by Tom Isaac
A number of years ago I decided to take flying lessons and obtain a private pilot's license. Within a short time I had achieved my goal of becoming a pilot and had acquired my first airplane. The day that I took my flight test in Louisville, I returned to the airport in Frankfort, Kentucky where I hangered my plane. As I walked into the terminal building, I met one of the state's full time pilots and he congratulated me on becoming a new pilot. He then began to share with me some of his wisdom, as a commercial pilot with thousands of hours of flying time. I listened intently to this man, as I realized that his interest was that I not die while piloting my own plane, and that I not kill others by making foolish mistakes. He explained that I must maintain a "healthy fear" of flying or I would more than likely end up a statistic. A few years later I learned, the hard way, that this man's wisdom was truth. When one looses a healthy fear of anything that has the ability to seriously hurt or kill them, they are almost certain to suffer from their lack of fear.
As I flew more and more, I became quite comfortable with the whole process of flying, and I was very confident in the dependability of my plane. As time went on, I would fly in conditions where, had I not lost my "healthy fear" of flying, I would never have flown. On one occasion, I took off in a thunderstorm and flew at nearly tree top level to Columbus, Ohio because I had a meeting that I had to attend. FATHER chose to intervene and allowed me to arrive safely. On another occasion, I made a poor decision due to my self confidence and lack of fear that caused me to become lost over the Smoky Mountains at dusk with empty fuel tanks. Once again, FATHER covered His foolish son and led me to safety. Finally, I did exactly what young John Kennedy did two years ago and became spatially disoriented while on a long cross-country trip. Kennedy got into trouble over water and flew his plane nose first into the sea. In my case, I got into trouble over land, while in heavy cloud cover, and went into a steep nose dive which would have killed Judy and I instantly upon impact, had FATHER not once again intervened on our behalf. That was enough for me. A healthy fear of flying was restored to me and all such foolishness stopped. Had I continued to fly with an absolute fearless attitude towards the dangers of flying, there is no doubt in my mind that I would have long ago been killed - dead and buried - and would not be writing to you on this cold December day in the year 2002.
Today most of society admires someone who is fearless. It is a macho thing to "have no fear". Movies are made and books written about our heroes who face all sorts of evil and danger with no fear. Professional football players and boxers proudly claim that they are fearless when confronting an opponent. There are even bumper stickers on cars and trucks all over the country that say only one thing - "No Fear"! This lack of fear is evident for all to see. Even the criminals have lost all fear of police authority and our judicial system. When a healthy fear of authority fades away, the criminal becomes bolder and meaner and inflicts more and more harm on others. When a healthy fear of a dangerous activity fades, we become bolder and bolder, taking greater and greater risk for personal injury or even death. It is my opinion that a lack of fear results from ones ignorance or from a spirit of pride. In most cases a lack of healthy fear is the direct result of pride. And what does FATHER'S word say about pride? Listen -
"Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." (Proverbs 16:18)
Today this lack of fear, that has become so much a part of our society, has filled the hearts of the vast majority of those persons who call themselves followers of JESUS CHRIST. For the most part, what we call "the church" is made up of people who have absolutely no fear of GOD whatsoever. Not only that, but they have no respect for Him. Nor do they show any reverence toward Him. It is to this sad condition that I wish to draw your attention and I pray that we might in some way be drawn back into His favor where we stand before Him in reverential fear.
"The fear of the Lord leads to life, and he who has it will abide in satisfaction; He will not be visited with evil." (Proverbs 19:23)
It is this writer's opinion that our lack of a healthy reverential fear of GOD, has caused us to miss the full blessing of GOD as He has withdrawn His glory from the assembly. Not only that, but we are now in a place where He will be required to apply very severe discipline to us, so that we might be restored to our rightful position before Him. Of course, we could wake up, realize that we are in trouble, repent and beg Him to restore, our fear of Him by revealing His glory. That would do the job and do it quickly. However, if the past history of GOD'S people is any indication, we are not likely to repent until GOD says - "Enough"!
Before we go further, let me share with you an example of what "healthy fear" is. When I was a child and young boy growing up in central Kentucky, I was blessed to have a mother and father that loved me and cared for me in such a way that I never questioned their love. They had laid down rules that My brother and I were required to abide by, or else! Both of my parents are-believers and followers of JESUS CHRIST, and one of their rules was that we were not to use profanity. On one occasion, I was overheard, by my father, using foal language in my bedroom. He opened the door, told me to go to the bathroom (so I would not wet my pants) then lie down on my bed with my bottom up. He then gave me a serious spanking with his belt. The minute that he opened the door, I knew what I had done and my knees began to knock and I began to cry. But it was too late. I knew better than to defy my father and I was fearful of his discipline. My fear of him was healthy and was the result of my respect for him. My dad would give me the last bite of his favorite food. He never failed to be there when I was in trouble or danger. I am absolutely convinced that he would have given his life for me and his love and devotion was the same for my brother. He loved and still loves me and I love him, but I must tell you that I feared him as I loved him. And my fear of him caused me to respect him and to obey him. I am also fully convinced that whenever he disciplined me, it was for my own good and I thank GOD for that discipline. That my friends, is a healthy fear and that fear was ordained of GOD and must begin with Him - or else! Listen to JESUS in Luke 12:5 -
"But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has Power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!"
The word our Lord used for fear in Luke 12:5 was, in the Greek, "phobeo" and it meant - "to be alarmed, to be in awe of, to revere, to be exceedingly afraid of and to show reverence to." This sort of healthy fear was known by the prophets of old and by every saint down through time who walked before GOD and enjoyed His favor. Listen to the Psalmist:
"My flesh trembles for fear of You, and I am afraid of Your judgments." (Psalm 119:120)
FATHER has declared that He looks favorably on those who fear Him and tremble before Him. Listen -
"But on this one I will look; On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word." (Isaiah 66:2)
"The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them." (Psalm 34:7)
"Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him." (Psalm 34:9)
"Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him, for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name." (Malachi 33:16)
The record is clear from Genesis to Revelation. GOD demands that we love, that we fear, that we respect and that we reverence Him - and Him alone! Any one, who teaches otherwise, mocks GOD and shows no respect or fear of Him. Certainly they do not believe Him.
The present fearless and irreverent condition of GOD'S people is nothing new in the history of our relationship with Him. We have been in this condition before and always - always - GOD has sooner or later intervened and set us right, and He is now about to repeat what He has done in the past. This time I fear that His discipline will be much worse, due to the fact that we have been given so much. (See Luke 12:48) Most of those who call themselves Christians and are a part of the institutional church will be caught by surprise when GOD Himself brings judgement and starts that judgement at what we call the church.
"For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of GOD; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of GOD?" (1 Peter 4:17)
Our problem is that most of us have not been taught to believe GOD'S word, except for that part of His word that promises us blessings and makes us comfortable in our flesh. We have not been taught to fear GOD and reverence Him. Most of us do not really know the only true GOD who never changes and makes no exceptions in dealing with His people. (See Malachi 3:6) I must confess, that after fifty years of being in the church, twenty of which have been in the evangelical, full Gospel church, I have had to learn the true nature of our GOD, pretty much on my own. Only in the past two years have I begun to wake up and realize that GOD is going to confirm all of His word and that I was not fully prepared to face Him. Now, I find myself as many of you do, in the process of allowing Him to mold us and shape us into a people that He takes great pleasure in. This present awakening is the direct result of His grace and mercy. I thank GOD that He has not given up on us, even though we deserve nothing less.
I stand amazed that so many leaders in the church today seem to have so little fear of GOD. On occasion I will turn our T.V. on and select one of the so-called Christian channels to watch and more often than not I will switch to a news channel or just turn the T.V. off. The airwaves of Christian radio & T.V. are filled with people who claim to be Preachers, Prophets, Teachers, etc. who sound more like carnival barkers than leaders of the body of JESUS CHRIST, as they prey on the pocketbooks of gullible believers who need their Lord to meet their needs. Can you imagine JESUS CHRIST going on television and pleading for money so that He can stay on T.V.? Can you imagine JESUS CHRIST asking you to send Him $200.00, or your best gift, and He would pray for your miracle? Can you imagine JESUS CHRIST going on radio or T.V. and pleading with you to send Him $100 so that He can send you $1000 in return? Can you imagine JESUS CHRIST setting up His book table whenever He spoke in an assembly and selling not only His books, but also recordings of His sermons, as well as caps, tee shirts and anointing oil? Can you imagine JESUS CHRIST giving an altar call in an effort to save souls from eternal damnation, and asking everyone to bow their head, close their eyes and allow anyone who might respond to His call, to do so without being embarrassed? Can you imagine such behavior from our Lord? I cannot! These are all things that we men of flesh do because we have lost our reverential fear of GOD.
As we have lost our fear of GOD, we have lost our reverence of Him and as we have lost our reverence of Him, we have lost our respect for Him. As our fear of GOD has faded away religious pride has entered into the hearts of GOD'S people and we now think more highly of ourselves than we should. (See Romans 12:3) This is especially true of many of us in positions of leadership. You see, those who FATHER has placed into positions of leadership, or allowed them to assume a place of leadership, are to set the example for those who might be following their leadership, Then the leaders and those who follow are to set the example for those outside the Body of Christ. We literally represent JESUS CHRIST to the rest of humanity. We are to reflect holiness, righteousness, love and reverential fear of GOD to the world. It is for this reason that our GOD must deal with us first when His judgement falls upon the earth. Today, for the most part, we do not reflect holiness - we do not reflect righteousness - we do not reflect love (except for our own) - and the reverential fear of GOD is as rare as a pelican is in the wheat fields of Kansas. And we wonder why there are so many .sick among us. We wonder why there is so much divorce, covetness so much lust and sexual perversion in our body of believers. We wonder why so many Christians cannot pay their bills and now find themselves filing for bankruptcy at ever increasing rates. My friends, I have the answer. WE do not believe GOD! I did not say that we do not believe "in" GOD, because we do. I said we do not "believe" Him and we don't! We believe that He is more like we are than what He says of Himself through His word. The end result of this unbelief is having "no fear" of a holy GOD.
"These things you have done, and I kept silent; you thought that I was altogether like you; but I will rebuke you, and set them in order before your eyes." (Psalm 50:21)
In Proverbs the 10 Chapter and the 27th verse the spirit of wisdom spoke the following:
"The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death."
When we lose the fear of GOD we cannot help but step into the snares of death, and into those snares we have now stepped. This is an absolute, undeniable fact whether we want to admit it or not. And I must tell you that until a holy fear of our GOD is restored to us as a body, we will not be the people that FATHER desires that we be. We cannot come into full maturity and literally walk in and be led by the Holy Spirit, while we are void of a reverential fear of Him. I believe that we have now entered into a time and season where a loving FATHER is going to discipline His children, out of His love for us, and through that discipline He will restore a holy fear of Himself to our hearts. He is the only one who can do this work in us. We do not have the ability to work up holy fear, except in word only.
While I do not know how FATHER is going to "set us in order", of this I am certain. The process will be very painful resulting in hearts broken and an overwhelming awareness of our spiritual poverty. We will be shocked as the depth of iniquity in the church, especially the full gospel church, is exposed. There will be an even greater falling away (see 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3) from the faith, as it will appear that evil is about to overtake good. Many who have been standing in pulpits and others in high places of leadership will be brought down to the dust and not a few will be destroyed. Many well intentioned believers are now attempting to protect and preserve a "form" that our GOD has turned away from. Deceiving spirits are in direct conflict with our GOD'S angels and even the Holy Spirit Himself. What seems to be light in many cases is in fact darkness. The sounds of celebration that are now heard in most of our assemblies will be changed into sounds of mourning and laughter will soon be replaced with tears. We will be filled with deep grieving and sorrow, for what we have done in bringing so much shame and reproach on the name of our
Holy GOD. Much of what the church has been taught and that we received as truth, will be exposed as doctrines of demons and that alone will remove the blight of spiritual pride from the hearts of many that are presently held in high esteem. Out of the ashes of this firestorm of His holiness will rise a people that GOD will look upon with great favor. This holy remnant will reflect the very nature of JESUS CHRIST Himself, in thought, in word and in deed. They will be filled with a holy fear of GOD and they will tremble before His word. Those who rise up from the ashes of His fiery judgment will be heard by GOD as they stand in the gap to plead for mercy for the rest of humanity - lest they all be destroyed with no further harvest of souls. This remnant will be heard because of their "fear", just as JESUS was heard because of His fear.
"Who in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a son, yet He learned obedience by the things He suffered." (Hebrews 5:7,8)
I must also tell you, that even now FATHER has begun to call His people out of the religious system that He is about to deal with. This is a calling out of the heart. As His judgment falls on His house, He will have His voices in place that He will use to provide leadership. These will be those who are the "least" in our eyes and they will rebuke with power those who are now in high places. The voice of holiness, the voice of righteousness and the call to repentance will once again be heard. And the Holy Spirit of the one true and living GOD will lead His people and will manifest JESUS CHRIST in all of His glory. Signs, wonders and miracles will once again follow the people of GOD. The true church - the capital "C" church will come into full bloom - and oh the beauty of the bloom as He receives once again the glory and honor and reverential fear that only He is due. Praise GOD - Praise GOD - Praise GOD! There is hope and great anticipation rising in the hearts of many who long only for our King and who cry out "Let it be Lord! Let it be Lord! At whatever the cost, please Lord, let it be!"
"For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him." (Psalm 103:11)
"But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, - -." (Psalm 103:17)
"'The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy." (Psalm 147:11)
May our GOD find each of us worthy to be counted among those that He calls His remnant, and that He looks upon with favor.