
When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear.
They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.
Moses said to the people, Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.
When all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose, you shall read this law before them in their hearing. Assemble the people, men, women and children, and the foreigners residing in your towns, so they can listen and learn to fear the Lord your God and follow carefully all the words of this law.
Their children, who do not know this law, must hear it and learn to fear the Lord your God as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.
But select capable men from all the people, men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain, and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.
The Old Testament is full of examples of how God dealt with the sin and disobedience of His chosen people Israel.
At times he sent plagues or sickness or war and allowed them on numerous occasions to be conquered by their enemies and to serve as slaves in captivity.
1 Corinthians 10:1-13.
For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea.
They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.
1 Corinthians 10:1-13.
Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.
1 Corinthians 10:1-13 (continued)
Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.
We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died.
We should not test Christ, as some of them did, and were killed by snakes. And do not grumble, as some of them did, and were killed by the destroying angel.
1 Corinthians 10:1-13 (continued)
These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
2 Peter 3:3-17. Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.
They will say, Where is this coming he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.
2 Peter 3:3-17.
But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water.
By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
2 Peter 3:3-17 (continued)
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.
Instead he is patient with you,
not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
2 Peter 3:3-17 (continued)
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.
That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
2 Peter 3:3-17 (continued)
So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation…….
Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.
Isaiah 24:1 & 3-5. See, the Lord is going to lay waste the earth and devastate it; he will ruin its face and scatter its inhabitants…
The earth will be completely laid waste and totally plundered. The Lord has spoken this word. The earth dries up and withers, the world languishes and withers, the heavens languish with the earth.
Isaiah 24:1 & 3-5 (continued)
The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant.
Therefore, a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt.
Therefore, earth’s inhabitants are burned up, and very few are left.
Genesis 9:5-6 & 15-16.
And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being. Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind…
I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.
In these “Fear of God” scriptures, the word “fear” is derived from Hebrew words such as
yir’ah (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10; Psalm 2:11; 19:9; 34:11)
yare’ (Psalm 33:8; 86:11; Jeremiah 5:22; Ecclesiastes 12:1) & pachad (Job 23:15), which actually mean
“fear,” “terror,” or “dread.”
Although many Christian teachers will downplay the “fear of God” and use replacement words such as “respect,” “reverence,” or “honour,” the Hebrew language is pretty clear.
In addition, there are other Hebrew words that portray softer meanings, such as kabad
(Exodus 20:12 – “Honour your father and your mother…”
Proverbs 3:9 – “Honour the LORD with your wealth…”)
I often hear people explain the fear of the Lord as a mere respect or reverence.
But the Bible uses the word fear at least 300 times in reference to God, so we make a mistake when we downplay it.
The subject becomes even more mysterious when we read something like 1 John 4:18 that says that "perfect love expels all fear."
So how do we marry this dichotomy? How can we fear God while he expels all fear?.........
It's clear from these passages, that fearing God is good because it saves us from caving into our own sinful nature. That's why hearing someone is God-fearing actually makes us trust that person more.
If they fear God, they are more likely to keep their word and treat others with kindness. In fact, Romans 3, a classic chapter on sin, says that our chief sin is that we "have no fear of God at all" (Romans 3:18).
So how does fear of God, who is perfect love, take away fear? William D. Eisenhower puts it this way in his article 'Fearing God" in Christianity Today:
Unfortunately, many of us presume that the world is the ultimate threat and that God's function is to offset it. How different this is from the biblical position that God is far scarier than the world ….
When we assume that the world is the ultimate threat, we give it unwarranted power, for in truth, the world's threats are temporary. When we expect God to balance the stress of the world, we reduce him to the world's equal ….
As I walk with the Lord, I discover that God poses an ominous threat to my ego, but not to me. He rescues me from my delusions, so he may reveal the truth that sets me free. He casts me down, only to lift me up again. He sits in judgment of my sin, but forgives me, nevertheless. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom but love from the Lord is its completion.
Contrary to the loving, gentle Jesus that wouldn’t harm a fly, the Bible paints a very different picture of the God that has made us in His own image and bought us with His own blood.
False teaching on the Grace of God has deceived many into believing that they can embrace sin and escape the Judgement of God.
See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven?
At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.”
The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken, that is, created things, so that what cannot be shaken may remain.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”
1 Corinthians 11:30-32.
That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment.
Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.
2 Samuel 12:13-18.
David’s child from Bathsheba Then David said to Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. Nathan replied, The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord the son born to you will die.
After Nathan had gone home, the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground….. On the seventh day the child died.
1 Kings 13:20-24. Prophet from Judah
While they were sitting at the table, the word of the Lord came to the old prophet who had brought him back. He cried out to the man of God who had come from Judah.
This is what the Lord says: You have defied the word of the Lord and have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. You came back and ate bread and drank water in the place where he told you not to eat or drink.
1 Kings 13:20-24.
Therefore your body will not be buried in the tomb of your ancestors. When the man of God had finished eating and drinking, the prophet who had brought him back saddled his donkey for him.
As he went on his way, a lion met him on the road and killed him, and his body was left lying on the road, with both the donkey and the lion standing beside it.
Letter to the Church at Thyatira
Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling.
So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.
Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.
Then Peter said, Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?
Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.
When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.
Acts 5:1-10. (continued)
About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.
Peter asked her, Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land? Yes, she said, that is the price.
Peter said to her, How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord
Acts 5:1-10. (continued)
Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also. At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?
For we know him who said, It is mine to avenge; I will repay, and again, The Lord will judge his people.
It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Francis Chan The parables of Jesus what is the reason for them, do you think it was too tell stories that were easy to understand?
The disciples came to him and asked, Why do you speak to the people in parables? He replied, Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. This is why I speak to them in parables: Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.
Our Lord Jesus understood that truth is not sweet music to all ears. Simply put, there are those who have neither interest in nor regard for the deep things of God. So why, then, did He speak in parables? To those with a genuine hunger for God, the parable is both an effective and memorable vehicle for the conveyance of divine truths.
Our Lord’s parables contain great volumes of truth in very few words, and His parables, rich in imagery, are not easily forgotten. So, then, the parable is a blessing to those with willing ears. But to those with dull hearts and ears that are slow to hear, the parable is also an instrument of both judgment and mercy.
The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down on the earth.
A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.
The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea.
A third of the sea turned into blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water, the name of the star is Wormwood.
A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter
Revelation 8:7-13 (continued)
The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night.
As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in mid-air call out in a loud voice: Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.
Do the Scriptures that you have heard describe the God you know and believe in, the God that you have placed your hope and trust in, or does what you have heard today sound foreign to you?
Because this is The God of The Bible. This is the God Isaiah saw, this is the God Job saw.
Isaiah saw The Lord.
Isaiah 6:1 & 5
I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple…
Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.
Then Job replied to the Lord: I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge? Surely, I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.
You said, Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me. My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore, I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.
Or have you some God that you have made up in your mind that is okay with your slothfulness, a God who looks the other way when you sin, a God you can call on when it suits you but push aside most of the time when you are chasing your own worldly pursuits.
You may even have a lot of religious activities, but one day you will hear those words: “I do not know you, depart from me you worker of Iniquity”.