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Copr. 1997, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.

LESSON 3 - FEAR GOD (REV 14:7)

INTRODUCTION: THIS WEEK WE LOOK AGAIN AT ANOTHER PART OF THE 1ST OF
THE 3 ANGELS MESSAGES.  SPECIFICALLY, WE WILL BE DISCUSSING WHAT IT
MEANS TO FEAR GOD. THIS MAY BE A TEST TO SEE HOW MUCH MEANING WE
CAN GET OUT OF TWO WORDS IN THE BIBLE!  SO, LETS GET INTO IT.

I. FEAR GOD

     A. TURN WITH ME TO REV 14:7. READ.
     
     B. WHY DOES THE ANGEL SAY THAT WE SHOULD FEAR GOD? (BECAUSE
     THE HOUR OF HIS JT HAS COME.)

     C. NONE OF US KNOWS WHAT IT IS LIKE TO BE JUDGED BY GOD.  WHAT
     IS THE CLOSEST EXPERIENCE THAT YOU CAN THINK OF? (TO BE JUDGED
     BY A HUMAN JUDGE.)

          1. IF YOU HAVE BEEN BEFORE A JUDGE, WHAT KIND OF FEELINGS
          DID YOU HAVE AS YOU APPROACHED THE COURTHOUSE?  ENTERED
          THE COURTROOM? STOOD IN FRONT OF THE JUDGE?

          2. IS FEAR A FAIR WAY TO DESCRIBE YOUR FEELINGS?

     D. THE GREEK WORD FOR "FEAR" IS "PHOBEO" WHICH I AM CERTAIN IS
     THE ROOT FOR OUR PHOBIAS. STRONGS SUGGESTS THE MEANING IS TO
     BE "FRIGHTENED", TO BE "ALARMED" (STONGS ADDS "PASSIVELY,") TO
     BE "IN AWE."
          1. THIS WORK PHOBEO APPEARS MANY TIMES IN THE N.T. ONE
          TIME WE FIND IT IS IN JOHN 6:19 WERE THE DISCIPLES SEE
          JESUS WALKING ON THE WATER TOWARD THEM AND THE NIV SAYS,
          "THEY WERE TERRIFIED."  JESUS SAID TO THEM, "IT IS I;
          DON'T BE AFRAID."

     E. CONSIDERING THIS BACKGROUND INFO, DO WE FEAR GOD? 
          1. DO WE FEAR HIM LIKE WE WOULD AN ORDINARY MAN WHO IS A
               JUDGE?

          2. I HAVE A RULE OF THUMB, TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT
          IT.  IF I WOULDN'T DO IT BEFORE A JUDGE, I WON'T DO IT IN
          CHURCH BECAUSE I THINK I AM BEFORE THE "ULTIMATE JUDGE."

               a. FOR EXAMPLE, I WOULD NEVER TAKE MY COAT OFF IN
               COURT UNLESS THE JUDGE TOLD ME I COULD.  I WOULD
               NEVER APPEAR IN COURT WITHOUT A TIE UNLESS A JUDGE
               SPECIFICALLY SAID THAT WE COULD. AND SO I ALWAYS
               WEAR A COAT AND TIE IN CHURCH EVEN WHEN I'M
               PREACHING ON THE HOTTEST DAYS OF THE SUMMER UP ON
               THE PLATFORM (WHICH IS HOTTER THAN DOWN IN THE
               SEATS.)

               b. ON THE OTHER HAND, I WILL OFTEN SAY SOMETHING 
               FUNNY BEFORE WE GET ON THE PLATFORM OR WHILE WE ARE
               SITTING ON THE PLATFORM BECAUSE I DO THAT IN COURT. 
               HOWEVER, I HAVE OFTEN WONDERED IF I'M MISSING THE
               POINT. STRAINING AT A GNAT AND SWALLOWING A CAMEL.


          3. DO YOU THINK WE SHOULD FEAR GOD AT LEAST AS MUCH AS WE
          WOULD AN EARTHLY JUDGE?

     F. WILL FEARING GOD HELP US IN THE JUDGEMENT?

     G. OUR LESSON HAS SEVERAL TEXTS ON FEARING GOD. LET ME HAVE
     YOU LOOK THEM UP.  WHO WANTS TO LOOK UP? AS YOU LISTEN TO EACH
     OF THESE, I WANT YOU TO FIND THE COMMON THREAD:

          1. EX 20:20
          2. LEV 25:17
          3. DEUT 5:29
          4. PROV 8:13.

               a. WHAT IS THE COMMON THREAD? (THAT FEARING GOD 
               AFFECTS OUR BEHAVIOR?  THAT FEAR MAKES YOU OBEY.)

     H. I NOTICE THAT EACH OF THESE TEXTS THAT OUR LESSON GIVES US
     IS FROM THE O.T.  DO YOU THINK THAT THIS PROPOSITION CHANGED
     WITH THE COMING OF JESUS? A COMING MEANT TO RECONCILE US TO
     THE FATHER?

          1. LETS LOOK AT TWO N.T. TEXTS THAT OUR LESSON DOES NOT
          CITE: MATT 10:28 AND LUKE 12:32.

          2. DOES THIS VARY THE PICTURE? (I DON'T THINK SO.  THE
          TEACHERS HELPS HAS A NICE STATEMENT, "THE CALL TO FEAR
          GOD IS A WAKE-UP CALL TO COME TO GRIPS WITH DIVINE TRUTH,
          AND NOT REMAIN ENMESHED IN FALSE CONCEPTS OF LIFE ....")


     I. YOU TOLD ME A FEW WEEKS AGO THAT YOU SEE TODAY THE
     DESCRIPTION OF LAST DAY CONDITIONS FOUND IN 2 TIM 3:1-5.
       
          1. DO YOU THINK THAT "WHAT IS WRONG WITH SOCIETY" IS THAT
          NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE FEAR GOD?  OR HAVE SUFFICIENT RESPECT
          FOR DIVINE LAW?" (THE TEACHERS HELPS SUGGEST THIS. p.35
          BOTTOM)

          2. IS THIS ALSO A PROBLEM IN THE CHURCH?  THAT PEOPLE DO
          NOT FEAR GOD?
                    --OUR LESSON USES THE PHRASE (TUES) "THE TREND
                    TOWARDS DISRESPECTFUL FAMILIARITY."

          3. LETS MAKE IT PERSONAL, DO YOU FEAR GOD? (I DO NOT FEAR
          HIM AS MUCH AS I SHOULD.)

          4. WHY IS THAT? (TWO REASONS: 1) NATURAL HEART.  I WANT
          HIM TO JUDGE THE BAD PEOPLE OVER THERE, BUT NOT ME. 2)
          WHEN I WAS RAISED IN SDA SCHOOLS I THINK THERE WAS SO
          MUCH CONCERN THAT WE MIGHT NOT UNDERSTAND THE LOVE OF GOD
          THAT HE WAS MADE THIS TOOTHLESS, HAPPY, GIFT GIVER. SOME
          SORT OF BIG HAPPY RABBIT. ----HE EXECUTED PEOPLE IN BOTH
          THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS FOR DISOBEDIENCE -- AND
          SOMEBODY, EITHER YOU OR HIS SON, WILL DIE FOR YOUR SINS.
          SIN IS NOT A JOKING MATTER.  AND HIS PERFECT HOLINESS IS
          NOT A TRIVIAL MATTER.

          5. THERE IS A GROUP CALLED THE CHRISTIAN
          RECONSTRUCTIONISTS WHO BELEIVE THAT THE LAW GOD GAVE TO
          MOSES SHOULD BECOME THE LAW OF OUR LAND. I SHOULD SAY
          THAT A GREAT DEAL OF OUR LAW TODAY HAS ITS ROOTS IN THE
          LAWS GOD GAVE MOSES. IF YOU LOOK AT MURALS IN OLD
          COURTHOUSES, THEY WILL OFTEN HAVE PICTURES OF MOSES.  MY
          RECOLLECTION OF THE US SUPREME COURT IS THAT THERE IS A
          SCULPTURE OF MOSES IN THE CEILING.
               a. WHAT DO YOU SAY?  DO YOU BELIEVE THAT THE LAW GOD
               GAVE TO MOSES IS A MODEL FOR OUR LAWS?
               b. CAN YOU CRITICISE THE RECONSTRUCTIONISTS FROM A
               BIBLICAL POINT OF VIEW?
               c. WOULD THIS INCREASE RESPECT FOR DIVINE LAW AND
                    HELP TO INSPIRE FEAR OF GOD?


II. FEAR OF MEN VERSUS FEAR OF GOD

     A. LETS TURN A CORNER HERE.  WHAT DO YOU FEAR THE MOST? 
     (HIGHLIGHT THOSE THAT SEEM TO BE CONNECTED WITH THE LOSS OF
     ESTEEM OR RESPECT OF OUR FELLOW MEN. MIGHT HAVE TO "UNPEEL" A
     FEAR TO GET TO THIS BOTTOM LINE OF WORRY ABOUT WHAT OTHERS
     THINK ABOUT US.)

     B. DO YOU THINK THAT YOU WORRY TOO MUCH?  HOW MUCH OF OUR 
     WORRIES ARE BASED ON A FEAR OF WHAT MEN WILL THINK OF US?

     C. PROVERBS 29:25 SAYS, "FEAR OF MAN WILL PROVE TO BE A SNARE,
     BUT WHOEVER TRUSTS IN THE LORD IS KEPT SAFE."
          1. DO YOU THINK THAT PART OF OUR MESSAGE, THE 3 ANGELS'
          MESSAGE, IS TO LIMIT WORRY BY TRUSTING IN GOD AND NOT
          FEARING MAN? (THE TEACHER'S COMMENTS SUGGEST THAT THOSE
          WHO HAVE A HEALTHY FEAR OF GOD ARE SET FREE FROM THE FEAR
          OF HUMANS AND DEVILS. "THIS IS AN IMPORTANT MEANS OF
          INTERANL FORTIFICATION AGAINST THE BEAST AND HIS
          MARK...." (p.37)

III. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FEAR AND LOVE.

     A. WE HAVE DISCUSSED FEARING GOD IN DETAIL.  LETS LOOK AT 
     ANOTHER TEXT. READ 1 JOHN 4:18.  THIS SAYS THAT LOVE DRIVES
     OUT FEAR?
          1. WHAT DOES THIS VERSE SUGGEST CAUSES FEAR? (THE 
          JUDGMENT. THIS IS EXACTLY THE SAME THOUGHT AS REV 14:7.)
     
          2. HOW DOES LOVE DRIVE OUT FEAR?  

          3. IF WE JUST LEARNED THAT FEARING GOD IS THIS GOOD 
          THING, THEN WHY WOULD WE WANT TO DRIVE IT OUT? (IT DOES
          NOT MEAN THAT WHEN WE LOVE GOD WE NO LONGER FEAR HIM.
          WHAT IT MEANS IS THAT LOVE DRIVES OUT THE FEAR THAT IS
          CONNECTED WITH THE JUDGMENT.  SO WE CAN HAVE CONFIDENCE
          (v.17) IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT.!

IV. NEXT WEEK: THE HOUR OF HIS JT. SOMEONE ELSE (NO INTERNET BIBLE STUDY). STUDY!