Fear Doctrine, or, Gospel of Fear
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Q: A question for today, what is the meaning or the meanings, " to fear God"? you see this so often in scripture, I am sure there is more than one answer to this, look forward to your understanding of this phrase. Your brother in YaHshua.
A: Fear from a human point of view is just that, being afraid of something. Biblical fear, however, take on more than one meaning. Let’s take a look at the different fears one step or stage at a time:
Fear, Stage one: Not sure exactly, but my thought on this is like a child to a father. I remember when I was a little boy and I stepped out of line she would threaten me with dad -- "When your dad gets home ---- " and that would scare me straight, and I would fret all day about dad coming home -- I feared him -- but I love him too and the fear was a healthy kind of fear, keeping on the narrow path more often than not. Also, my dad hardly ever was mean to me and I can only remember one spanking, but still, I had a healthy fear of this men that love me a lot and took good care of me. So, I kind of see it like that -- He is our Heavenly Father and if, as in my case, I had a fear for a man I also loved and that love me then how much more for my Heavenly Father? This is from a human point of view.
Fear Stage Two: Looking a bit deeper into this business of biblical fear; There is a fear of terror or dread, like animals afraid of men -- imagine how wild animals will actually go out of their way not to have anything to do with men. This fear is overcome by familiarity, of course, but the original response of wild animals to men is one of fear, dread. The other kind of fear is in "reverence" and one of "respect", not a frightening fear or dread. This is the fear we should have naturally for our father but even more for our Heavenly Father. We are commanded to honor our father and our mother -- how much more our Heavenly Father?
It is not a "fear" as being afraid or trembling fear but of honor and respect. While the English translations continue to use a single word for a totally different meaning, the Hebrew and Greek do not and are more specific. The word "love" is another of those words that mean several different things to us but in the Greek and Hebrew had a different word for each meaning. There is a love for family, and a love for a wife and a love for God -- same word, different meaning, even like, "making love". The Greek has a different word to describe each of these different meaning, so there is no mistaking what is being said. This is also true for the word "fear".
Here is an example: Gen 9:2 uses "fear" to mean a trembling fear, to be very afraid. Gen 15:1 uses "fear" similar to 9:2, but a bit different it can also mean a kind of being afraid , not so much in “terror” but fearful -- Gen 20:1 uses another kind of "fear" meaning "reverence", or deep respect -- "... surely the fear of God is not in this place..." Have a look at these verses and you will see that a healthy "fear" of God is to reverence Him as God, as the Creator, as our Father.
Fear Stage Three: Here is a bit more filler: There is two types of fear in the New Testament. One is a "passive fear" (respect as in the OT) and the other is a "terror" (extreme fright). The wicked should fear, as in terror or extreme fright for what is to become of them. Those in the body of the Christ should fear in a passive manner of deep respect even awe of what is to come but realize that in "love" there is no "fear", or being deeply afraid, or “terror”.
(1Jn 4:16) And we have known and believed the love that God has to us. God is love; and He that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him.
(1Jn 4:17) Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world.
(1Jn 4:18) There is no fear (terror) in love; but perfect love casts out fear (terror): because fear (terror) has torment. He that fears (is terrified) is not made perfect in love.
Still, as humans, we have concern and a certain dread for the pain or suffering or over some other darkness, but the ultimate answer is -- He loves us and so we do not have to be "terrified" as the wicked should and will be at the time of Judgment.
Our conduct in the world is very simple, to be at peace with all men, even those that may hate us or would destroy us.
(1Pe 2:17) Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
Reading all of Chapter 2 will put to rest the idea some have about the conduct of a believer within whatever earthly government they, or we, live. A little off of the subject but this fits in with another study I am doing on Dominion Theology. I have already posted the first part of that study and working on a follow up.
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