From Fear to Glory
Focus on Jerusalem Prophecy Ministry
By: Darrell G. Young
Hebrews 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. So goes the opening statement of the Holy Bible. After completing the whole of creation, God ceased from his six days of creative labor, rested on the seventh day, and looked out upon all that he had made, and saw that it was very good. When the Bible indicates that God “saw” everything that he had made, it is noteworthy to realize that the Hebrew word ra’ah, which is the word for saw, means that God visually beheld all that he had made and considered them much as a quality inspector would analyze the work of a craftsman. His final assessment was that all that he had made was very good, or exceptionally good, perhaps even exceeding the foreordained design phase expectations.
It was in the midst this exceptional environment that Adam (and later Eve) lived, and enjoyed a wonderful life. Here too, is where the Lord God came to visit with his creation.
Undoubtedly God visited Adam regularly after the Creation, and they enjoyed a tremendously enriching relationship. On perhaps the first visit the Lord God conveyed to Adam to keep the Garden and dress it. (keeping and dressing the garden meant to tend, work, and preserve the garden) Adam was in essence a vineyard keeper, a guardian and overseer of that good place. God also relayed information to Adam that he may freely eat the fruit of every single tree in the garden except for one, and further informed him that eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would surely cause his death.
Perhaps on a later visit, or maybe the same one (the Bible isn’t specific about the number of visits) the Lord brought all the animals of the world to Adam and allowed Adam to give names to all of them. Apparently the Lord designed a functioning relationship for the animal world to serve mankind, and by allowing Adam to give them all names, it fell to mankind to tend the animal world as well as the garden. Genesis one indicates that the animal and fish world were created to be subject under man-kinds dominion. Thus the animal world was created to provide a special service for man. It is interesting to note that the Lord God preserved the naming of the stars or host of heaven for himself. (Isaiah 40:26 Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he (God) calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.)
The world was good, and Adam knew no fear, no fear of the animals, no fear from threatening enemies, and above all, Adam knew no fear of God. Adam enjoyed the presence of the Lord, and unquestionably looked forward to each and every occasion when God would come walking through the Garden to visit. But upon one such visit by the Lord, it became abundantly clear that Adam was lonely and required a helpmeet. The word helpmeet stems from the Hebrew word “ezer neged” and refers to an aid or helper that is also a mate, and a mate that is opposite, or of the other side of Adam. The Bible says that God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and took out one of his ribs from his side and formed the woman for Adam. We have come to refer to this wonderful physiological and biological design that God ordained for Adam as a soul mate of opposite sex, for God said that their union made Adam and Eve one, or altogether.
The Fear of God Fell
We have all heard about the fall of man. But probably few of us have ever heard about the fear of God falling upon man. Dispensationalists refer to the Edenic Age as the Age of Innocence. This innocence was lost when Satan enticed Adam and Eve to fall away from the Lord. The Fall of Man is defined as the disobedience and sin of Adam and Eve that caused them to lose the state of innocence in which they had been created. This tragic event plunged them and all of mankind, as well as the entirety of creation into a state of sin and corruption. Adam and Eve were created by God in a state of sinless perfection so they could glorify God, reflect His righteousness on the earth, and enjoy fellowship and union with Him. Thus when man fell away from God, and lost his innocence and his fellowship with God, the fear of God fell upon man.
The story of the Fall of Man is an old and familiar story but let’s review it once again:
Genesis 3:1-10 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they (Adam and Eve) heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he (Adam) said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
The Fall of Man from his state of innocence came about in spite of God’s warning of the prospect of death for man. God plainly informed Adam that partaking of the tree in the middle of the garden (tree of the knowledge of good and evil) would result in his death, but later when the serpent came along he compelled upon Eve that they would not surely die, as the Lord God had stated. Generations ever since the Garden have had ample evidence to look back upon to see who was telling the truth. Century after century, the world has witnessed the filling of graveyards, and their very existence stands as the utmost evidence that Satan, and not God lied to Eve in the Garden, for he stated flatly that, “ye shall not surely die.” Yet, death, and the fear of death have ever since become a natural expectancy and lifelong trait for mankind.
But even the fear of physical death doesn’t hold the horror over mankind as does the fear of the Lord, as it did with Adam. Although the Lord God had come walking through the midst of the Garden on many occasions, Adam never before had known the fear of the Lord. His disobedience placed a fearsome dreaded trepidation within his heart about facing God. Therefore, the Genesis record seems to make it a point of emphasis to highlight the fact that the first recorded words or statement by man in the Holy Bible is one expressing his fear. Never before when the Lord came to the garden for a visit had the Lord God needed to call out, “Where art thou” as he did on this occasion. I rather imagine that on previous occasions, Adam was front and center anxiously waiting on the Lord’s routine appearance. This time he collects Eve, and together they hide themselves from God. Adam’s first words in response to the Lord for hiding from him, was…..I was AFRAID.
Now,.......what was it that made Adam afraid? Why was Adam suddenly afraid of someone he had an intimate relationship with? One can almost envision Adam and Eve with their new garments on, hiding amongst a thick overgrowth of trees, shaking and trembling in gut-wrenching, panting for breath, heart-stopping fear.
Adam was suddenly hiding from the Lord and experiencing a newfound fear of God because he knew he had disobeyed the Lord. Adam was not only afraid of what the consequences might be for his disobedience, but he knew perfectly well that God was all powerful, and also perfectly just. Adam probably had very little personal concept of death, since he had never witnessed it before, but he apparently knew from the discussions he had with God on the subject that it meant his eternal end. Adam might have imagined within himself that God would end his life, and not fully realized that it would be sin that would work itself out to his death.
Sin is the faithless rebellion of the creature against the just authority of his Creator. Sin is actually a contradiction to the holiness of God, whose image Adam bore. For this reason, a second Adam was later sent in the personage of Jesus Christ to the world to pay for the price of all human sin. (1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.) (1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.)
This depraved sin condition infused upon mankind through disobedience was total in that "the carnal mind of man has ever since been at enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can it be. (Romans 8:7) Apart from Christ, all are "dead in trespasses and sins." (Ephesians 2:1) But this fact does not mean that people behave as wickedly as they might, for God through the restraining function of his Holy Spirit works in this world to restrain the out-workings of the sinful heart of man. Sin also involves the denial of the living God from whom human beings draw their very life and existence; and the natural consequence of this revolt is death and the torment of hell. Death is the ultimate penalty imposed by God for sin. (Romans 6:23) But against this dark background of sin and its reality, the gospel comes as the good news of the deliverance that God has provided through His Son. Jesus was foreordained by God to bear the penalty of sin and enable us to be restored to the righteous fellowship and relationship with God.
The Fear of The Lord
In light of his fall in the Garden, Adam’s fear of the Lord in reality was a healthy fear. His fear demonstrated a humble wisdom and a deep personal conviction. Apparently, Adam’s fear of the Lord surely served him well the rest of his days, for the Bible does not record any other incident of disobedience by Adam, nor by Eve. Still yet, each of them died, just as God had forewarned.
When Adam confessed to God that he hid himself because he was afraid, the word he used stems from the Hebrew word “yare.” It means to be dreadfully affrighted. But the fear that Adam felt deep in his soul was a fear of the Lord that correlates as one of respect and reverence, and self shame for personal disobedience, for Adam knew his relationship with the Almighty was broken. Adam immediately sought to make an excuse by blaming Eve, as Adam knew in his heart that he had willfully done wrong. Thousands of years later, Timothy alluded to this fact. (I Timothy 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.) Nevertheless, Adam had sinned, and now had come to know a healthy fear of the Lord.
This “fear of the Lord” stems from the Hebrew word “yir’aw,” and refers to a deep abiding sense of reverence, awe, and respect, or an uneasy emotion caused by a sense of possible danger by ignoring a higher authority. A healthy fear is reverence or respect for someone in authority. A harmful fear is a sense of terror or dread. Believers are instructed not to fear human beings because they cannot ultimately harm us. (Philippians 1:28 And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.) On the other hand, an unbeliever has every reason to be panic-stricken at thoughts of God, for he stands condemned before Him. And yet, unfortunately, this kind of fear of God does not often lead to repentance. It normally leads to a feeble attempt to hide from God, as Adam first sought to do or worse yet, to a denial of God's existence and His will for a person's life.
Interestingly, Adam’s instinct to hide from the Lord after his disobedience has forever become a symbolic paradigm of fallen man’s natural instinct to run and hide from God, for man’s whole nature has become one of enmity with God.
Romans 8:6-8 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
James 4:4 know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
Since the Fall of Man, it indeed has been a good and wise thing for mankind to retain within his heart and soul an abiding reverential fear of the Lord God Almighty. In fact, the fear of the Lord, for many individuals, could be a key factor that compels them toward being gloriously reunited into a restored and completed relationship with the Heavenly Father. Only a fool would ignore the omniscient and omnipotent power of God. A healthy fear of consequences is a natural and beneficial thing throughout secular life. When I was a child, I was told to fear a hot stove, and give it a respectful distance, or else I would get badly burned. Thus, my fear of the stove was a healthy fear, and I really didn’t need to touch the stove and experience a bad burn to know the benefits of respecting its potential danger to me. The heat coming from the fire was enough to instill within me a certain amount of wisdom. We all need such practical wisdom, especially in light of the fact that sin represents a dire threat, not only to our present life, but also to where we spend eternity.
Psalms 33:8 Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
Psalms 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 15:33 The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honor is humility.
Also, practical humility and wisdom suggests that if there truly is an omnipotent God, and who is also Holy and righteous, and perfectly just, then it stands to reason that there would have to be an accounting unto that God at some point in time. And that is exactly what the Bible teaches. The writer of the book of Ecclesiastes wisely advises us that we need to fear God, and keep his commandments because we shall all stand before the righteous Judge at the end of the ages.
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
Revelation 20:11-12 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
While in this world, Jesus spoke of a proper and healthy fear to have, and the fear that he encouraged was that all should be fearful of being found guilty before God at the judgment and forevermore sentenced to Hell.
Luke 12:4-5 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. 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.
Nevertheless, although the fear of the Lord can compel us to come to know and obey God, it still isn’t the doorway of salvation that makes us blameless on Judgment Day. Only faith in Jesus Christ is the doorway to a restored relationship with God, and then we can know the absolute alleviation of the fear of God’s wrath and the fear of eternal damnation. It is little wonder then, that much of the New Testament speaks so much about the horror of hell, for God is not willing that anyone perish, but that all might come to repentance. (II Peter 3:9)
Israel’s Commandment, Fear the Lord Thy God
Long after the dispensation of the Age of Innocence, and the introduction of sin into the world, as Israel entered into the Age of the Law, God admonished his chosen nation to fear the Lord God and to keep all his statutes and commandments, so that it would go well with them in the Promised Land. (Deuteronomy 6:13 Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.) (Deuteronomy 6:24-25 And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day. And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us.)
Many of the warnings that the prophets of God proclaimed throughout God's Word have their foundation in the ultimate destruction of those who turn their backs on God, warnings that detail fearful consequences for such an action. The disobedience of Israel to heed God’s warnings resulted in the national calamity of losing the Promised Land, and the consequences of that calamitous curse has pursued the remnant of Israel around the world to this day.
The Apostle Paul in the book of Romans prayed earnestly for the salvation of Israel, but instead Israel continues today to live in fear for its very existence, just as God forewarned would be the case in her history, and will continue to be until Israel comes to know the true Messiah.
Deuteronomy 28:65-67 And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the Lord shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind: And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life: In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.
Out of fear for her safety in this world, Israel will eventually be compelled to enter into a covenant with Hell. (Isaiah 28:15) Israel’s future course of action with the coming Antichrist belies the fact that her faith remains misplaced, and her fear misguided.
Job’s Fear of God
Perhaps one of the most interesting and intriguing characters of the Old Testament is the man Job. The Bible records that Job was perfect and upright, and was a devout man that feared God. Job feared the Lord so much that he disdained evil, and went to extraordinary lengths to offer burnt offerings to the Lord, not only for himself, but even for all his loved ones, as Job greatly feared the prospect of sinning against God.
Job 1:1 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.
Satan argued that Job was only righteous and served and feared God because it was a means of retaining all that he had, as a kind of gratis methodology. Satan asked God, Doth Job fear God for nought? The word nought is derived from the Hebrew word “chinnam,” and refers to gratuitous service for gaining advantage. Satan was basically accusing Job of fearing the Lord only as a means to enhance his own welfare, and not because Job feared the Lord with an attitude of reverence.
Job 1:8-10 And the Lord 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? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side?
The history of Job’s life reveals that we are all subject to the wiles of the Devil, and as long as we are in this world, at some point we will likely experience his assaults. But Job’s life also portrays that the truly reverential fear of the Lord is not in vain, for God made the latter portion of Job’s life even more glorious than had been his previous state.
Fearing God to Give Him Glory
Our all-knowing Creator God foreknew that Adam and Eve would succumb to the subtle enticements of the serpent. In fact, the Lord God had foreordained a way to restore Adam and all of mankind back into a glorious relationship that even supersedes the one that Adam originally enjoyed with his maker. (I Peter 1:18-21 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.)
Adams fall from grace, and God’s subsequent righteous and justice-serving method of reaching down to fallen mankind has served to demonstrate just how much God loves us. It is indeed sad to think of all the evil that has transpired since the fall, but in retrospect, mans reaching for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, essentially allowed mankind to choose whether or not he fears the Lord enough to accept his love, and to freely love him back. God could have created robots to live in the Garden, but the Almighty desired to create beings in his own image, that could love, just as God is love. We love him because He first loved us. And the Perfect love of God casteth out our fears.
I John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
The fear of the Lord that fell upon Adam back in the Garden worked within the heart and soul of Adam to create within him a more perfect love. When our fear of the Lord works in us to create a humble heart, and we accept God’s gracious gift of love, (His Son) we are made anew within ourselves to know the perfect love of God and to begin to give a perfect love to others. This is why the Bible is filled with so many exhortations to love one another, as God has so loved us.
Many people ask me how in the world there can ever be peace on the earth. Well, as you know there will never be true peace on the earth until the Prince of Peace returns, but still, many people can’t see how even Christ himself can establish a kingdom of peace on this evil-infested planet where real love is so scarce. The formula for peace is simple, and it stems from the reverential fear of the Lord, and possessing his perfect love.
II Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
From Fear to Glory
Adam’s infamous game of hide-and-seek with Lord is exemplary of man’s nature to run and hide from a righteous and omnipotent God. Mankind has been hiding in the bulrushes of this world ever since the fall. But as Adam discovered, there is no need to hide from the Lord. Hiding from God only serves to continue our own condemnation and enslavement to death. Oh yes, the consequences of the fall (sin) still lingers in our world, and we must all die, but by fearing the Lord, and bowing ourselves in humility as a child with faith in a loving savior, we can be spiritually made alive and forgiven for all our trespasses.
Psalms 34:4 I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
There is a parable in Bible that eloquently echoes the fearful and dreadful situation that sinful mankind faces in this world. Matthew, Mark and John each recorded the parable of the storm and Jesus walking on the sea to the Disciples. The tossing sea symbolizes our present world, and the fearsome storms that each of us faces on a regular basis. But the greatest fear of all that should concern us should be the fact that we could end up in Hell fire because we didn’t accept the hand that has reached out to us in our time of trouble. In the parable, the Disciples fearing for their very lives are rowing with all their energy, trying to survive the turmoil of the tossing sea, Then, Jesus approaches the tiny ship, walking right through the storm-tossed waves, and says to them….Be Not Afraid……
Mark 6:47-50 And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land. And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.
By reaching out to Jesus, we can not only walk fearlessly through the storms of this world, but we can confidently look forward to his soon return, (and cease our hiding from him) with an expectancy of reigning with him in his marvelous glory.
Soon and very soon, the lord will return to reward his faithful, and to judge this world, and grant unto those who fear him and love him a crown of glory.
Revelation 14:6-7 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 with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come:
I Peter 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
The fear of the Lord that the righteous have known since the days of Adam is sharply contrasted from the fear of the Lord that the unrighteous shall come to know. In the great Day of the Lord, the fearful will be the unbelievers, and they will resort to hiding from the face of God, whose righteous indignation will fall upon them. They will be so fearful that they will call to the rocks and mountains to fall on them to hide them from the wrath of the Lamb. (Revelation 6:16-17)
Revelation 21:6-8 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
The course of human history testifies that mankind can go from fearing God, and hiding from him, to a new fellowship that instills within his heart that old yearning to once again enjoy his company, and share in his awesome glory!
Focus on Jerusalem Prophecy Ministry
“From Fear To Glory”
By: Darrell G. Young