THE FEAR OF THE LORD
Proverbs 1:7, the most famous Bible verse on the FEAR OF THE LORD, says: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
The Bible teaches that the foundation of knowledge begins with knowing God and being saved …
That unless you are saved, you do not have the foundation of the truth.
That everything you believe thus far has to be uprooted and a new foundation in Christ has to be first laid.
1 Corinthians 3:11 teach this: “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
It’s like when I was first saved at the age of 21, nearly everything I knew about the universe got turned upside down.
When I was born again, I realized that everything that I had believed about the world, about truth, about politics, about religion, about God was wrong.
It literally felt like the reality of the universe had been inverted.
Talk about a shock to the system.
At the age of 21, I went from being a pro-choice liberal living in CA to a Pro-Life politically conservative Christian, literally overnight.
A veil had been lifted from my eyes, and I could see the world as it truly was for the first time.
A new foundation had been laid in my soul and I could begin to rebuild my store of knowledge & wisdom, from that point on.
Everything that I had learned up to that point was suspect, and I had to question every truth that I had been taught, in every sphere of life.
That’s what it felt like to be born again. I took being born again very literally.
I was a newborn babe who had to relearn how to walk and talk and reason & lay the building blocks of knowledge all over again.
Concerning knowledge, the Bible says in Proverbs 2:4-6 says:
4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
The FEAR OF THE LORD is Biblically synonymous with the knowledge of God.
All the secular philosophers of the ages perished with their lofty suppositions of universal relativity …
& are now burning in Hell without the benefit and blessing of Jesus Christ.
Plato, Aristotle, Nietzsche, Bertrand Russel, Jean-Paul Sartre, David Hume …
May have been intelligent and full of worldly philosophical wisdom …
… but they were not wise enough to avoid the fiery flames of Hell for all eternity.
Today, we have famous atheists like Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, and David Silverman (president of American Atheists) …
These men boast of their intelligence & are among today’s top scientists & atheists worldwide.
… but they are as dumb as they get …
… because in the end, all of their wisdom is built upon the SHIFTY SAND OF AN ILLUSION that will earn them a place in the lowest regions of Hell.
But the Bible says in Ephesians 2:20-21 that as believers we:
20 … are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
The Bible again employs the foundation analogy …
… and this time the Scripture says that JESUS is the CHIEF CORNERSTONE of the foundation.
What is a CORNERSTONE?
A CORNERSTONE is the FIRST stone that’s laid when a building is being constructed.
… it’s literally the FIRST STONE of the corner of a building, from which the rest of the building is framed.
The CORNERSTONE joins together the first two walls of a building.
So you can see how important the CORNER STONE is.
In Matthew 21:42, Jesus said to the Chief Priests & the Pharisees: “ … Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner …”
So Jesus is the FIRST STONE or CHIEF CORNERSTONE of the church & the foundation upon which every is built.
He’s from whom all WISDOM & KNOWLEDGE emanates.
He is the alpha & the omega of all knowledge and understanding.
Everything, including knowledge, wisdom, & understanding begins & ends with THE FEAR OF THE LORD.
BUT FOOLS DESPISE WISDOM & INSTRUCTION.
& herein is another opportunity to expose the modern Bible versions …
In the 1984 version of the NIV, the word the KJV WORD, “CORNERSTONE” is changed to “CAPSTONE”.
Matthew 21:42 in the NIV reads: “Jesus said to them, Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?’
Why this is important is that a CAPSTONE goes on the TOP of a building, it caps the top stones of a building …
… rather than the bottom, corner of a building from which the rest of the building is framed.
A CAPSTONE is the exact OPPOSITE of a CORNERSTONE.
>>> $1 BILL CAPSTONE ON THE PYRAMID <<< - Since then, even the NIV translators realized the error of their ways, and changed it back to CORNERSTONE. So while the FEAR OF THE LORD is the beginning of knowledge … … it conversely follows that those who do not know the Lord ARE FOOLS who despise wisdom & knowledge. Proverbs 14:2 says: “He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him.” Instead of FEARING GOD as they should, Atheists, the wicked, and unbelievers, DESPISE GOD … The Bible repeatedly calls those who reject the existence of God, “Fools”. Psalm 14:1 says: “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doth good.” They are corrupt and deny God because they have done evil deeds. This corresponds directly to Romans 1:18-22: 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools … This is a picture of all those smart ATHEISTS I mentioned earlier. Their carnal knowledge has led to their own depravity, because they have no fear of God. In fact, they DESPISE HIM. An example of that is the THIEF ON THE CROSS in Luke 23:39-40: 39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. 40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. 42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. The unbelieving, wicked thief railed on Jesus at the moment of His death. The FEAR OF GOD was far from his thoughts. But the believing, repentant thief defended Jesus … … & clearly exhibited the FEAR OF THE LORD moments before his own death & was saved. *** THE NON-BELIEVER and the WICKED have the greatest reason to FEAR THE LORD …. … they should be terrified at what lays in store for them. But they have no FEAR OF GOD. They live in complete OBLIVION of the DESTRUCTION that awaits them. Proverbs 1:29-33 says of the wicked: 29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: 30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. 31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. 32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. Isaiah 13:11-13 says: 11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. 12 I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir. 13 Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger. That’s what the unbeliever has to look forward to. Psalm 37:37 says of the damned: “But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.” The unbeliever has great reason to fear. But the unbeliever despises the fear of the Lord. God says in Zephaniah 3:7: “I said, Surely thou wilt fear me, thou wilt receive instruction; so their dwelling should not be cut off, howsoever I punished them: but they rose early, and corrupted all their doings.” The wicked will be turned into Hell, because they despise the knowledge of the Lord. Psalm 28:5 says: “Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up.” Hell and destruction anxiously awaits the non-believer. Psalm 73:19: “How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors.” The day of the Lord will come to consume the wicked from off the face of the earth. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 says: 7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; But perhaps the most harrowing picture of the fate of the wicked is described in Revelation 14. The unbeliever should fear God, but they disdain the works of the Lord. When God pours out the winepress of His wrath at the End Times, Revelation 14:19-20 says: 19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs. This is a picture of the blood of men flowing in the streets of the earth. It says that the blood that comes out of the winepress of God’s wrath is by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs. 1,600 furlongs is approx. 200 miles. & it says that the blood is as high as a horse’s bridle. So imagine a SEA OF BLOOD that stretches forth 200 miles long and about 5 feet deep. That’s just 1 of God’s End-Times judgements on the wicked. The picture of God that is being preached from the pulpits of America today is incomplete. It’s watered-down & ineffective. But a little hellfire & brimstone preaching to strike fear into the hearts of men is not a bad thing from the time to time. Matthew 10:28 says: “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.” And Luke 12:2-5 says to the unbeliever who will be judged after this life: 2 For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. 3 Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. 4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. The worst thing that people think can happen to them is that they die. But for the wicked that is only the beginning of their sorrows. People are afraid, in this life, of murderers & men with the power to kill other men … … but Jesus is saying that that’s NOTHING compared to what God will be able to do to them after they die. So Fearing God = not fearing man & not fearing anything this world has to offer. Even the Lord Jesus Himself had the fear of the Lord. As God the Son, Jesus reverenced and was in constant awe of God the Father. Isaiah 11:1-3: 1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; 3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: Jesus, in everything, was a perfect example of submission to God the Father, even though He Himself was God in the flesh. • NOW, WHEN THE BIBLE TALKS ABOUT THE FEAR OF THE LORD … … it’s not talking about the way a child would be scared of a monster or a boogey man, or being scared of God in a slavish sort of way. In Exodus 20, when the 10 commandments were being given, … the Bible distinguishes between being SCARED & the FEAR OF THE LORD … & this is perhaps the most telling Bible verses on this topic. … because the Bible treats BEING SCARED & FEARING THE LORD as to two separate things. Exodus 20:18-20: 18 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. 19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. 20 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. So on the one hand, Moses tells them not to be scared … … But then He says that God is manifesting in glory and power so that they may FEAR HIM. We glean the definition of the words from the context of the passage … … we see that being SCARED is not exactly the same as having the FEAR OF GOD … God wanted the people to be AWESTRUCK with His holiness. • The Biblical definition of THE FEAR OF GOD is having a HOLY AWE & REVERENCE for God that is unmatched by anything else in the universe. Hebrews 12:28-29: 28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 For our God [is] a consuming fire. So in the KJV dictionary, REVERENCE is associated with GODLY FEAR. Psalm 89:7: “God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.” This is Hebrews parallelism, where the Bible repeats the same concept in the 2nd part of the sentence. God is greatly to be feared … and to be had in reverence … Psalm 33:8 also says: “Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.” And here, the FEAR OF GOD is associated with AWE. So the Biblical definition of the FEAR OF THE LORD is REVERENCE & AWE for God’s holiness. And the reason that it is right for us to FEAR GOD is because He is utterly good, but we are utterly flawed. 2 Chronicles 19:7 says: “Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts.” God is perfect, which is why we ought to fear Him. & When we fail to live up to God’s moral standards in this life, God will chastise those whom He loves. Hebrews 12:5-12: 5 … My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Believers WILL be chastised in this life when we go astray or do wickedly. If you are a saved believer, you can expect TRIALS BY FIRE & DISCIPLINE from the Lord. The Bible says that if you’re not receiving chastisement … … it’s because you’re a spiritual BASTARD, and not a child of God. The definition of a bastard is an illegitimate child, and that’s how God describes the unbeliever. Unbelievers often seem to go unpunished in this life, because God isn’t concerned with correcting those who aren’t His. The wicked will receive their recompense at theJUDGEMENT. & Knowing the chastisement of the Lord should be a deterrent to the saved. I literally FEAR what God might do to me when I fall into grievous sin, because I fear His chastisement. I don’t just have awe for Him at that point, but genuine fear. Psalm 25:12: “What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.” In other words, having the FEAR OF THE LORD directs our steps. Deuteronomy 5:29 says: “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!” Having the FEAR OF GOD is for our own good. Jeremiah 32:39-40 also says: 39 And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: 40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. Having the FEAR OF THE LORD incentivizes us to live holy lives & to stay close to God. Deuteronomy 6:2: “That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life …” And then God says in the rest of Deut 6:2: “… and that thy days may be prolonged.” Having the FEAR OF THE LORD comes with the assurance, promise, & blessing of long life. Proverbs 10:27 says: “The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.” That’s multiple promises from the Word of God that those who fear the Lord will be given longevity. The FEAR OF THE LORD incentivizes us to do good. Leviticus 19:14 says: “Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD.” & v. 32 says: “Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.” Leviticus 25:17: “Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear thy God: for I am the LORD your God.” In other words, the Fear of God teaches us to love our neighbor as ourselves. And so if we fear God, we will act righteously towards other men. (And I don’t mean self-righteously, but righteously). That’s why Ephesians 5:21 tells Christians to submit: “… yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” The Fear of God extends forward from God to another one. If we fear God, it is our duty to love and submit ourselves one to another. Ecclesiastes 12:13: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Proverbs 8:13 says: “The fear of the Lord IS to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” The Bible DEFINES what the FEAR OF THE LORD is. It’s to HATE EVIL. That doesn’t mean we hate the person who is doing evil, like some religious Pharisees teach. … but we are to hate the act of sin & the presence of evil itself. Job 28:28 says: “… Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” So, again, the FEAR OF THE LORD is associated with WISDOM & keeping the commandments or departing from evil. Psalm 111:10, a companion to the one we started with, says: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth forever.” So the FEAR OF THE LORD is defined as having a HOLY REVERENCE & AWE for God & departing from evil. Psalm 112:1 says: “… Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.” Proverbs 3:7 says: “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.” And aside from longevity, there are certain blessings & benefits that come with FEARING THE LORD. Psalm 34:7-10 says that God’s angels surround those who fear the Lord & delivers them from adversity: 7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. [There are so many verses about God’s angels ministering to the Saints of God. I know Baptists sometimes shy away from the supernatural. But if the Bible says it, I believe it. I firmly believe in God’s supernatural intercession on behalf of believers]. 8 O taste and see that the LORD [is] good: blessed [is] the man [that] trusteth in him. 9 O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for [there is] no want to them that fear him. 10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good [thing]. So when we FEAR GOD, He will see to it that we lack nothing and that all of our needs are provided for. Psalm 37:25 says: “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” I never have to worry about becoming homeless, as long as I have the FEAR OF THE LORD. That’s another promise, I’ll take from the Word of God. Psalm 33:18-19 says: 18 Behold, the eye of the LORD [is] upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; 19 To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. There are so many verses that talk about blessings for those who FEAR THE LORD, that we don’t have time to cover them. But one passage conveys the truest of blessings for the man or woman of God who fears the Lord. Psalm 128:1-4: 1 (A Song of degrees.) Blessed [is] every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways. 2 For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy [shalt] thou [be], and [it shall be] well with thee. 3 Thy wife [shall be] as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. 4 Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD. Proverbs 22:4 says that the fear of the Lord coupled with humility even leads to riches in this life: “By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.” Proverbs 145:19 says that God will save and also fulfill the desires of the hearts of those who fear Him: “He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.” Isaiah 33:6 is applicable today, for our times: “And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.” Tell that to all the Liberal protestors causing violence and havoc in the streets today. They have no fear of the Lord. When the people of nations FEAR THE LORD, those nations are blessed. Psalm 33:12 says: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD …” & Psalm 147:11 says that: “The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.” It’s good to know that God takes pleasure in us when we fear Him. It’s good to know that we can be the object of God’s pleasure. One of the most amazing verses in the Bible about God’s relationship with His people is in Malachi 3:16-17: 16 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. 17 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. Finally, when the church, as a body, has the fear of the Lord, they will have rest from persecution, be blessed, & multiply. That’s one of the problems w/ many modern churches, they don’t have or teach the FEAR OF GOD. Acts 9:31 says: “Then had 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.” In closing, because there are so many Scriptures on this topic … … I’d like to conclude with a series of Bible verses for us to meditate on. Proverbs 10:24: “The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.” So whether the wicked and the unbeliever fear God now, they will fear God at the judgment and in the torments of Hell. Contrariwise, Proverbs 1:33 says: “But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.” Proverbs 29:25 says: “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.” We should fear God alone, and not man. There is nothing that man can do to us that will have any eternal significance. As believers, we know that, according to Proverbs 15:16: “Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.” I’d rather scrape by and survive and know that my eternity is secure with the Lord … … than to have all the riches this life can offer & end up in everlasting flames. Isaiah 41:10 reveals that when we FEAR GOD, we have nothing to fear: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”