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The Fear of God must Return to the House of God - An Angry Venting by a broken man


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#1 Speilb

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 06:09 PM

When your furious and literally sick to your stomach you probably shouldn't write anything. But here's to throwing that to the wind.

Today a woman stopped by with a young man she was going to be getting married to on Monday. She asked me if I recognized her. It took me a minute so she said, "I am the woman who parked in your driveway the other night after I had been in a fight..." I did remember. It was @11:30 at night and I couldn't understand anything she was saying though her tears (at least I cannot remember anything she said) but I prayed with her. Anyway today she was back. She told me about how her and her boyfriend were getting married because as many times as she had tried to forget about him she couldn't. I told them that was a bad reason to get married. She said she didn't want to live in sin anymore... She told me about how everyone seemed to be against their relationship.... Anyway, I tried to help them and give them some good advice (to caution them about marriage) over the fence in a limited time since I was with my kids and my little girl was listening (she also picked her flowers).

The woman told about how she was born addicted to 7 different drugs. How she had been afflicted by demons. How she had been thrown off a balcony in her first marriage. How her second marriage was also not good. I questioned if she knew how to find a stable husband. The young man didn't take offense I think he could tell it was a reasonable question and not a personal attack.

I could tell they were both hungry for God but they were conflicted and confused.

I have seen this kind of thing quite often. This woman was born into a place where Satan ruled and according to her she was afflicted by demons since birth.

At a young age she was introduced to the man who would become her father-in-law. He was the pastor and in a stable marriage. He is a man I know. He is beloved by many and known for being one of the most friendly and outgoing and always joyful (he is also known for hugging ladies a little too long). He loves to put children on his lap and talk to them. She told me about how he had come to her bedroom...and forced himself on her.

I did something I normally wouldn't do. I told her that I didn't want to hear more because I already knew that the person and the church were dealers in false religion and didn't really know Jesus (I guess I was sick of my heart being broken by these stories). She continued on. Telling me about how the pastor had lived with his current wife of 2 years before they got married and how the church didn't care. How the church doesn't care that to this day he still will hug her and grab her butt.

Like I said, I know the pastor. He is beloved for his friendliness. I believe most people question his Christian commitment and all the old ladies in the church are a little uncomfortable with him. I told someone that attends the church about my conversation with the victim (I wasn't meaning too because I knew the response). The person said "that is a church that sure seems to be blessed of God and that I should not let such things effect me too much". I said, "How could God be in a church that turns a blind eye to childhood sexual abuse" (and I listed off several other things as well that I know of in the same church).

Since moving to the area I have been made aware of more information that I can handle (I don't know why people show up out of no-where to tell me these things). I have reliable word about 2 of the biggest churches in the area whose pastors fell to sexual sin with their secretary, another with a church member, a pastor who left the church and then they found out that they had not been paying their bills and owed the IRS over 1 Million and didn't know where the money went, another pastor was on drugs for many years, I have info on what is going on at Jimmy Swaggart ministries today that is demonic, and honestly there is so much more that I cannot mention here. It literally makes me sick.

What makes me so mad about all this is that I believe in Hell. And I believe such actions by pastors are used of Satan to keep people from the Truth and that people perish because such pastors are not able to share with them because of their filthy lives. How many people have been turned off from God because of Jimmy Swaggart's failure? And then this pastor who I learned today did unspeakable things to this woman somehow felt he couldn't do these things to Christians but could to do them to an unchurched person. He didn't care that he was putting a tremendous hurdle in the way of her salvation. I don't think he cared if his action would keep her from hearing the Truth. I think he was willing for her to go to hell for his disgusting twisted pleasure.

I don't think I am better then any of these pastors or elders. I can look at many pastors prior to their falls and see them as people I could look up to in my current Spiritual Journey. But then in many of the cases I can see how pride came in, some "little" compromises, and soon unspeakable evil was committed. I won't bore you will all the many things I have learned from pastors who later fell but they have said some very significant things that helped me.

The question was raised on another post concerning the fear of God. I can say in all honesty I love the fear of God. I know my flesh. I know I am no better then those that fell to outrageous sin because its roots are in me as well. And I know I can count on Satan's help any time I want to compromise and he is waiting to lead me into sin and control me with it.

I need God's power to resist sin but I also need the fear of God. Maybe a better way to say it would be "I don't believe that God manifests His Power in those who do not fear Him."

In looking at the Hebrew and the Greek when we talk about "fear" in the context of fearing God we find that "fear" actually means "fear". Many try to tone it down saying the fear actually means respect. Or as I talked to a pastor once of a church filled with Godlessness on all levels (it was a confrontation). I asked him "well then what does it mean to 'fear' God?" He said, "honestly I don't know". That made sense to me, while he led a Godless church he was doing so without knowing the fear of God or even knowing what it was.

The true lovers of God in the Old Testament knew much about the fear of God. They walked in it and it was to them access to God and to His blessings. In the New Testament the fear of God did not change. Jesus did nothing to abolish the fear of God. We can find much evidence in scripture the even the disciples feared Jesus (I won't list examples here but feel free to ask for them). The early church was dramatically struck with the fear of God (read Acts 5:1-16). People were terrified of rousing God's anger. Think of the children and the adults who came to worship and saw two members dragged out dead from the fellowship because the had lied and God's judgement struck them on the spot. God made sure the early church had a healthy dose of the Fear of God.

All of the Great Revivals and Awakenings were awakenings to the fear of God and to the reality that to "fear God" was actually to fear God. Revival happens when judgement begins with the House of God.

I am convinced that the pastor and pastors who I mentioned lacked a fear of God (I have evidence of this in all cases besides the obvious evidence). When I hear these things I cry out "how could they not have feared the Lord?" When I sin, I cry out and say "how is it that I do not fear the Lord enough to think I sin against Him and think it will go unpunished?"

We don't fear God because he is bad; we fear Him because he is GOOD and our flesh is evil. But with the fear of God in my heart I can cry out "who will rescue me from this body of sin and death" and as I watch my deliver in action I say "thanks be to God through Jesus Christ my Lord!"

I believe many Christians have a fear of God but they feel guilty about it because pastors have tried to steer them away from it. But it is there and if we embrace it; it will lead us into wisdom, Godliness, blessings, and most importantly Knowledge of the Holy God.

I long for a Holy Church and therefore I long for the Fear of God to sweep this nation and the world for the Glory of God.
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#2 Kate Curry

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 10:50 AM

Personally, I'd appreciate even more eruptions of righteous anger and indignation on the part of believers.

 

We live in a fallen world.   God's people have been passing through cycles of renewed faith and devotion to God's love and law degenerating into rebellion against His love and law since Adam and Eve.   Not that I think we should shrug and say, "Oh, well."   As I've commented in other posts, the condition of the Church really distresses me: the lack of courage from pulpits, the dearth of shepherding pastors, the disconnectedness where there should be community and accountability, sound teaching and firm, loving discipline . . .yeah, it's pretty worldly and loosey-goosey.   What should we do?   Besides praying, I mean -- and standing up for the things of God when the occasion calls for boldness.   There are consequences.   


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#3 Speilb

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 10:47 PM

Thanks Kate for you reply.  Part of my struggle is in feeling alone in my anger.  When I was young and in a wonderful church I had such an idealistic view of church.  I have been in a few other fellowships that were likewise wonderful and I have struggled since as God has repeatedly exposed me to what lies beneath the surface of so many that claim His Holy Name.  An it breaks me to know that the agony I experience as I witness false religion hurts His heart so much more.  Beyond that I have seen my failures and even how I supported false religion for a time when I knew better.  

 

At the center of the problem, as I see it, is that in so many places churches have at their helm a man or a group of men.  That is, in my view, an abomination.  Mere men in the flesh cannot lead churches.  The Bride of Christ is led by Christ and churches wanting to be a part of it should look to Him as well.  Mere men are weak and no match for Satan's devises.  But someone who has truly been crucified with Christ is no more a mere man or a woman but has become "Christ-like" and is thus able to lead as an image-bearer of the character and nature of Christ Himself.  This can be achieved through constant reliance on Him.   

 

But what eats me up inside is how so many don't seem to care if a church is led by immoral people or not.  People don't care (based their actions) what goes on as long as people show up and put money in the plate and so long as what happens doesn't make the News. 

 

If I could go back and talk to myself as an idealistic youth I know my younger self would have not believe all the stories I could tell of corruption, immorality, and abuse in churches.  Maybe some who read my posting above might have been inclined to not believe what I said about things I have come in contact with.  I wish that such things could be more rare and I really wish I didn't have to know about such things.  But I guess we must realize our status prior to revival.  Revival must become a Necessity rather then a hope in the minds of believers.  We must cry out for it like a starving man cries out for food or an addict after their addiction.  O Lord Revive us again so that we can once again proclaim your Greatness and Majesty as a beacon to all those who encounter us!   

 

It seems to me that on average in the area I live churches are more corrupt then secular businesses, organizations, and governing bodies.  This leads me to the conclusion that churches have two choices 1) Radical Obedience to Christ and actively seeking out His direction or 2) Compromise a little and sell ourselves into slavery to Satan (to play the role of Gomer in Hosea's terms). 

 

I believe much problems have been caused by poor leadership but If true Christians keep up high standards in churches we will find ourselves isolated to a few fellowships and not so spread out.  From those few impassioned fellowships we could see no less than changing the world for His Glory.  


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#4 Ginger

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 01:13 AM

Some of us are aged and have not what we need to make a difference ... This does not mean it is okay to be irresponsible either.  Many people have stopped going to church, some of us for reasons that God Knows all about.
 
Personally when I was young and failed to live by the Standards of the LORD I didn't excuse it ... I only knew I failed to be and failed to do so came to believe that I was not truly saved else I'd obey....
 
Now what?  Well, ashamedly I do admit that I fail in a different way now.  The immorality ceased and for this I do thank God for effecting change inwardly and outwardly.   I'd tried and failed ... God did not fail and only He KNOWS all things.

 

One day many years ago I do believe the Holy Spirit gave the words spoken to another and that closed the door to a sinful relationship.  So I was grateful to the LORD and knew I was not the person who had accomplished anything but God did accomplish what was done.
 
Some people are failing to do and only God can empower the changes in a human... Being irresponsible can be so easily spoken about, being able to change is sometimes beyond making a choice to do this that or the other. The Spirit of God makes the changes.  We change our minds and come to know we don't know all that much.....bowing our hearts to God and beseeching Him to change us as He wills leaves me to rely on God and decrease to a nothingness and God making something in me, all by faith not my views of whatever.  Some call it or label it surrender. 
 
What does God see?  Well, what comes to mind is God looks on the heart and man looks on outward appearances even about them self.
 
Being broken and being angry leaves only one place to go to be healed and to seek God and let Him have all failures, and all things regardless of what we think, or say, or do....
 
What will honor God when a person is for whatever reason failing by personal or others' standards?
 
God KNOWS, I refuse to continue trying to figure out what is or isn't but rather seek God's face the only way I know how to.  There are teachers who are sincere and honestly do teach Truth by the Spirit of Truth.  What is in their personal life I may know a bit about but God knows the heart of each man and of each woman. 
 
The ministry you've written about... back years ago when the man you named publicly spoke out about another minister's failings and sins... well, I said Brother and called his name saying, "you are next".  

 

Reckon it's good to have some things exposed .... GOD KNOWS... I'm to focus on prayer and for Salvation to the uttermost for each person I get plumb peodified about.  Especially anyone who fleases any flock or any sheep of God's.  Each person matters to God and He is able to save each of us to the uttermost.
 
What angered me was the new Christians who would fall and only God could catch them and hold them ... Now I agree with Chris (Radar) ... people are being 'sifted by the Lord'...
 
Only the presence of the Lord in our life truly matters.  Do I see God's presence in my own life?  Not really.  Why not?  Again, GOD KNOWS.
 
It may seem ludicrous to say but say it or write it I shall by the grace of a most merciful God.
 
I don't see Christ in me.  I have to take it by faith and in all things cry out to Him for His will and for His glory to be shown as He deems best.  I don't know what to do when I can't do things and only trust the LORD KNOWS. The LORD CARES.  The LORD Supplies.  It's all about Jesus and what He did to save us to the uttermost.

 

If I could see Christ in me I may be so busy with that that I'd fail to seek Him with all of my heart

 

In spite of seeing nothing but my faults, failings somehow the beauty of the Lord is something I believe I see with my spirit.
 
All I can do is come to Jesus and trust Him to pick me up whenever I stumble.  It is only by faith in what Jesus does and my sight and discernment may seem very dim...

 

God please help us to obey you in all things and to enjoy you for all that you are and do.  Grant us to use the measure of faith you have given us.  Please and thank you, amen.

 

Well, so much for all these words.

 

GOD KNOWS, humans suppose.

 

in Christ by faith,

Ginger

 

If this post is only a bunch of meaningless words and does not glorify God all I can now pray by faith. Please God,  forgive me.  O to bless the Lord ... in the beauty of His holiness..... Please grant us to experience your grace and tender mercies Dear Lord and thank you so very much, amen.


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#5 Kevin Blankenship

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 08:47 AM

SpeilB,  I have felt the very same way when I would hear preachers quickly 'explain away' the 'fear of God'. They would say (almost 100% of them) that fear in the context of the verse such as: "Fear God and keep His commandments" or another, New Testament verse: "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."

   People, even preachers, are EVER-AFRAID that they might lose some of their members if word gets out that those verses mean EXACTLY what they say.  I think that a healthy FEAR of God is perfectly healthy for the soul who is trudging the narrow way.

   You had many more poist in your excellent original post, but the one that I commented on really caught me.  Great thread.


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#6 Kate Curry

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 11:13 AM

You got me thinking about the fear of God.   If you believe in God, as He has revealed himself in the Bible, you will seek to know Him better and to be pleasing to Him, to submit to His Rule.   Right?   That's why I watch or listen to some of the shenanigans of professed Christian leaders -- and layfolk -- and wonder, "Does he/she even believe in God?"   Because you would be in awe and fear of One who is omnipotent, immortal, invisible, in light inaccessible -- except as He tenderly or sternly reveals Himself to us individually and communally.   The older I get, the more familiar yet more mysterious God is to me.  

 

There have always been wolves among the sheep.   I take a lot of comfort in Jesus saying "I know my sheep and they know me and they won't follow a false shepherd" (paraphrasing)   There's nourishment, health and protection for a flock that has a worthy under-shepherd, but there are so many unworthy ones.   Was it always like this?    People go off track.   Discernment, mercy and restoration should prevail when that happens, but how can that be if Christians are NOT connected, don't know what's going on with each other?   

 

Thank you for bearing with my meandering musings.  


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#7 noah22x

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 05:16 AM

Yes. This very topic has been sharpening in my focus here of late. Thank you for sharing this brother. May God bless you, Noah


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#8 Speilb

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 06:46 AM

Thanks for the comments. 

 

Ginger, thank you for your post and transparency.  There is this great mystery that was kept hidden for ages and generations, a mystery our great forefathers in the OT longed to know, which is this - Christ in us!  By this we mean the Holy Spirit which is the Spirit of Christ and is the Spirit of Holiness.   Evidence of the Spirit is holiness (though our flesh gets in the way sometimes) so reforming our sinful lives for the glory of God is an evidence of the Spirit.  Paul was clear, he knew that if there was anything good in or about him it was only because of the Spirit within him.  So ANYTHING good (anything that reflects God's goodness) out of Paul was evidence of Christ in Him.  When you share with people and they understand the gospel that is evidence of Christ in us.  When we understand the scriptures that is evidence of the Holy Spirit teaching us.  When we have the energy to do His will that is because of Christ in us as well.  I cannot speak as an expert on Ginger but I recon that there is quite a lot of evidence of Christ in you that others can see in you.  Unfortunately Christ in us doesn't mean sinless perfection (yet) but it does mean a regime change in our heart and an effort to rid ourselves of the strongholds of the old regime.  

 

Kevin, thank you for your post it is encouraging to me that others see some of the same things I see.  I think your right, fear of congregations often trumps fear of God.  Yet as much as we want to rid ourselves of the fear of God somewhere in the human heart God has placed a fear of Him that at most we can suppress but we cannot really get rid of.  I think that is why such great effort has to be put in by many who wish to discredit the concept of the fear of God.      

 

Kate, I appreciate your thoughts.  Your right that there have always been wolves among the sheep.  The problem I had until recently (thanks to Paul Washer) was I started to define the Church by the wolves rather than by the sheep.  In the truest sense the Church is only made up of sheep but it is easy do get distracted by visible churches rather then see the true Bride of Christ, His Church.   You asked also about false shepherds and has it always been like this.  Clearly prior to the Reformation it was at least this bad and likely worse.  Paul also seems to have had deep struggles with false teachers and wolves in sheep's clothing.  It pained him to be away from the churches filled with people he loved like children because he knew that as soon as he would leave wolves would come in and try to deceive and lead out of a desire for power and even out of a desire to stir up trouble for Paul while he was gone.  So I guess that is an encouragement that the fight is not a new one and that God has grown His Church while such battles have raged on in the past.    

 

Noah, thank you for your encouragement.  A book (on CD) that started me on this journey was Holiness by Henry Blackaby which I would recommend to anyone.  If God is talking to you about the fear of God then this might be a great book for you as well. 


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#9 Ginger

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 08:03 AM

Speilb,
 
Thank you for sharing with personal comments.
 
Long, long ago I was upset about a ministry and had heard many people share their belief and opinion.  Then I seemed to be sidetracked by the LORD and became grateful for a spiritual gear shift as I view it as a person past 70.
 
The one Scripture I have 'cringe' over that lets me come front and center with 'the fear of the Lord' is that some will hear Jesus say depart from me for I never knew you.  And reading and praying while reading the chapter and some commentaries and listening to those I've come to believe are truly godly persons and have the gift of teaching lets me have my mere human opinions and then seek the Holy Spirit to pray in me and help me to learn what God says and what God wants.  Do I succeed in getting answers.  Yes, sometimes I've gotten referred to read and pray about Peter saying, what about him?   or Come unto me all ye who are weary and heavy laden. 
 
Well, I pray for you as a younger brother and can sense in my spirit some things that God has done and is doing and praise God.
 
One thing I'm consciously aware of about myself is that without the Holy Spirit working in me even for the most minute accomplishment I will miss the mark and get into leaning to my own understanding ... this usually has a psychological view in part and that can be so derailing.  Labels and judgments have to be brought to God before I can let the peace of God rule and reign in my heart.
 
All of the things that have a 'should' or 'ought' are not the way my Lord Jesus deals with me.  I'm blessed and in spite of all my faults and concerns.  Why?  Well, when Jesus has His Spirit minister to me by a post, or a Bible teaching or a Bible search on one word my mind becomes stayed on Him.  This is what I come to in my older years.  Jesus paid for me in full and I still can use the Bible to beat myself up with.
 
As for all the false prophets or anyone who is doing what I consider diabolical things and have some high position in any church well, the Dear LORD lets me know that HE KNOWS ALL ABOUT them and I'm to remember that Jesus said, "I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it."
 
I write for therapeutic purposes for the most part.  And believe this is a tool God has let me use and I'm to remember He is Sovereign regardless of how I think or feel about myself especially.  Then to carry a Bible thought in my mind about the sins of another praying for a spirit of repentance. 
 
Reckon anger has robbed me of right thinking and the spiritual cost has and is still something my Lord Jesus paid for.
 
What do I do to serve the Lord?  Reckon only Hope and Pray that I learn, to learn, to learn to... day by day, moment by moment I have to have faith and just trust that Christ in me the hope of glory, Give thanks for His grace and His tender mercies and do my utmost to not opinionize .... if I opinionize instead of seek grace for the moment then I have a lot of things that overwhelm me. 
 
Well, thank you and God bless you.  May God's will be done and May God be given glory ...
 
I don't know what I know but God KNOWS.
 
Love and prayers,
Ginger
 
My fear of the Lord verses with commentary.  I have no idea how long this will be and apologize if the length is offensive.  Trust God for it too...

(Mat 7:23 KJV)
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

(Barnes)
Mat 7:23
Profess unto them - Say unto them; plainly declare.
I never knew you - That is, I never approved of your conduct; never loved you; never regarded you as my friends. See Psa_1:6; 2Ti_2:19; 1Co_8:3. This proves that, with all their pretensions, they had never been true followers of Christ. Jesus will not then say to false prophets and false professors of religion that he had once known them and then rejected them; that they had been once Christians and then had fallen away; that they had been pardoned and then had apostatized but that he had never known them - they had never been true christians. Whatever might have been their pretended joys, their raptures, their hopes, their self-confidence, their visions, their zeal, they had never been regarded by the Saviour as his true friends. I do not know of a more decided proof that Christians do not fall from grace than this text. It settles the question; and proves that whatever else such people had, they never had any true religion. See 1Jo_2:19.

(Mat 25:41 KJV)
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

(Barnes)
Mat 25:41
On the left hand - The wicked.
Ye cursed - That is, you who are devoted to destruction, whose characters deserve everlasting punishment, and who are about to enter into it. “To curse” is the opposite of “to bless.” It implies a negation of all the blessings of heaven, and a positive infliction of eternal sufferings.
Everlasting fire - “Fire,” here, is used to denote punishment. The image is employed to express extreme suffering, as a death by burning is one of the most horrible that can be conceived. The image was taken, probably, from the fires burning in the Valley of Hinnom. See the notes at Mat_5:22. It has been asked whether the wicked will be burned in literal fire, and the common impression has been that they will be. Respecting that, however, it is to be observed:
1. that the main truth intended to be taught refers not to the manner of suffering, but to the certainty and intensity of it.
2. that the design, therefore, was to present an image of terrific and appalling suffering - an image well represented by fire
3. that this image was well known to the Jews Isa_66:24, and therefore expressed the idea in a very strong manner.
4. that all the truth that Christ intended to convey appears to be expressed in the certainty, intensity, and eternity of future torment.
5. that there is no distinct affirmation respecting the mode of that punishment, where the mode was the subject of discourse.
6. that to us it is a subject of comparatively little consequence what will be the mode of punishment.
The fact that the wicked will be eternally punished, cursed of God, should awe every spirit, and lead every man to strive most earnestly to secure his salvation. As, however, the “body” will be raised, it is not unreasonable to suppose that a mode of punishment will be adopted suited to the body - perhaps bearing some analogy to suffering here, in its various forms of flames, and racks, and cold, and heat, and disease, and ungratified desire, and remorse - perhaps the concentration of all earthly woes, all that makes man miserable here, poured upon the naked body and spirit of the wicked in hell forever and ever.
Prepared for the devil - The devil is the prince of evil spirits. This place of punishment was suited for him when he rebelled against God, Jud_1:6; Rev_12:8-9.
His angels - His messengers, his servants, or those angels that he drew off from heaven by his rebellion, and whom he has employed as his “messengers” to do evil. The word may extend also to all his followers - fallen angels or people. There is a remarkable difference between the manner in which the righteous will be addressed, and the wicked. Christ will say to the one that the kingdom was prepared for them; to the other, that the fire was not prepared for “them,” but for another race of beings. they will inherit it because they have the same character “as the devil,” and are therefore suited to the same place - not because it was originally “prepared for them.”

(Luk 5:8 KJV)
When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.

(Barnes)
Luk 5:8
When Simon Peter saw it - Saw the great amount of fishes; the remarkable success of letting down the net.
He fell down at Jesus’ knees - This was a common posture of “supplication.” He had no doubt now of the power and knowledge of Jesus. In amazement, wonder, and gratitude, and not doubting that he was in the presence of some divine being, he prostrated himself to the earth, trembling and afraid. So should sinful people “always” throw themselves at the feet of Jesus at the proofs of his power; so should they humble themselves before him at the manifestations of his goodness.
Depart from me - This is an expression of Peter’s humility, and of his consciousness of his unworthiness. It was not from want of love to Jesus; it did not show that he would not be pleased with his favor and presence; but it was the result of being convinced that Jesus was a messenger from God - a high and holy being; and he felt that he was unworthy to be in his presence. In his deep consciousness of sin, therefore, he requested that Jesus would depart from him and his little vessel. Peter’s feeling was not unnatural, though it was not proper to request Jesus to leave him. It was an involuntary, sudden request, and arose from ignorance of the character of Jesus. We “are” not worthy to be with him, to be reckoned among his friends, or to dwell in heaven with him; but he came to seek the lost and to save the impure. He graciously condescends to dwell with those who are humble and contrite, though they are conscious that they are not worthy of his presence; and we may therefore come boldly to him, and ask him to receive us to his home - to an eternal dwelling with him in the heavens.

(Luk 13:27 KJV)
But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.

(Barnes)
Luk 13:27
See the notes at Mat_7:23.

(2Co 12:8 KJV)
For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

(Barnes)
2Co 12:8
For this thing - On account of this; in order that this calamity might be removed.
I besought the Lord - The word “Lord” in the New Testament, when it stands without any other word in connection to limit its signification, commonly denotes the Lord Jesus Christ; see the note on Act_1:24. The following verse here shows conclusively that it was the Lord Jesus to whom Paul addressed this prayer. The answer was that his grace was sufficient for him; and Paul consoled himself by saying that it was a sufficient support if the power of Christ implied in that answer, should rest on him. He would glory in trials if such was their result. Even Rosenmuller maintains that it was the Lord Jesus to whom this prayer was addressed, and says that the Socinians themselves admit it. So Grotius (on 2Co_12:9) says that the answer was given by Christ. But if this refers to the Lord Jesus, then it proves that it is right to go to him in times of trouble, and that it is right to worship him. Prayer is the most solemn act of adoration which we can perform; and no better authority can be required for paying divine honors to Christ than the fact that Paul worshipped him and called upon him to remove a severe and grievous calamity.
Thrice - This may either mean that he prayed for this often, or that he sought it on three set and solemn occasions. Many commentators have supposed that the former is meant. But to me it seems probable that Paul on three special occasions earnestly prayed for the removal of this calamity. It will be recollected that the Lord Jesus prayed three times in the garden of Gethsemane that the cup might be removed from him, Mat_26:44. At the third time he ceased, and submitted to what was the will of God. There is some reason to suppose that the Jews were in the habit of praying three times for any important blessing or for the removal of any calamity; and Paul in this would not only conform to the usual custom, but especially he would he disposed to imitate the example of the Lord Jesus. Among the Jews three was a sacred number, and repeated instances occur where an important transaction is mentioned as having been done thrice; see Num_22:28; Num_24:10; 1Sa_3:8; 1Sa_20:41; 1Ki_18:44; Pro_22:20; Jer_7:4; Jer_22:29; Joh_21:17.
The probability, therefore, is, that Paul on three different occasions earnestly besought the Lord Jesus that this calamity might be removed from him. It might have been exceedingly painful, or it might, as he supposed, interfere with his success as a preacher; or it might have been of such a nature as to expose him to ridicule; and he prayed, therefore, if it were possible that it might be taken away. The passage proves that it is right to pray earnestly and repeatedly for the removal of any calamity. The Saviour so prayed in the garden; and Paul so prayed here. Yet it also proves that there should be a limit to such prayers. The Saviour prayed three times; and Paul limited himself to the same number of petitions and then submitted to the will of God. This does not prove that we should be limited to exactly this number in our petitions; but it proves that there should be a limit; that we should not be over-anxious, and that when it is plain from any cause that the calamity will not be removed, we should submit to it.
The Saviour in the garden knew that the cup would not be removed, and he acquiesced. Paul was told indirectly that his calamity would not be removed, and he submitted. We may expect no such revelation from heaven, but we may know in other ways that the calamity will not be removed; and we should submit. The child or other friend for whom we prayed may die; or the calamity, as, e. g., blindness, or deafness, or loss of health, or poverty, may become permanent, so that there is no hope of removing it; and we should then cease to pray that it may be removed, and we should cheerfully acquiesce in the will of God. So David prayed most fervently for his child when it was alive; when it was deceased, and it was of no further use to pray for it, he bowed in submission to the will of God, 2Sa_12:20.


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#10 Charles Miles

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 08:39 AM

A very interesting topic to discuss and probably one that we all won`t agree on.  As I think back through the OT to those who were transported to heaven and actually saw God`s throne and figures that "appeared" to be there(but not actually described as "seeing" God), and we listen to their words to describe what they saw....was there fear?  You bet there was! "Woe is me..."  "I became undone..".  These responses tell me that to be in the presence of almighty God is totally out of the ability of man to imagine or to even express what happens.  Experiences such as those men had would be beyond anything any of us have ever come upon and yes, there would be fear.....a bunch of it.

 

Now, after saying that, let me tell you about my father(little f, my earthly fater).  Dad was a big man, a tough man, and a fair man, but he also loved me and I loved him.  When I disobeyed him, crossed him, caused trouble in our household, he was tough....I mean really tough and he was a man of swift, immediate, justice.  He was a man to be feared when he was not pleased.  Now, when dad and I were working together, hunting, or when I was in his favor, he was so full of love for me that it just oozed out of him.  Really the love was there all the time.....even when I was being punished.  When I was "out of favor", dad was to be feared(for good cause), but when I was "in favor" he was a man so full of obvious love that I didn`t "fear" him at all.....I just sat on his lap and put my arms around my father`s neck and loved on him as he loved on me. Oh, those were sweet memories and times.

 

Now, allow me to get back to our heavenly Father(big F). Do I fear God?  Yes, but only when I know I`m doing things that displease Him, because I am "out of favor" with Him and He is displeased with me.  God loves me and has loved me since before time began....and that will not change....ever!  But do I fear Him?  Well, can we define fear as "reverential awe"?  Were we to stand in the presence of God this afternonn, observe His magnifiicence, His power, His omniscience, His omnipotence, and His justice, I`m sure all of us would stand there in awe-struck manner, feelings of worthlessness would overwhelm us, feelings of uncleanliness would simply mash us into the ground(or whatever we were standing on.  Hey, here`s a news flash.....we are standing there every day, every second, all the time.  Fear....absolute, penitrating, unrelenting, immobilizing fear.....that is not where children of God should ever live.  Can we live in that sort of situation?  Yes.  But we do not have to do that for any longer than it takes for us to repent and ask forgiveness from our God who loves us.

 

Words from a song my late wife wrote several years ago(or at least a paraphrase):

 

"He says I love you

    I say I don`t deserve it"

"He says I love you

    I say I don`t understand it"

"He says, I love you

   I say please forgive me"

"He says....I already have"

 

    When we accept Christ as savior, repent, and say the Christ is Lord,(then do all we can to live it), we are then children of God...because He said so.  Now, we as chilgren have a special place in the Father`s heart and have the opportunity to have a very special relationship with our Father(Abba) in heaven.  We even have an advocate standing at the right hand of the Father interceeding on our behalf.  I am in absolute awe of God and I do my best to reverence Him all the time.....but I fail.  I try again....and I often fail.  I keep trying....I will never, never stop trying to follow what God wants....but I do fail at times.  Rev Swaggert had a failure several years ago but his was a bit more public than mine....but we both failed(although my failures aren`t in the same area as his were).  I don`t pattern my life after Rev Swaggert or any other man here on earth....they are not my yardstick by which to compare my life.  My relationship with God is MINE, only mine, and is MY responsibility to maintain.  What others do with the prevenient grace of God, I cannot control.  I do not get angry, but I do get dissappointed sometimes....most often the dissappointment is because of me and my failures. 

 

Am I afraid of God?  Well let`s see..He is Just, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Eternal, Holy, Omnipresent, and much more, but He is ABBA to me...my Father, my Savior, and my Trust.  I am in absolute awe of Him and I love Him.....but He loves me with a love that is totally incomprehensible to me.  I hold God in reverential awe and I love Him because He arrainged a relationship for us that is also incomprtehensible.  So, here is my answer....no, I am not "afraid" of my God.  I can go to Him any time to discuss whatever....and He is always there....ALWAYS.  Is He mad at me?  He says He isn`t.  He says He doesn`t even remember my sins and will be my God. He has always done what He said He would do, and all He has ever asked is that we believe what He says.

 

Praise God because He is who He is,


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#11 Ginger

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 02:17 PM

Thank you Charlie!

Your share about your earthly father and your heavenly Father and you yourself too. Thank you for the song your late wife wrote too.

 

One time years after the incident I told my Daddy I was sorry for something and asked him to forgive me.  Daddy said, "I forgave you a long time ago."

 

My Abba Father forgave me a long time ago too.  He promised and Jesus promised and now all I can do is accept, believe Him and to continually say, "God KNOWS".... And thank Him....

 

Thank you Abba Father.  Thank you my Lord Jesus.  Thank you blessed Holy Spirit.  Triune God please keep us in your tender mercies and teach each of us. You sustain us moment by moment and grant us to remain in Christ by faith, hope, love. Knowing you and obeying you by the Holy Spirit is a priceless gift.  Please help us to think, do and thank you, in Christ Jesus name, amen.

 

Jesus paid it all

All to Him I owe

Sin had left a crimson stain

He washed it white as snow.

 

Faith, Hope, Love.

 

May I love God with all of my heart, all of my soul, all of my strength

May I love my fellow human beings as He loved and loves me.

May the Holy Spirit make this so.

Please and thank you.......

 

Thank each one of you for sharing from your hearts .....

 

God bless.

 

Love and Prayers,

Ginger



#12 Speilb

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 09:45 PM

Charles, thank you your thoughts and how you expressed them.  For me personally feel free to say "I think Speilb is wrong" and then spell out a Biblical argument.  Such a format allows me to have more clarity.  And in some posts (not yours) I think I get confused because people are trying to say things in a round about and personal way rather then stating their belief.  I also perceive you to be one that can handle a direct discussion so let me come right at your points and may we use this to move towards the Truth. 

 

Let me also say that I really appreciate the comments you make on this forum and almost always agree with what you say.  Here however, I do disagree.  Your perspective is more common then mine at this point in history in this country but I believe mine in more inline with the revivals of the past, men like Tozer, and in places like China, and other places where Christianity is growing.  But what really matters is God says concerning this.

 

Please excuse my directness but Biblical Truth is our goal. 

As I think back through the OT to those who were transported to heaven and actually saw God`s throne and figures that "appeared" to be there(but not actually described as "seeing" God), and we listen to their words to describe what they saw....was there fear?  You bet there was! "Woe is me..."  "I became undone..". 

 

I agree with your thoughts here behind your words.  But don't agree when you say "but not actually described as "seeing God".  You then go on to quote from a passage where God is clearly described as being seen.  "I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne;" is previous to what you quoted.  Did he see the full Glory of God - No.  He saw enough to loose it and be "undone" but I agree what he experienced was not the full Glory of God.  Moses saw God as well again it was no-where even close to God's full Glory (But still enough that the Glory hung around on his face and I think we can clearly say that he was never the same afterward).  Again however, I do agree with your general thoughts here.  I would interpret 1 John 4:12 to mean that "no one has every seen God in full glory".  This may seem like a minor point here and splitting hairs but in dealing with the word of God there is no such thing as a minor point. 

 

 When I was "out of favor", dad was to be feared(for good cause), but when I was "in favor" he was a man so full of obvious love that I didn`t "fear" him at all.....I just sat on his lap and put my arms around my father`s neck and loved on him as he loved on me. Oh, those were sweet memories and times.

 

Again I agree with you here but our understanding is different.  You say you didn't fear your father other then when you acted wrongly.  I would say that you lived in constant fear of your father.  It wasn't debilitating fear and it didn't keep you from enjoying your time with your father. But I would say fear was something you grew up seeing as a normal part of your life.  Simply put your young mind said "If I behave well I can enjoy my time with my father but if not our time together will be compromised by pain" and therefore you tried to behave, to me that is fear.  My boy and I get along great but I think he understands that if he misbehaves I will punish him.  He also knows that after I punish him he can put his arms around my neck and I will hold him until he is done crying.  His fear of me doesn't compromise his knowledge of my love for him.  I also think his fear of me allows us to have good times together.  Fear and love coexist wonderfully.  Those whose fathers were fearful because of things like alcohol or mental instability often don't have as good of a relationship with their fathers.  Similarly those who have no fear of their earthly fathers almost always grow to up dislike their father.   

 

With God I don't believe we step in and out of His favor.  I believe we can be positionally in His favor and yet fear Him.    

 

Hey, here`s a news flash.....we are standing there every day, every second, all the time.  Fear....absolute, penitrating, unrelenting, immobilizing fear.....that is not where children of God should ever live. 

 

I agree.

 

Also the quote from your late wife are beautiful and wonderful.

 

The next paragraph I was in full agreement until the end when you said

 

 

 

 Rev Swaggert had a failure several years ago but his was a bit more public than mine....but we both failed(although my failures aren`t in the same area as his were).  I don`t pattern my life after Rev Swaggert or any other man here on earth....they are not my yardstick by which to compare my life.  My relationship with God is MINE, only mine, and is MY responsibility to maintain.  What others do with the prevenient grace of God, I cannot control.  I do not get angry, but I do get dissappointed sometimes....most often the dissappointment is because of me and my failures. 

 

I take this somewhat as a critique on my anger at the disgusting situation I described above.   If I am right to take it this way let me say "thank you" for your boldness, concern, and Christian love for me and those that read this and in expressing your belief. 

 

In response first let me say that anger at sin doesn't equate to self-righteousness.  It is quite possible to be angry at sin and still be humble.  When I see these failures, as mentioned above I recognize that I am no better and it makes me fear to stray away from God.  I live in the flesh as well it is the same blood in my veins.  Again, they didn't decide to fall in dramatic fashion they decided on much smaller compromises and were then swept away.  I am very grateful that God has protected me while many who are my superiors in virtually every way have failed.  I am also angry at my own sin.  I indeed do hate my flesh and its works.  They motivate me to not be a casualty as I battle in the same war.  I don't look down on these individuals who committed great sins against God.  But I also don't want them to continue in their sin or continue to lead others.  Would I go out of my way to help any one of the pastors who fell? Absolutely and I have in many cases, but I have also advised others to leave their care. 

 

Secondly, I disagree you on minding your own spiritual walk and that you can claim your spiritual walk as "MINE" (When we are members of a body and each part is to be helped and to help the other members).  I also disagree with not standing up against evil from those who call themselves brothers.  Yes, we must start with ourselves.  We must first remove the log from our own eye but we are also responsible for helping our brother.  We are our brother's keeper.  I believe the world judges us because we don't judge ourselves enough.  The world looks at us and says "Christians endorse sin" because we don't stand up against outrageous sins from the pulpit and elsewhere.  The catholic church didn't deal with sin and now the ungodly judge them because they didn't judge themselves.  We need to fight this stuff.  Don't we know that a little yeast will work through the whole batch of dough?  Many Christians were alarmed at Bill Clinton's actions, but such a thing happens in the church and they are often the ones to sweep it under the rug.  I can tell you I didn't loose sleep over the Clinton thing but I have about those who claim to be brother's but act in extreme depravity and wound the name of Christ.  If I talk to people about being angry at someone saying a racist thing to my wife, or about someone calling my daughter ugly, or calling me a "worthless piece of trash" people would, in general go along with my anger (though such things really don't upset me).  But if I am angry at wolves in sheep's clothing for dragging the most exalted name through the mud and putting hurdles in the way of people's salvation, people want to tone me down.    

 

A major denomination a while back became upset at their seminaries.  The churches rose up and fought to take back the seminaries and now the future pastors who come through their doors are being taught under a belief system that says the the Word of God is Perfect!  Thank God that they did not sit on their hands while the denomination destroyed itself from the professors to the pastors and on down. 

 

Paul confronted sin with boldness.  He named names and he judged people's actions and intentions (any time I make a Biblical claim but don't give references feel free to ask me for them, I will GLADLY give them).  He also instructed a church to turn someone over to Satan.  He passed judgement on sin from a distance and gave instructions on getting rid of someone from their own fellowship.  Yet, we likely all consider him to be deeply humble and righteous in his actions.  Jesus was a man of sorrows who was angry at the sins he saw among the religious leaders and he spoke with boldness and clarity against them.  The more in-depth you study Jesus' words the more you will find his words to the corrupt religious leaders to be offensive and confrontational (hint: look up what he quotes from the Old Testament and get the context because the religious leaders knew the context of what Jesus quoted).   David was angry at Goliath for his lack of fear of the one true God.  The church in Ephesus "hated" the practices of the Nicolaitians.  Should they have hated the practices of the Nicolaitians was that very Christian of them?  Isn't that too strong I mean "hate" is a very strong word.  Well God commended them in this and adds His agreement "which I also hate" (Rev 2:6).  If you want to do a study on these people you will find that it is a very relevant example (no matter which school of thought you follow on who they were or what they believed).  We should also note that this verse wasn't talking about hating the people but only hating their actions. 

 

I could give example after example of anger towards those who corrupted the gospel and used a religious covering to hide sin.  There are some, I recon more responsible for confronting such things in the church than others but I think we all have a part to play in working towards purity in the churches so that the Name of God will be hallowed when they see our righteous lives.  I have confronted people often.  In a number of cases I confronted pastors before they fell.  I have confronted many individuals as well and have seen some turn from sin.  I have also had people come back to me at a later time and said "you were right" and I was able to respond with "ok, now are you ready to surrender to Jesus and follow His path?".  I do believe that God used me to confront a number of people who were on the path to hell and are now citizens of Heaven.  If I had simply worried about my own spiritual journey I could not say that.   

 

 

Am I afraid of God?  Well let`s see..He is Just, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Eternal, Holy, Omnipresent, and much more, but He is ABBA to me...my Father, my Savior, and my Trust.  I am in absolute awe of Him and I love Him.....but He loves me with a love that is totally incomprehensible to me.  I hold God in reverential awe and I love Him because He arrainged a relationship for us that is also incomprtehensible.  So, here is my answer....no, I am not "afraid" of my God.  I can go to Him any time to discuss whatever....and He is always there....ALWAYS.  Is He mad at me?  He says He isn`t.  He says He doesn`t even remember my sins and will be my God. He has always done what He said He would do, and all He has ever asked is that we believe what He says.

 

Let me be clear.  I don't believe in being afraid of God in the sense of wanting to run from him.  With God our fear of Him is always balanced by our being drawn to Him.  I also don't believe God is mad at believers.  What I am saying is that God should be feared and we should walk in the fear of God.  He is our King and we should see him as such.

 

In the New Testament their is a phrase used for believers.  It is "God-fearing".  Repeatedly this term is used (often as part of a longer title that includes their nationality such as "God-fearing Greeks).  We have to say that the OT and NT repeatedly talk about the fear of God.  We have to deal with the truth that real people saw God judge Ananias and Saphira and they were struck with more then "reverential awe" they were struck with fear.  There are terms that God could have used instead of fear in scripture.  When he means "reverence", "awe", or "respect", he says it - there were words for those concepts.  But in my study I can conclude nothing other then that "fear" means fear in Greek and in Hebrew.  Furthermore more often I have seen translations choose other words when possible.   For example "Great" as in "Great and Awesome God" could also just as correctly have been translated "fearful".  

 

I am willing to change my opinion.  There was a time in my life where I desired nothing more then to believe as others believe on this point.  I have been ridiculed for my view.  But, now I have come to love the fear of God. Yet, if someone can show me how I have misread the verses or can present a case based on the Hebrew and Greek that the translators of the scripture were inaccurate I will change.  Of course, I cannot change based on the wisdom of man.   

 

The fear of God has been a blessing to me.  I love being a God-fearing person and I wish it on everyone.   



#13 Ginger

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 03:46 AM

Speilb,
 
As an old woman who is only a Christian by the Grace and The Tender Mercies of God and feel as though I am a deplorable excuse of a Christian example if people only see my failures and can't see my heart.      ... leaning toward what my Brother Charlie says more so than what your focus about Brother Charlie seems to portray.  Mercy please God and your wisdom, corrections, and comforts.  Please grant me to be kind but also to honor you respectfully, reverentially, and to have the fear of the Lord in proper measure as God means for me to have it.  To love the Lord with all my heart .... I'm so grateful that God showed David mercy and saw his heart.... Also, I respect Paul's teachings and his admonitions to Christians.  Paul did address issues and had the position and the God given authority to do so, In no way am I qualified to disagree with a brother in Christ in a harsh and unmerciful manner.  Only by the grace and tender mercies of God do I even exist and only God sustains me through all of my failure and I do 'trust' Him else I would have no hope.  So I thank God for e-Sword for a beginning study on Fear of God.  Hopefully I will come to know how to correct errors in judgment and to truly obey God and surrender any opinionizing about any brother or sister in Christ ... my ignorance may be a blessing after all.  Sometimes a younger Christian may miss something an older Christian has learned and is learning through grief and much sorrow.  I pray to not inflict sorrow or judgment on anyone because we each fail and have enough on our own plate.  As to the ministry you speak of ..... Well, I refrain from writing but will continue to pray for anyone who is needing to be extracted from whatever they need extracted from... GOD KNOWS.... will post what came up in a Bible search for Fear of God.  Bless you to be all that God wants for you, in Jesus most holy name, please and thank you, amen.
 
Please forgive me if the words I post are not coming out right.  I do respect you too.
 
In faith, hope, love and mercy.... Thanking God for Isaiah 53 too.  Need to grow a lot more and surrender a lot more too.
 
Your sister in Christ,
Ginger
_________________________________________________________________________________
 
the fear of God

(Gen 20:11 KJV)
And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife's sake.

(2Sa 23:3 KJV)
The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.

(2Ch 20:29 KJV)
And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the LORD fought against the enemies of Israel.

(Neh 5:15 KJV)
But the former governors that had been before me were chargeable unto the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, beside forty shekels of silver; yea, even their servants bare rule over the people: but so did not I, because of the fear of God.

(Barnes)
Neh 5:15
Forty shekels of silver - A daily sum from the entire province. For such a table as that kept by Nehemiah Neh_5:18, this would be a very moderate payment.

(Psa 36:1 KJV)
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David the servant of the LORD. The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.

(Barnes)
Psa 36:1
The transgression of the wicked - There is considerable difficulty in respect to the grammatical construction of the Hebrew in this verse, though the general sense is plain. The main idea undoubtedly is, that the fair explanation of the conduct of the wicked, or the fair inference to be derived from that conduct was, that they had no fear of God before them; that they did in no proper way regard or fear God. The psalmist introduces himself as looking at the conduct or the acts of the wicked, and he says that their conduct can be explained, in his judgment, or “in his heart,” in no other way than on this supposition. The word “transgression” here refers to some open and public act. What the particular act was the psalmist does not state, though probably it had reference to something which had been done to himself. What is here said, however, with particular reference to his enemies, may be regarded as a general truth in regard to the wicked, to wit, that their conduct is such that the fair interpretation of what they do is, that there is no “fear of God before their eyes,” or that they have no regard for his will.
Saith - This word - נאם ne'ûm - is a participle from a verb, נאם nâ'am, meaning to mutter; to murmur; to speak in a low voice; and is employed especially with reference to the divine voice in which the oracles of God were revealed to the prophets. Compare 1Ki_19:12. It is found most commonly in connection with the word “Lord” or “Yahweh,” expressed by the phrase “Saith the Lord,” as if the oracle were the voice of Yahweh. Gen_22:16; Num_14:28; Isa_1:24; Isa_3:15, “et saepe.” It is correctly rendered here “saith;” or, the “saying” of the transgression of the wicked is, etc. That is, this is what their conduct “says;” or, this is the fair interpretation of their conduct.
Within my heart - Hebrew: “in the midst of my heart.” Evidently this means in my judgment; in my apprehension; or, as we should say, “So it seems or appears to me.” My heart, or my judgment, puts this construction on their conduct, and can put no other on it.
That there is “no fear of God - No reverence for God; no regard for his will. The sinner acts without any restraint derived from the law or the will of God.
Before his eyes - He does not see or apprehend God; he acts as if there were no God. This is the fair interpretation to be put upon the conduct of the wicked “everywhere” - that they have no regard for God or his law.

(Rom 3:18 KJV)
There is no fear of God before their eyes.

(Barnes)
Rom 3:18
There is no fear of God - Psa_36:1. The word “fear” here denotes “reverence, awe, veneration.” There is no such regard or reverence for the character, authority, and honor of God as to restrain them from crime. Their conduct shows that they are not withheld from the commission of iniquity by any regard to the fear or favor of God. The only thing that will be effectual in restraining people from sin, will be a regard to the honor and Law of God.
In regard to these quotations from the Old Testament, we may make the following remarks.
(1) They fully establish the position of the apostle, that the nation, as such, was far from being righteous, or that they could be justified by their own works. By quotations from no less than six distinct places in their own writings, referring to different periods of their history, he shows what the character of the nation was. And as this was the characteristic of those times. it followed that a Jew could not hope to be saved simply because he was a Jew. He needed, as much as the Gentile, the benefit of some other plan of salvation.
(2) These passages show us how to use the Old Testament, and the facts of ancient history. They are to be adduced not as showing directly what the character of man is, now, but to show what human nature is. They demonstrate what man is when under the most favorable circumstances; in different situations; and at different periods of the world. The concurrence of past facts shows what the race is. And as past facts are uniform; as man thus far, in the most favorable circumstances, has been sinful; it follows that this is the characteristic of man everywhere. It is settled by the facts of the world, just as any other characteristic of man is settled by the uniform occurrence of facts in all circumstances and times. Ancient facts, and quotations of Scripture, therefore, are to be adduced as proofs of the tendency of human nature. So Paul used them, and so it is lawful for us to use them.
(3) It may be observed further, that the apostle has given a view of human depravity which is very striking. He does not confine it to one faculty of the mind, or to one set of actions; he specifies each member and each faculty as being perverse, and inclined to evil. The depravity extends to all the departments of action. The tongue, the mouth, the feet, the “lips,” are all involved in it; all are perverted, and all become the occasion of the commission of sin. The entire man is corrupt; and the painful description extends to every department of action.
(4) If such was the character of the Jewish nation under all its advantages, what must have been the character of the pagan? We are prepared thus to credit all that is said in Rom. i., and elsewhere, of the sad state of the pagan world.
(5) What a melancholy view we have thus of human nature. From whatever quarter we contemplate it, we come to the same conclusion. Whatever record we examine; whatever history we read; whatever time or period we contemplate; we find the same facts, and are forced to the same conclusion. All are involved in sin, and are polluted, and ruined, and helpless. Over these ruins we should sit down and weep, and lift our eyes with gratitude to the God of mercy, that he has pitied us in our low estate, and has devised a plan by which “these ruins may be built again,” and lost, fallen man be raised up to forfeited “glory, honor, and immortality.”

(2Co 7:1 KJV)
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.

(Barnes)
2Co 7:1
Having therefore these promises - The promises referred to in 2Co_6:17-18; the promise that God would be a Father, a protector, and a friend The idea is, that as we have a promise that God would dwell in us, that he would be our God, that he would be to us a Father, we should remove from us whatever is offensive in his sight, and become perfectly holy.
Let us cleanse ourselves - Let us purify ourselves. Paul was not afraid to bring into view the agency of Christians themselves in the work of salvation. He, therefore, says, ‘let us purify ourselves,’ as if Christians had much to do; as if their own agency was to be employed; and as if their purifying was dependent on their own efforts. While it is true that all purifying influence and all holiness proceeds from God, it is also true that the effect of all the influences of the Holy Spirit is to excite us to diligence to purify our own hearts, and to urge us to make strenuous efforts to overcome our own sins. He who expects to be made pure without any effort of his own, will never become pure; and he who ever becomes holy will become so in consequence of strenuous efforts to resist the evil of his own heart, and to become like God. The argument here is, that we have the promises of God to aid us. We do not go about the work in our own strength. It is not a work in which we are to have no aid. But it is a work which God desires, and where he will give us all the aid which we need.
From all filthiness of the flesh - The noun used here (μολυσμὸς molusmos) occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. The verb occurs in 1Co_8:7; Rev_3:4; Rev_14:4, and means to stain, defile, pollute, as a garment; and the word used here means a soiling, hence, defilement, pollution, and refers to the defiling and corrupting influence of fleshly desires and carnal appetites. The filthiness of the flesh here denotes evidently the gross and corrupt appetites and passions of the body, including all such actions of all kinds as are inconsistent with the virtue and purity with which the body, regarded as the temple of the Holy Spirit, should be kept holy - all such passions and appetites as the Holy Spirit of God would not produce.
And spirit - By “filthiness of the spirit,” the apostle means, probably, all the thoughts or mental associations that defile the man. Thus, the Saviour Mat_15:19 speaks of evil thoughts, etc. that proceed out of the heart, and that pollute the man. And probably Paul here includes all the sins and passions which pertain particularly to mind or to the soul rather than to carnal appetites, such as the desire of revenge, pride, avarice, ambition, etc. These are in themselves as polluting and defiling as the gross sensual pleasures. They stand as much in the way of sanctification, they are as offensive to God, and they prove as certainly that the heart is depraved as the grossest sensual passions. The main difference is, that they are more decent in the external appearance; they can be better concealed; they are usually indulged by a more elevated class in society; but they are not the less offensive to God. It may be added, also, that they are often conjoined in the same person; and that the man who is defiled in his “spirit” is often a man most corrupt and sensual in his” flesh.” Sin sweeps with a desolating influence through the whole frame, and it usually leaves no part unaffected, though some part may be more deeply corrupted than others.
Perfecting - This word (ἐπιτελοῦντες epitelountes) means properly to bring to an end, to finish, complete. The idea here is, that of carrying it out to the completion. Holiness had been commenced in the heart, and the exhortation of the apostle is, that they should make every effort that it might be complete in all its parts. He does not say that this work of perfection had ever been accomplished - nor does he say that it had not been. He only urges the obligation to make an effort to be entirely holy; and this obligation is not affected by the inquiry whether anyone has been or has not been perfect. It is an obligation which results from the nature of the Law of God and his unchangeable claims on the soul. The fact that no one has been perfect does not relax the claim; the fact that no one will be in this life does not weaken the obligation. It proves only the deep and dreadful depravity of the human heart, and should humble us under the stubbornness of guilt.
The obligation to be perfect is one that is unchangeable and eternal; see Mat_5:48; 1Pe_1:15. Tyndale renders this: “and grow up to full holiness in the fear, of God.” The unceasing and steady aim of every Christian should be perfection - perfection in all things - in the love of God, of Christ, of man; perfection of heart, and feeling, and emotion; perfection in his words, and plans, and dealings with people; perfection in his prayers, and in his submission to the will of God. No man can be a Christian who does not sincerely desire it. and who does not constantly aim at it. No man is a friend of God who can acquiesce in a state of sin, and who is satisfied and contented that he is not as holy as God is holy. And any man who has no desire to be perfect as God is, and who does not make it his daily and constant aim to be as perfect as God, may set it down as demonstrably certain that he has no true religion, How can a man be a Christian who is willing to acquiesce in a state of sin, and who does not desire to be just like his Master and Lord?
In the fear of God - Out of fear and reverence of God. From a regard to his commands, and a reverence for his name. The idea seems to be, that we are always in the presence of God; we are professedly under His Law; and we should be awed and restrained by a sense of his presence from the commission of sin, and from indulgence in the pollutions of the flesh and spirit. There are many sins that the presence of a child will restrain a man from committing; and how should the conscious presence of a holy God keep us from sin! If the fear of man or of a child will restrain us, and make us attempt to be holy and pure, how should the fear of the all-present and the all-seeing God keep us not only from outward sins, but from polluted thoughts and unholy desires!

(Eph 5:21 KJV)
Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

(Barnes)
Eph 5:21
Submitting yourselves one to another - Maintaining due subordination in the various relations of life. This general principle of religion, the apostle proceeds now to illustrate in reference to wives Eph_5:22-24; to children Eph_6:1-3; and to servants, Eph_6:5-8. At the same time that he enforces this duty of submission, however, he enjoins on others to use their authority in a proper manner, and gives solemn injunctions that there should be no abuse of power. Particularly he enjoins on husbands the duty of loving their wives with all tenderness Eph_5:25-33; on fathers, the duty of treating their children so that they might easily obey them Eph_6:4; and on masters, the duly of treating their servants with kindness, remembering that they have a Master also in heaven; Eph_6:9. The general meaning here is, that Christianity does not break up the relations of life, and produce disorder, lawlessness, and insubordination; but that it will confirm every proper authority, and make every just yoke lighter. Infidelity is always disorganizing; Christianity, never.


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#14 Charles Miles

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 04:41 AM

Speilb and ginger,   I certainly do not think all of us will ever agree completely on all of this, but let me be sure to say this....I respect the views of Christians who are seeking and reading deeply in the word of God.  I don`t have but a minute here(the scrub sink is calling), so let me explain just one point that I wrote about.

 

My relationship with the Lord is mine, I am responsible to maintain the relationship and do my very best to remain in it.  Am I concerned about the relationship that others have with Him?  Well, I would that everyone would have a very close relationship with the Lord, so I often discuss mine with people who tell me they don`t have one.  Now, can I give them the relationship?  No.  Can I force a relationship on them? Of course not.  It goes back to what we are to do in this world with our faith and love.  I can tell someone about my relationship and I can tell them the gospel of Christ, in an attempt to show them a better way, but then my responsibility stops.  I just try to "plant seeds" and the Holy Spirit works from that point on. Holy spirit, working with me, helps me to keep my relationship with the Lord that is so precious.  I simply cannot get angry with someone who refuses the Holy Spirit and proceeds along their own way.  I am disappointed and I pray, but after that, I can do nothing but try to live my life in a manner that would enable that person to see that maybe I`m a bit different from others they encounter(hopefully in a better way).

 

I know of no man or woman whom I hate or have any ill will toward.  There are situations that I hate, but no people.  "If any man says he loves the Father yet hates his brother he is a lie and the truth is not in him"  "Love one another even as I have loved you, love one another".  Rev Swaggert sinned.  I don`t think there is any way around saying that and if I saw him and he asked me about it, I would tell him that, but how he deals with that sin is between him and the Lord.  We can be sure God will deal with that problem, and probably already has.  I can`t get angry with those who stumble and fall, because I do sin myself.  My God loves me and forgives me when I ask.  He will certainly do the same with Rev Swaggert...if he asks. 

 

I think we on here agree on much more than we disagree, but we are all mortal and none of us have the complete picture of God`s kingdom and what it contains.

 

Maybe we can discuss more later.

 

Your brother in Christ,

 

Charlie


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#15 Speilb

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 08:36 AM

Ginger,

 

Thank you for your post.  I think in some ways we talking on different issues.  As Charles said we agree more than we disagree.  I recon my directness can be taken as rude but I don't mean it that way.  I recon your very OLD friend Albert Barnes was quite direct in the "Old School - New School controversy". 

 

I think one stumbling block to our debate is the belief that to be angry at sin shows pride and a lack of concern for ones own personal walk.  A.W. Tozer spoke out often against what he saw in the Christian Culture all around him but I don't believe this means he was bit also deeply concerned with his own struggles.  In-fact I believe there are some of us older men :) who are concerned with these struggles for the very reason that we are first of all people who fear God and we eagerly desire others to not find themselves under the wrath of God.  It would be better for them to have a millstone tied to them and drowned in the ocean then that they should lead little ones astray.  By the way little ones could be interpreted here to say those who are young or immature in the faith. I am not saying either way on this but I just wanted to let you know it is a subject of debate and I personally think it can be take either way. 

 

The truth is my sin is constantly before me and I do walk in the fear of God and in great humility before God.  Sometimes I think we try to define humility as insecurity or a lack of boldness.  So when someone is insecure we say "wow that person is humble".  Truth is often those with the most insecurities also display the most pride.  I do have my areas of insecurity but they are not in the area what I believe about the Word of God or in areas where God has raised me up by His Grace.  That doesn't mean I see myself as special but rather God's grace is special.  I don't possess much self-esteem (to use a worldly phrase) but I do have confidence in Christ in Me.  I think it is possible to with great humility to say, "I am greatly angered by those who claim to be believers but display immoral lives and I wish that the church would stop putting up with this".  I think one of the greatest acts of humility we can do is to put ourselves completely under the Word of God.  A great act of humility is to lean not on our own understanding but instead recon that the greatest of our wisdom is absolute foolishness before God. 

 

1 Corinthians 5 says:

9I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; 10I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. 11But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.

 

Is this arrogance?  Is this being judgmental?  Well it is judging.  But it is judging out of a passion for purity in the Church.  Paul was very protective of believers especially those who he introduced to Christ (as am I).  If we responded to sin in more of a 1 Cor 5 structure I think we would see some of those who left because of such sins will come back.  In the revivals of the past the vast majority of sermons were confronting the people of God.  They were the ones that needed rival and when people saw the believers responding to calls to Holiness they came in as well.

 

Also in bygone days theology divided as people recognized that the Bible divides.  I am not saying we should divide over such discussions as this one.  But I think we should divide over issues of holiness and immorality as the passage I quoted commands.  We are all works in progress but such immoral sins in high places in the church, in my reading, should not be tolerated. 

 

I have been looking at Nehemiah again lately.  Nehemiah in chapter 5 becomes angry at certain rich Jews.  He confronts them and they agree to a major change that would cost them much money.  Nehemiah was angry at them.  After they swore to change he pronounced a curse on them if they didn't keep their word that they should no longer be counted as being of the people of God.  That is what I want.  I want the religious elite of our day to be held to a higher standard (not a standard of perfection but certainly there should be no pedophilia or even affairs).  And if they fail they should be confronted and if they refuse to change they should, to borrow from Nehemiah, be shaken out from the People of God. 

 

Also I have never confronted a pastor in a harsh or unmerciful manner.  And none of the pastors and leaders that I have confronted would disagree.  I have confronted in a direct manner but not harsh or unmerciful.  I also go through proper avenues when available.  When I was a young man a pastor asked me to take on a roommate who was a young Christian.  I did so.  After a while I came to live in fear of his bouts of anger and alcoholism.  I talked to leaders in the church and warned them and asked them to confront the situation.  They refused and instead sent him on the mission field (short term).  Soon after I left the situation they had to arrange a program for several single ladies to never be alone because they feared this man so greatly.  To have confronted the situation as I had pleaded with them, I believe would likely have spared them great pain and may have helped to restore the young man.   

 

Grace and Peace,

Speilb

 

 

 

 

P.S. On, my lack of age has been contrasted often with others great years of experience.  Don't think that I don't see that age often brings wisdom.  But, be careful not to despise what you see as my relative youth.  I am not saying this has been done directly or even indirectly but the "old card" has been played on me I would guess around 8 times in the last few weeks here.  I think some have somehow labeled me as much younger than I actually am.  Perhaps it is the old picture I put up (which I put up because I thought it is funny (it was taken at a "nerd party" where we were to dress up as nerdy as possible)).  Or perhaps it is my idealism.  Or perhaps it is my passion that since elementary school people have predicted would subside as I got older but it has only increased.  It seems in most other settings people are surprised that I am not older then I am while here I think you would be surprised by how old I am.  Not only that but I have over 30 years of walking with Christ, of pursuing Him, and in the work of evangelism. 



#16 Ginger

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 09:37 AM

O dear mercy me.  Speilb, I admire you as a Christian brother and only had concern for you and believe you are being personally groomed to do whatever the LORD will have you to do long-term as long as He tarries.  If I was guilty of anything it was that I also have a high regard for Charlie and perhaps got in a bit of a twit thinking you'd disagreed with him a bit vehemently.
 
Please forgive me if I have written anything disparaging toward you.
 
If you are to make a difference in confronting a large ministry or their pastors all  I know is you will only succeed to the degree that it is God's will and the Holy Spirit is working and doing what He does. 
 
Perhaps I was inappropriate to write anything.  I meant no disrespect to God, to you,  or to any Christian.
 
Tis time for this old lady to Hush and Pray.  :)
 
 Grace and peace,
 Ginger



#17 Speilb

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 10:16 AM

I just have a minute here but...

 

Ginger you have not written anything disparaging towards me or inappropriate.  Please also understand I am not trying to fight here at all or attack you or Charlie or anyone else.  I didn't feel attacked at all by the comments about you being older I was just wanting to clarify and I wanted to make sure what I said wasn't dismissed by ideas of age or lack of experience.  I also wanted to lay a basis on even older people on which we can debate.  I also want to flesh out points so for the benefit of understanding.  What does the fear of God look like in a practical sense?  My original post sought to describe what it looks like and to warn us to fear God so as not to fall to the same things as these individuals fell to.  It also was for therapeutic purposes as these things really do pain me (whether it should or not is a topic for debate that we moved into). 

 

I see the protection of the purity of the church as a duty and see many Biblical examples.  Others have what I would call a more individualist approach.  I see in scripture that God has judged people tolerating wickedness (Rev 2:20) so I don't want to see that. I also love the fear of God want to advocate for it in personal lives and to avoid places where the fear of God is not seen. 



#18 Charles Miles

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 11:21 AM

Speib and Ginger,   Just a quick note here to state that I look upon this as a discussion about where many churches and church leaders have positioned themselves today.  I think our disagreement here has more to do with definitions than

 substance.  I will agree with Selib wholeheartedly that many, many churches today have lost the concept of the "Majesty" of God and that needs to be corrected if those churches are to surviv....but the tragedy here is that in losing the concept of God`s majesty, they drag their congregation down into the same mindset. How many times in the past few years has anyone heard a sermon on just how majestic our God is?  How big, how powerful, how just, good, loving, or that God cannot and will not tolerate any sin at all in His presence?

 

The teachers, preachers, decons, and elders of churches are absolutely held to a higher standard than others in the church, and they should understand this before accepting such a position. There are Biblical rules about how to deal with a brother that you see in sin, and these may be found in Timothy.  Our requirements as fellow christians or church officers, is to meet in private one on one at first to discuss what we perceve as a problem, then there are further steps to follow if things don`t change....we can all read those, but never does it say for us to get angry at the sinner.  Yes, get angry at the fact that sin has crept into the Body, but we are to love one another even if we know they are in sin.   It seems as if Speilb has been doing things correctly when dealing with bad behavior, so I applaud him for seeing error and taking the correct steps to confront it.

 

Sweet Ginger,  Bless you for your thoughtfulness about me.  I`m just fine and I never took Speilb`s comments as an attack on me personally.  Minor disagreements about things such as this tend to make me dig into the Word deeper and ask Holy Spirit to explain things if I don`t understand correctly.  I will never argue with a brother about Biblical truths, but often some of us define some words differently and there can be some confusion.  I will bet we all three agree what the solution to this problem of churches and leadership seeming to stray away from things that matter really is.  A deep, earnest, repentance and continual prayer for a revival and movement of Holy Spirit in the USA.  If anyone wants to know just how big and powerful God is, just invite Him into your life and turn it over to Him totally......how about we do this as a nation?  If we study all the great revivals of the past 200 years we can see that they often start small and then grow.  Just imagine an atmospheric revival across the whole US!  There are those praying for that even as I write this.  Rodney Howard Brown`s group is one, my house is one, several other families I know are, so how about some more people to "stand in the breach"?

 

May the peace of God fall upon all who ask for it,

 

Charlie



#19 Charles Miles

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 06:07 PM

I know that we have agreed to disagree on a few definitions here, and as usual, I learned some things because I dug into God`s word and teachings of old departed saints who walked very closely with the Lord.  If I may, I would like to quote E. Stanley Jones, who was discussing thoughts about God....

 

"We know now that God is like this that we have seen in Jesus. He is Christlike. And if He is, He is a good God and trustable.  If the Heart that is back of the universe is like this gentle Heart that broke upon the cross, He can have my heart without qualification and without reservation.  I know nothing higher to say of God than that He should live like Christ.  ~The question to my mind`, said a Yale professor, `is not as to the divinity of Jesus but whether God will act like Jesus.`  Strange, a Man lived among us, and when we think of God we must think of Him in terms of this Man, or He is not good.  We may transfer every single Moral quality in Jesus to God without loss or degradation to our thought of God. On the contrary, by thinking of Him in terms of Jesus we heighten our view of God. All those who have tried to think of Him in other terms have lowered and impoverished our idea of Him."

 

I guess that is what I was attempting to say, or explain....but Dr Jones just seems to have it already stated so very much better than I could have ever said it.

 

Peace,

 

Charlie


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#20 chipped china

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 01:25 AM

I've enjoyed reading all your thoughts. It's made me search my mind and heart to clarify how I envision God Almighty. I do fear Him because I was made by Him, for Him, and He can do whatever He pleases. God is the power and the glory and to Him only should I worship. On the other hand He is faithful and forgiving, perfect in His justice and plan for His children's redemption. I am awe struck that He considers me a jewel and precious. I am so grateful that He called me and for some unknown reason beyond me, I answered. I look forward to meeting Him in person because I know the moments of happiness and joy I've experience here on earth are only a glimpse of the encompassing completeness and love I will feel for Him in Heaven. The Lord's Holiness and Majesty will be totally captivating. Not having to fight with this sin nature will be such a relief too. 


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