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FEAR OF THE LORD - PART ONE

 

By Dr. Richard B. W. Ing

March 10, 2007

 

Last Thursday night, our prayer group was asking God about what we needed to do to spark revival and unite the churches.  God answered through a number of visions.  Pastor Ing saw a stream of clear water flowing from left to right.  Then, he saw a small wooden box in the church, about six inches square and four inches high.  When the lid was opened, there was a large praying mantis inside.

Reuben had a vision of a time capsule.  Inside was a sleeping man.  On the side of the capsule was a vertical time clock and the number “4” was set to open the capsule and release the man.  Next, he saw a room with a open door frame, but no door.  Two young ladies stood in front of the opening but would not go in.  Everything became pitch-black for three minutes.  Suddenly he saw a dragon break through the darkness and begin eating something.  There were little things running around below the dragon.  They were children.  Someone was feeding children to the dragon.  He asked the Lord, “Why the children?”  A few seconds later, he got the word, “SACRIFICE.”

The week before, Reuben had a vision of a woman dressed in a suit of shining armor.  Her helmet was off and he knew it was a woman.  Next, he saw a woman dressed in black armor.  There was a black veil over her face.

INTERPRETATION

I believe that God is saying that the church needs to be cleansed.  Immediately, I thought about the scripture in Ephesians 5:26-27: “That he might sanctify and cleanse it (the church) with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

When I looked up the scripture in the Bible, I found that starting from verse 8, Ephesians 5 speaks about how to walk in holiness.  I urge you to look up that passage and read it carefully.  It is too long to quote here.  God wants us to sanctify ourselves.  He has always wanted a perfect church to become the bride of Christ when He returns.  A church is made up of saints or members.  Therefore, a perfect church must be made up of perfect saints.  The church and its members greatly need to be cleansed of sins and unrighteousness.

Both the praying mantis and the woman whose face is covered by a black veil represent hidden sin.  No one could see the mantis until the lid was taken off the box.   The church has hidden sin.  Many of us pretend to know God and to be walking in holiness, but very few are actually sanctified unto God.  We have learned to cover up our sins, but God knows the truth.

The time capsule set to be opened at the number “4” speaks of the number of years left before this church is released from its prison ministry.  It also speaks of revival and the beginning of tribulation.  In 1996, we invited prophet Frank Hultgren to come from Australia to our church to minister to us.  He shared that he had prayed for many months, asking God for a word for Light of the World Missions.  One day, God gave him a vision and a word.  God said that we were a Joseph ministry like many of His ministries around the world.  We are in prison, but the day is coming soon when we will be released from prison and like the biblical Joseph, would be second in command only to God.  I believe that in four years, this church will explode and there will be great revival.  But we are not yet ready because of our hidden sins. 

 Reuben’s vision about the two young ladies standing before a dragon that was devouring children speaks of an unbeliever standing side by side with a believer.  Both are equally as guilty of sacrificing children to the devil.  Statistics sadly show that more Christians divorce their mates than non-Christians.  Christian women obtain abortions at almost the same rate as non-Christians.  They just don’t talk about it.  Child sacrifice speaks of Jezebel and Ahab.

As I continued praying, God gave me Acts 5 and the story of Ananias and Sapphira who lied to Peter and died.  Peter said, “(T)hou hast not lied unto me, but unto God.”  Ac. 5:4.  How easily today’s saints lie to their pastors, pretend to be holy and  disobey, rebel, think badly of and are easily offended by church leaders and other saints.

THE FEAR OF GOD

The Lord gave Pastor Ing Acts, chapter five.  When Ananias fell down dead, “. . . great fear came on all them that heard these things.”  Verse 5.  Sapphira also dropped dead . . .

        And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.  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.  And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.  And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.] insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.  There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.  Ac. 5:11-16.  (Underlining added)

When great fear of God came to the church, this is what happened:  (1) great signs and wonders took place; (2) the church and every saint became united and of one accord; and (3) revival/harvest took place.  Isn’t that what we have been praying for?  Have we not been praying for an increase in anointing, unity and revival?  Didn’t Frank Hultgren say that this church would spark a revival and unite the churches?  Thank God.  He is revealing to us what we need to do.

        Ac. 9:31:  “Then had all 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.”  (Underlining added)  There was a fear of the Lord in the early church that is missing today.  Modern preachers hardly ever preach about fearing God; at least I have never heard one.  It seems that fear of the Lord is not a popular subject.  Love and blessings are more appealing to the crowds.  Perhaps that is why the church has very little power today.  We need the fear of the Lord in us.

WHAT IS THE FEAR OF THE LORD?

The Old Testament (“Yir’ah” in Hebrew) describes fear as:  (1) fear, terror; (2) awesome or terrifying thing or object causing fear; and (3) fear (of God), respect, reverence, piety.

The New Testament Greek “Phobos” means: (1) fear, dread, terror; and (2) that which strikes terror.  Sometimes, writers connect the word fear only with awe and reverence, but this is not complete enough.  We need not only to have awe and reverence; we need to tremble before God.  Philippians 2:12-13 says, “ . . . (W)ork out your salvation with fear and trembling.”  Hebrews 10:31 states, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living God.”  “Should you not fear me?” declares the Lord.  “Should you not tremble in my presence?”  Jer. 5:22 (NIV).

If you stood before someone with a gun who had the power to kill you, would you not fear and tremble?  Jesus said, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”  Mt. 10:28.  Implied in such fear is the word tremble or shake.  Therefore, proper fear of the Lord should include the following:  (a) a reverence and awe; (b) being afraid to offend God in any way; and (c) a trembling and a quaking if one knows that he has offended God and has not obtained forgiveness.

GOD WANTS US TO FEAR HIM

God longs for us to fear Him.  “O that there were such an heart in them that they would fear Me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!”  Deu. 5:29.   Why?  Because a fear of God causes us to keep God’s commandments and veer away from sinning.  The result is that we are blessed and our children also. 

Indeed, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”  Pr. 1:7.  There are only two kinds of Christians: those that fear the Lord, and fools.  Why does God want us to have a fear of the Lord?

IT WILL BLESS US

The Bible says that “Whoso . . . feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.”  Pr. 13:13.  “And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always.”  Deu. 6:24.  “Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighted greatly in His commandments.”  Ps. 112:1.

IT WILL CAUSE US TO HATE SIN

When a man fears God, he will turn from sin and seek to live a holy life.  Proverbs 3:7 says, “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord and depart from evil.”  Proverbs 8:13 explains, “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil  way, and the forward mouth, do I hate.” 

Proverbs 14:2 says, “He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the Lord: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him.”  Verse 16 says, “A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.” 

       “By merecy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.”  Pr. 16:6.

When Christians are careless about sin, they fall to temptation.  There are many Christians who think that being a “good” person is the same as being a good Christian.  In other words, if the good that they do outweighs the bad, they are a good Christian and will reap rewards in the end.   But God wants us to be holy and righteous all the time.  There is no such thing as part holy and part sinful.  There are many “good” people who do not believe in Jesus Christ.  There are “good” Buddhists, “good” Hindus, “good” Muslims and “good” witches too.

HE WILL DELIVER YOU IN THE END

Sometimes we look at unbelievers and find that they prosper in this world and even live long, happy lives, and we think, “Why should I have to give up the good life to go all the way to serve God?  I can live a good life and still get to heaven anyway.”  But God says,

       Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts?  And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.  Then they that feared the Lord spake 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 thought upon His name.   And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.  Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.  Mal. 3:14-18.

King Solomon said much the same thing:

       Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him: But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.  Ecc. 8:12-13.

Although unbelievers and even evil people may prosper in this life, in the end, they will be discarded by God and only those that fear the Lord will be called His jewels.

INTIMACY WITH GOD

We have been praying that God will grace us with His presence and teach us how to become intimate with Him.  It is a fear of the Lord that will bring us into a closer relationship with Him.  Psalm 33:18 says, “Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear Him, upon them that hope is His mercy.”  “The secret of the Lord is for those who fear Him.”  Ps. 25:14.  That means that God will reveal Himself and show you deeper truths if you fear Him.  Why would God grace a person with wonderful rewards of His presence when he is in a sinful state?  Yes, overall he may be a good person, but he is far from being holy.

       “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.”  Ps. 145:18,19.

UNTIL THE END

We are called to fear the Lord, even unto the very end of the world.  In Revelation 14:6-7, John says,

        And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying in a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.  (Underlining mine)

The angel fulfills what Jesus said in Matthew 24:14:  “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”  Now Pastor Mauro and I know what God wants us to preach in the Philippines, among other things:  “Fear God and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”

There are many other things to consider in researching the “fear of the Lord.”  We will continue on in our study of the fear of the Lord in the next few weeks.


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