A24. FEAR: The Final Frontier?
Whoever you are - a simple Christian working out your salvation or someone who has been through the most horrific ritual abuse - you will at some time have encountered fear within yourself. Because fear is one of those things you can never avoid in deliverance ministry, it is well that we take a close look at it in order to understand it, bring it into sharp focus, dispell myths, and embrace it when needed.
Contrary to what many people believe, fear is not an exclusively negative thing. Of itself it is a neutral thing morally-speaking, like sex - it's what you fear that determines whether it is healthy or unhealthy.
Fear may be simply defined as a feeling of distress, apprehension, concern, anxiety, or alarm caused by impending danger or pain, real or imagined. That, at least, is the most commonly understood sense in which we use the word. It may surprise many to learn, however, that the Bible describes four different kinds of fear:
In meeting fear in deliverance it is important that we can distinguish between these four which I shall now attempt to do in this article.
Firstly, we need to understand that the Bible uses numerous words to denote fear. The most common of these are the Hebrew words yir'‚ (reverence), pachad (dread, fear), and the Greek word phobos (fear, terror) from which we get such English compound words as 'claustrophobia' (the fear of closed spaces) and 'acrophobia' (the fear of open spaces). These words may be placed in four theological categories:
1. Holy Fear
Holy fear is not a function of the natural man. An unsaved person cannot possess holy fear. According to Martin Luther, the natural man cannot fear God perfectly, and according to Ridolf Otto, he is "quite incapable even to shudder or feel horror in the real sense of the word". Holy fear may be said to be that spiritual quality deriving from the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) which enables man to reverence - to deeply respect - Yahweh's authority, obey His Torah (Law, commandments), and hate and shun every form of evil (Jer.32:40; cp. Gen.22:12; Heb.5:7). The Bible tells us that this holy fear is "the beginning of wisdom" (Ps.111:10), the secret of uprightness (Prov.8:13), a feature of the people in whom Yahweh delights:
This holy fear is the whole duty of man:
"Yahweh takes pleasure in those who fear Him,
In those who hope in His mercy"
The importance of Torah-obedience is self-evident for without a spiritual drive to be obedient there can be no genuine godly fear of El Elyon, the Most High. In case the carnal man is tempted to dismiss this as merely a requirement of some long since vanished spirituality that has been replaced by something 'higher' or 'superior' let us be reminded of the fact that holy fear was a characteristic of the One that we, as Christians, are called to imitate, namely, Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ):
"Fear Elohim (God) and keep His commandments,
For this is man's all.
For Elohim (God) will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil.
Where this holy fear is absent, there is usually a disregard for, or even hatred of, commandment-keeping which is dismissed, by means of scripture-twisting, as 'legalism' or some such other excuse. Such people not untypically view God as a 'pal' as one would a school buddy or other human friendship. Such a view is not only blasphemous but borders on humanism, bringing Yahweh down to the level of man. If Yah'shua (Jesus) held Him in such high reverence, then so ought Christians to.
"The Spirit of Yahweh shall rest upon Him (the Messiah),
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and might,
The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Yahweh"
There is no such thing as 'Old Testament fear of Yahweh' and 'New Testament fear of Yahweh'. There is no difference. True religion is consistently regarded as synonmymous with the fear of Yahweh in both Old and New Testaments (e.g. Jer.2:19; Ps.34:11) as is proved by the common use of the expression in New Testament times, "walking in the fear of Yahweh (the Lord)" (Ac.9:31). Gentile adherants of the synagogue were commonly called "God-fearers" (Ac.10:2, etc., cp. Phil.2:12).
Satan would have believers believe that reverential fear of Yahweh has been 'done away with' or 'nailed to the cross' by Christ and for very sound reasons: for if he can convince us that we are no longer subject to Yahweh's Torah then, in following a nebulous 'spirit', we will more likely break His commandments and give demons legal grounds to oppress and (ultimately, if we are lawless enough) possess us.
The fact that the New Testament emphasises that Yahweh loves and forgives us (as is true and essential for us to understand), and the fact that the One (Yahweh) who through Yah'shua (Jesus) gives to men the spirit of sonship (Rom.8:15) and enables us to boldly face up to life (2 Tim.1:6-7) and death (Heb.2:15) without slavish fear, does not negate the absolutele necessity of holy fear. Holy or reverential fear remains, for the awesomeness of Yahweh-Elohim has not changed, and there yet remains a day of judgment to be met (2 Cor.5:10ff). Godly fear therefore stimulates the truly born-again believer to seek holiness (2 Cor.7:1) and is reflected in his attituide toward his fellow Christians (Eph.5:21) and Yahweh's Torah (1 Jn.2:3ff; 3:22-24; 5:2-3; 2 Jn.6; Rev.12:17; 14:12; 22:14). When people say they have no need to obey Torah because they are operating out of a perfect Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) from their hearts, and fail to obey the commandments, they are not being truthful, but are walking out of self-sufficiency and confusing various spirits with the true Ruach (Spirit). The fact that we obey Torah is evidence not only that we are led by the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) but that we have a holy and reverential fear of Yahweh.
Until this holy fear is in place, those assaying to overcome the enemy will not ultimately succeeed in dealing with slavish fear.
2. Slavish Fear
Slavish fear is a direct consequence of sin (Gen.3:10; Prov.28:1). If you have this slavish fear, no matter who or what of, of real or imaginary things, it is quite simply a consequence of sin and is an issue that you must deal with personally. Not only is is a consequence of sin but it can also come as a punishment (Dt.28:28). It was felt by Felix when he heard Paul preach (Ac.24:25) and it is felt by Christ-rejecters, for whom remains only a "fearful expectation of judgment" (Heb.10:27, NKJV; cp. Rev.21:8). Though not itself good, this fear is often used by the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) for the conversion of men (e.g. Ac.16:29ff.)
3. Fear of Men
Men, like God, can be feared in a positive or a negative way. We can:
Now this kind of fear (#3b & #3c), and also the kind of slavish fear mentioned above (#2), can be cast out by the true love of Yahweh (1 Jn.4:18):
- (a) have a positive reverential awe and regard for men, as for masters and magistrates, pastors and apostles, wives for husbands, sons for fathers, etc., (1 Pet.2:18; Rom.13:7);
- (b) have a blind dread of them and what they can do (Num.14:9; Is.8:12; Prov.29:25); and
- (c) in a peculiar sense have a Christian concern for them lest they be ruined by sin (1 Cor.2:3; 2 Cor.11:3; Col.2:1).
Satanism deliberately cultivates this slavish fear of Satan, of demons, of God, of Christ, and of men. It is what keeps their victims helplessly bound. Once the love of Yah'shua (Jesus) is apprehended, and a true perspective of Yahweh and Yah'shua (Jesus) is realised that is not based on lies but truth, then this carnal fear can be conquered.
"Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us" (1 John 4:17-19, NKJV).
4. 'Fear' as the Object of Fear
Finally, fear is used scripturally in a fourth sense, where as in Genesis 31:42,53 Yahweh-Elohim is called the "fear of Isaac", which is a round about way of saying 'the God whom Isaac reverentially feared and worshipped'. When this fear comes upon the godly (like Isaac) it brings comfort and peace, yet when this same fear falls upon the wicked, it fills them with abject terror (Prov.1:26-27; 10:24). Thus we read:
Here Yahweh acts as a catalyst of men's own fears by making their delusions 'more real than life' as a punishment for their rebellion against Him. This can, of course, be turned for the good and lead to repentance and a proper apprehension of the Truth, which leads to true reverential fear and love, that causes slavish fear to vapourise.
"Just as they (the heathen) have chosen their own ways,
And their soul delights in their abominations,
So will I choose their delusions,
And bring their fears on them"
When the Hebrews entered the Promised Land, Yahweh sent His fear before them, destroying and scattering the satanic Canaanites, or so impressing them with His fear as to render them spiritless and unable to withstand the invaders (Ex.23:27-28). Fear in this sense is also found in Job 4:6 (cp.9:34; 13:21):
This we have experienced often when Yahweh's fear strikes the enemy camp - both demons and men (liek satanists) - and they are scattered in terror.
"Is not this thy fear, thy confidence, thy hope, and the uprightness of thy ways?" (KJV).
We need to be clearly aware of the true nature of fear if we are to master the negative side of it and have a proper place for our reverance of Yahweh, our Heavenly Father. Satan plays both sides of the issue, first, by getting people to fear so much that they cannot see the truth, and second, by persuading those who eventually overcome it that all fear is negative and bad. And as we have observed in Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) time and time again, Satan goes to great trouble in setting up his victims with a false dichotomy and a double bind: part of the system he persuades to slavishly fear and the other (usually the counterfeit Christian part) he persuades to fear noone and nothing, not even Yahweh, but to view him as a kind of perfect human being rather than the Omnipotent Creator to be feared and awed. And this is why there can be no full deliverance until victims are brought both to the grace and love of Christ and Torah-obedience:
There is this deep satanic programming in the churches which creates an aversion to anything remotely tasting of 'rules' or 'commandments' as though it were something poisonous and underminding of salvation by faith, when in fact it is essential for our partaking of the Tree of Life, which is Yah'shua (Jesus) Himself:
"And the dragon [Satan] was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the Torah (commandments) of Elohim (God) and have the testimony of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ)" (Rev.12:17, NKJV).
Such passages cause a short-circuit in 'once saved, always saved' theology because they threaten the whole foundation of satanic lawlessness in the churches. It is a demonic bind that prevents countless Christians from coming to full deliverance, and it is rooted in a false fear of salvation by works, which the Gospel is not. It is, in short, a demonic stronghold.
"Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city" (Rev.22:14, NKJV).
It surprises many Christians that we take such a strong and unapologetic stand on such issues. The reason is simple: it is the Truth, and only the Truth sets you free (Jn.8:32). Thus we can say of Christ that He "gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you" (Titus 2:14-15, NKJV). We further read:
Thus we unapologetically say that those who reject Torah, however sincerely, are under a clever satanic delusion and are of another spirit that is lawless (Torah). We say this not because we wish to divide the Body of Christ but to redeem it and quite simply to "have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them" (Eph.5:11, NKJV). The enemy is not, after all, deluded Christians but Satan and his demonic host. Our business is building on the faith that lawless believers have in the salvation of Yah'shua (Jesus) - not opposing it by any means - and adding to it obedience to Yahweh, which is the fruit of true faith. To do this, we must overcome fear - massive fear, in many cases, to abandon that which appears to be the Truth but which is rather a clever counterfeit.
"The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason Elohim (God) will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (2 Thess.2:9-12, NKJV).
Deliverance begins and ends with faith. Obedience to the commandments does not bring deliverance but staying in that deliverace depends on it. This is true of both a simple atheist as of a victim of SRA so it comes as no surprise that Satan the most vigorously opposes these two things - the twin aspects of genuine Christian life. To come to Yah'shua (Jesus), the Tree of Life, is the first and most important step, but to continue eating of it depends on our willingness to be obedient in good works flowing out of love and gratitude for that initial salvation. Simply coming to Christ in faith is not, ultimately, enough any more than a child can remain in blissful denial of the need to assume greater and greater responsibilities in life as it grows up. We do not place heavy burdens on children but gradually initiate them into the deeper aspects of life as they grow and mature.
So it is with those coming to deliverance and salvation. First, the necessity to meet Christ. That is His initiative - "not that we loved Elohim (God), but that He loved us" (1 John 4:10, NKJV) - we come to that naked and without anything to give to 'contribute®' to that salvation for in truth we have none - all we have is our faith. But to grow and be sanctified, we must respond in love to that salvation by our obedience, which justifies us: "You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only" (James 2:24, NKJV). Christ takes 100% responsibility for our initial salvation once we unreservedly yield ourselves to Him, but there after we have the responsibility as maturing and growing believers, however tentative the first steps may be, to do the good works of Torah-obedience and thereby bring glory to Yahweh (1 Pet.2:12), maintain good works (Tit.3:8,14), be zealous (eagerly engaged) in good works (Tit.2:14), becoming a pattern of good works (Tit.2:7), rich in good works (1 Tim.6:18), women as well as men (1 Tim.2:10):
What was it that Yahweh-Elohim prepared "beforehand that we should walk in them"? Yah'shua (Jesus) Himself answers that question:
"For we are His workmanship, created in Messiah Yah'shua (Christ Jesus) for good works, which Elohim (God) prepared beforehand that we should walk in them" (Eph.2:9-10, NKJV).
The "patterns" that Paul spoke of (Tit.2:7) are not only patterns of consistent behaviour in morality and ethics but patterns of Messianic worship and fellowship that include proper observance of the Sabbath and the festivals of Yahweh which together give us a whole pattern of life, that is, a lifestyle. Whilst love is the primary identifying characteristic of believers, love, you must remember, is two-fold: love for Yahweh, and love for our neighbour - we are to love one another (Jn.13:34; 15:12,17; Rom.13:8; 1 Thes.4:9; 1 Pet.1:22; 1 Jn.3:11,23; 4;7,11-12; 2 Jn.5) and and firstly, love Yahweh:
"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law (Torah) or the Prophets (Nebi'im). I did not come to destroy but to fulfill (fill up, bring to completion, not remove or dismiss). For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Law (Torah) till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matt.5:17-20, NKJV).
That love manifests in our obedience to the commandments and the way we treat other people. IT IS NOT A FUNCTION OF SLAVISH FEAR but of Godly fear, whether that slavish fear is to tradition or to the expectations of men who do not love the whole truth. True love is always rooted in Truth and reverential fear of Yahweh.
"You shall love Yahweh your Elohim with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength" (Deut.6:5, NKJV; cp. 11:1,13,22; 13:3; 19:9; 30:6,16,20; Josh.22:5; 23:11; Mt.22:37; Mk.12:30; Lk.10:27).
We cannot permit a single lie to fester in our souls if we wish to overcome the enemy and survive in the lawless (Torahless) and evil times that we have already entered into. We must fear not to obey the Truth, whatever it costs in terms of cherished beliefs or cherished human loyalties. When you pursue Truth, you lose friends - those who do not love the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth. There is an undoubted sacrifice to be made in order to remain fully in Yah'shua (Jesus), but it is of insignificance when measured against all the eternal benefits now and in the future.
A fully maintained deliverance and salvation is a function of (a) complete faith in Yah'shua (Jesus) and (b) complete love-obedience to Yahweh's commandments, and must be in that order. Obedience without love or faith is dead-works salvation or 'legalism'. True obedience is a function of faith and love mingled with holy, fear of Yahweh - not slavish fear built on terror, but deep awe and reverence. "God is love" (1 Jn.4:8,16, NKJV) - total, complete, pure, holy and embracing love - and love is rooted in law and order in the Universe, law that builds up individuals and communities of believers into holy echad or oneness with each other and with their Creator through the Messiah. Satan divides and conquers both men and the souls of men, fragmenting and splitting. True love brings together into a cohesive and bright whole.
"Oh, fear Yahweh, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him.
The young lions lack and suffer hunger;
But those who seek Yahweh shall not lack any good thing"
This page was created on 23 November 2004
Last updated on 23 November 2004
Copyright © 1987-2008 New Covenant Ministries - All Rights Reserved