Whom Then Should I Fear? The Fear of God vs the Fear of Man

Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of Yehovah. Ps. 34:11

Happy is the man that feareth always…but he that hardeneth his heart, shall fall into mischief. Pr. 28:14

In the beginning, the only type of fear that existed was, the fear of God. This was until the Devil tempted Eve; therefore producing fear in her.  He produced this fear and discontentment in her by telling her a lie. He is the father of all lies. (John 8:44) 

The devil lies, planting seeds of doubt in our hearts and minds, which causes us to doubt reality by doubting the Word of God. This builds in people a belief system that’s false, but appears to be reality. People are living the lie, when they think they are living the truth.

Eve did not stand on God’s word. As followers of Messiah, we are to stand on God’s word, and extinguish all of Satan’s fiery darts. 

These seeds of doubt take root in people’s hearts and minds.  Then they create a belief system rooted in the lies of the enemy.  They then live out this belief system.  They choose the Devil as their Lord, and reject God as being their king.  In the battlefield of the mind and heart; the enemy has taken many captive.  They are fallen away from God.  At the same time some believing they belong to Messiah.

For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of 

the congregation, in the sides of the north:

I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

We see here in Is. 14:13-14, that the Devil wants to take the place of God.  The fact is, he wants to exalt himself over God.  He wants to be God and wants people to obey and serve him.  He cannot create, only God can.  So, he has to remove the faith of the person, he has to keep them from believing what God has said is true and what is real.  

The Devil produces a disillusionment, an escape from reality.  We live what we believe.  Eve started to live a lie, as soon as she started to not believe God and obey the Devil.  She did not resist the Devil, she turned away from God and followed the Devil instead. James 4:7 tell us:

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.

   With the fear of God, men depart from evil (Prov. 16:6).  Without it, men run to evil.  This is why he has to remove a fear of God from us, and therefore get us to run to evil. He lies, and speaks fear of man by telling his own “truth”. The Devil doesn’t just speak lies, he also mixes truth with lies, so you will take the bait.

Examining Fears of Man

There is so much fear in the world. UnGodly fears show that their is a lack of trust in God. Lets look at just one example of something people commonly fear:

Fear of-Animals/Insects –Movies have a big influence in this area.  Jaws, Killer Bees, Arachnophobia, Lake Placid, the list truly goes on and on to produce fear in us. A person jumps and screams because they see a mouse. What is their to be afraid of? Daniel was in the Lion’s Den and David killed and lion and a bear. 

You are sitting there watching a movie, where a bear is attacking someone and the child is crying and terrified. The older children and parents are sitting there eating their popcorn; interested, but not terrified. They look at the young child, and they say, “what’s wrong with you? It’s just a movie!” The child doesn’t know the difference between what is really happening and what is not. The older children and parents are desensitized, and they do not even realize it. 

They never even realize that this child’s alert system is going off. They used to have one, too. The devil wants to get us to where we have no natural affection. We let people in our home on television we would never let in our home otherwise.

God doesn’t want us to be afraid of animals. He says He has given us dominion over them.  (Gen. 1:26)  They are not to rule over us, we are to rule over them and regard their lives. (Prov. 12:10).  

The Devil has produced these fears, again distorting God’s truth.  This does not mean I will have my children swim with sharks or play with lions.  Since the fall, the lion isn’t lying down with the lamb.  We need to know what time we are living in.  Although God can protect us in this time, of a fallen world, just as He did Daniel in the Lion’s Den, we need to be wise.  Not testing God by playing with serpents and lions.

This is just one example.  There is a list of Phobias that lists at least 530 phobias.  As long as there is something to be scared of; there is a phobia for that thing.  Our world is full of fear.  But what type of fear?

Another example of worldly wisdom on the topic of fear.

There are those who say, they have  ‘No Fear’. This is a totally different thing, then those who live in a constant state of fear or phobiaThis philosophy comes from the Greek Philosopher Epicurus.

Epicurus’ philosophy was that we are to attain pleasure and tranquility for ourselves, and this can be attained by ataraxia- which means peace and freedom from fears. This is to be done by banishing the fear of the “gods of death.” He taught that the gods neither punish or reward humans. Epicurus’ gospel of freedom from fear proved to be quite popular, and communities of Epicureans flourished for centuries after his death. (The Epicureans can be found in the bible in Acts 17)

Epicurus’ philosophy still stands strong today. It is taught in philosophy classes throughout our land.   He lived from 341 BC to 270 BC.  Some say that they test truth by whether it stands “the test of time”, or by whether they find others who believe the same as they do on a subject. This is unbiblical.  If this was the case, we could trust many things that are contrary to the Word of God. The only teaching that will stand the test of time is God’s Word.

                      For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Ps. 119:89

The Bereans were commended for what?  Testing Paul’s doctrine against time?  NO! 

 “in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Acts 17:11

The Word also teaches us about men like, Epicurus; (who remember was already dead before this was written).  

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Messiah. Col. 2:8

In America, today we have a ‘No Fear’ American Lifestyle Clothing brand, established in 1989.

This company provides sport clothing, as well as a “No Fear” drink line. They also promote BMX bikers and others sports figures who encourage people to NOT fear. 

As I was studying this, it was interesting to note; Under the tab of their ‘No Fear’ drinks you could win a ticket to see ‘Lamb of God’ band in concert. This bands original name was, ‘Burn the Priest.’ 

Now they have changed it to ‘Lamb of God’ and one of their album names is, “New American Gospel” (2000) How deceiving is this? One of their album/song names is, “Walk in Hell and Wrath with Me” (2006) This is total defiance of God and His son!

Here are some examples of some of the things ‘No Fear’ clothing brand is promoting with their t-shirts, celebrity endorsements, etc.

Second place is the first loser” 

What they are meaning is that Believers who have God first in their lives, are losers in their minds.

No fear; no limits-no excuses”

Wake up everyday stronger than yesterday, face your fears and wipe your tears.”

The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you-depend on no one. Only the moments you reject all help are you free.”-Buddha 

What a lie; that’s the biggest bondage of all.

Create the things you wish existed”

We read in the book of Revelations (16) that there will be people who curse God even as He pours his wrath out on them. There is a clear agenda in the world, and has been for centuries, to get rid of the fear of God.  Will there be people in hell with no fear of God? Yes-they will continue to hate and curse him for all eternity.

Searching the Scriptures About Fear

Next we will look at examples of people in the Bible who feared God in both the Old and New Testament.

Noah: Heb 11:7 says, “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear,prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”

 Noah was the leader of the eight who survived the global flood.  God showing there was no one on earth like him.

Moses chose the fear of Yehovah not fear of man “And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fearand quake”(Heb.12:21)

[Heb 11:24-29 KJV] 24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26 Esteeming the reproach of Messiah greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. 27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. 28 Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. 29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry [land]: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.

God called Moses the meekest man on earth, at his time. (Numbers 12:3) He knew God face to face.  He was a man faithful in God’s house. 

Hebrew Midwives, feared God, not man

[Exo 1:17, 21 KJV] 17 But the midwivesfeared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive. … 21 And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses.

The Hebrew Midwives, although they were not leaders, like these others.  The fear of Yehovah, is not just for leaders or men.  It is not just for people of high status.  Everyone is to fear God.  God gave them houses because of their faith.  They were faithful with little, and God gave them more. (Luke 16:10)  

But the reason I believe God had me to use the midwives as an example is because of the lie that people believe that it’s only a pastor’s responsibility to seek God.  That these things are the leaders job.  Every person small and great, old and young, rich or poor, weak or strong, must give an account of themselves to God.  We cannot transfer that responsibility to someone else.

70 Elders- feared God [Exo 18:21 KJV] 21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place [such] over them, [to be] rulers of thousands, [and] rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:

The 70 Elders, loved truth, hated covetousness, and feared God.  The qualities these men displayed were honorable.  They were righteous judges who helped Moses carry the load of rightly judging the people.  If they didn’t have these three qualities, they could not  have rightly judged, and it would have been total disorder.   Righteous judgement is something that we are lacking greatly in the family, workplace, Church, and nation. 

Judging is not evil in and of itself, there is righteous and unrighteous judgement.  Righteous judgement, is by the Spirit of God, according to the Word of God.  This is always done in love and truth, coupled with humility.  It is led by the Spirit of God. That means it is in God’s timing.  Also, how it is said, with love and humility.  It must be in accordance with God’s Word, from Genesis to Revelation.  

I hear all the time, “We’re not suppose to judge.”  That is contrary to Scripture.  What I do see most of the time, is that people who say, “We’re not suppose to judge,” are the ones that judge unrighteously frequently.  Judging unrighteously, is not being led by the Spirit of God, and does not go along with the Word of God.  It is done in the flesh, own opinion, private interpretation of Scripture, or distortion of Scripture. While this might not be done intentionally, it is still unrighteous judgement. 

Judging is something I was suppose to write about some years ago, and will be doing a post on this subject one of these days.

Abraham– feared God, [Gen 22:12 KJV] 12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only [son] from me.

Can you see, from this verse, how the fear of God is the love of God? We can’t say we have a love for God, but we don’t have a fear of God. We cannot separate the two. Yehovah says anyone who loves son or daughter, mother or father more than me is not worthy of me (Matt.10:37). Abraham showed that he loved God more than his own son. The first and greatest commandment is to love Yehovah thy God. If He is not first, we are an idolater. 

Abraham, is the father of our faith.  The God of the Bible is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  The God of the Old Testament, is the God of the New Testament.

Job- Feared God; not man, [Job 1:1 KJV] 1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name [was] Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.

[Job 2:3 KJV] 3 And Yehovah said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that [there is] none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.

There was no one on Earth like him at the time.  Just as in Noah’s time.

Cornelius feared God-[Act 10:2 KJV] 2 [A] devout [man], and one that feared Godwith all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.

And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee. Acts 10:22

Cornelius, was a Gentile in the New Testament. At the time this was spoken of him, he was not born again; as he had not heard the gospel and believed it.  A great example of a man who was seeking God with all his heart and found Him.  (Jer. 29:13, Deut. 4:29)

Peter-feared God, 1Pe 2:17 KJV] 17 Honour all [men]. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

1Pe 1:17And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning [here]in fear:

Peter, was a leading man in the Church, one who walked with Yehoshua for three years, while he walked on the Earth.  One of the three who were in the inner circle with Yehoshua.

These are not stained glass heroes. At times some of them feared man, when they should have feared God in the situation.

Some people look at the God of the Old Testament, as a God who is a dictator, tyrant, unloving, and that the God of the New Testament is a God of love.  This is untrue.  God is the same yesterday, today and forever.  God is holy, just, loving, merciful, faithful, true, all knowing, all powerful, omnipresent, etc.  Period.

He made time, and he is not held by it.  He is the maker of all things.  Nothing and no one, by their pride or foolish words of no understanding, will ever change who God is.  He doesn’t need to change.  We do.  By looking at these verses we see that.  He is the same, over both Old and New Testaments, that these men feared God the same; whether Jew or Gentile, male or female, slave or free.  So in light of these Old and New Testament verses, I don’t see how anyone could say, “Oh, that was just the Old Testament.”  

God has given us a great cloud of witness’ who showed a great example of the fear of God.

Now we will look at the greatest example of all, Yehoshua Ha-Mashiach 

Yehoshua feared God Hebrews 5:-5-7

So also Messiah glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec. Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;

[Isa 11:1-3 KJV]  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 Yehovah 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 Yehovah;  And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of Yehovah: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears.

With such great examples of how we should fear Yehovah, why do we see such a lack of the fear of God?One answer to this is; false teachers have taken certain Scriptures and twisted them to say and mean things that they never did, and people do not check it out.

Remember, you can take some Scriptures and build a false teaching with it, but no false teaching can stand the test of all Scripture.  We must study the whole of Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, to have the right balance of Scripture.