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Him

Lift STUDY 2 OF 13

Lift
UpLift Him Up Fear God
GOD’S LAST MESSAGE TO THE WORLD
Lift Him Up
Him Up Lift
Up Lift Him
Lift Him Up
I
In Revelation chapter 14 we find
messengers heralding the everlasting
gospel that is to be preached to the
entire world before Jesus returns.
the assembly of the saints, and to be
had in reverence of all them that are
about Him” (Psalm 89:7).
Or, in the more contemporary
The word gospel means “good news” language of the New American
or “glad tidings.” Under this ever- Standard Bible, “Who among the
lasting gospel proclamation we find sons of the mighty is like the Lord, a
three successive angels, each bearing God greatly feared in the council of
a message. The first pronouncement the holy ones, and awesome above all
of these messages is “Fear God.” those who are around Him?”
Consider the text in question: (Psalm 89:6, 7 NAS).
“And I saw another angel fly in So we begin to see from the
the midst of heaven, having the Biblical use of the word fear as well
everlasting gospel to preach unto as from the Greek definition, to
them that dwell on the earth, and to “revere or be in awe,” that there is
every nation, and kindred, and more to fearing God than being
tongue, and people, saying with a afraid of Him. In fact, as we study
loud voice, ‘Fear God, and give this further we find that being afraid
Lift Him Up
Him Up Lift
Up Lift Him
Lift Him Up

glory to Him; for the hour of His of God is a natural consequence of


judgment is come: and worship sin. Notice what happened with our
Him that made heaven, and earth, first parents in the garden of Eden.
and the sea, and the fountains of “And the Lord God called unto
waters’” (Revelation 14:6, 7). Adam, and said unto him, Where
Now, you might wonder how art thou? And he said, ‘I heard Thy
such a message could be good news. voice in the garden, and I was afraid,
How can a message calling the world because I was naked; and I hid
to “Fear God” be glad tidings? What myself ’” (Genesis 3:9, 10).
does the everlasting gospel mean Adam and Eve became afraid of
when it calls us to “Fear God?” God as a result of the fall. They hid
from Him, and we, like our first
Fear God: What does parents, have been hiding from God
it mean? ever since. We hide in the world,
Actually the word fear means pursuing the lusts of the flesh, the
more than to be afraid; it also means lusts of the eyes and the pride of life
to “revere or be in awe.” Notice this (see 1 John 2:15-17). In our daily
usage in the Bible: lives we try to drown out God’s
“God is greatly to be feared in gentle, beckoning voice that draws
us to Him. Why are we hiding from taste the full consequences of their government into question. The cost
God? Why were Adam and Eve sins in the day they ate of the tree. of that forgiveness was the life of the
hiding? One reason is that they were And neither has any person, save Son of God. In His life and death,
told what would happen to them if One, tasted the full consequences of Jesus met the conditions that have
they took the fruit of the tree of the sin. This is because as soon as there brought forgiveness to the entire
knowledge of good and evil: was sin, there was a Savior, Jesus world since sin’s inception. This
“But of the tree of the knowl- Christ, “the Lamb slain from the truth, understood and accepted, will
edge of good and evil, thou shalt foundation of the world” (Revelation lead us to be in awe of God. It causes
not eat of it: for in the day that 13:8). Jesus stepped in between us to have hope in His mercy, which
thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely humanity and the broken law of is exactly what it means to fear Him:
die” (Genesis 2:17). God. He took upon Himself the full “The Lord taketh pleasure in
Adam and Eve suddenly remem- consequence of our actions. This is them that fear Him, in those that
bered that disobedience was to be the gospel. As our hearts and minds hope in His mercy” (Psalms 147:11).
swiftly followed by death. They may see and take hold of this gospel The gospel is able to undo the
even have thought that God Himself truth, we are lead to an awe or effects of the fall. God employs an
would carry this out. Yet they were to reverence for God. Notice how the agent to destroy the fear that has
find out that death was the conse- psalmist describes God’s attitude come into the human heart as a
quence of sin, not an arbitrary act of toward sinners: result of the fall, and to fill us with a
God (see Romans 6:23; Ezekiel “If thou, Lord, shouldest mark proper reverence. That agent is the
18:32). God knew they had eaten of iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? revelation of His love. Notice how
the forbidden tree. He searched them But there is forgiveness with Thee, the Bible uses the word fear in these
out to help them realize their own that Thou mayest be feared.” (Psalm two different ways:
depravity, evidenced by their unwill- 130:3, 4). “And Moses said unto the
ingness to face Him and their In other words, if God had people, Fear not: for God is come to
inability to confess their wrongs. counted our trespasses against us in prove you, and that His fear may be
Their fall was further accentuated by Eden, no man or woman would be before your faces, that ye sin not”
a newborn tendency to blame standing alive on the earth today. The (Exodus 20:20).
everyone but themselves for their very fact that we live is proof that In other words, God does not
misdeed, including blaming God— God loves us. This temporal life we want you to be afraid of Him, the
another form of hiding (see Genesis now live cost God the life of His only natural consequence of the fall, but
3:12, 13). begotten Son. The world has received rather to be in awe of Him, which is
This is the reason why we hide immediate forgiveness or “justifica- the effect of the gospel. This is not
from God. We are afraid of Him. tion of life” for the fall in Eden: so much a command as it is a
We think He is out to get us, to “So then as through one trans- promise. The everlasting gospel
hurt us or, at the very least, to make gression there resulted condemna- promises to fill us with an awe or
our lives miserable. We see Him tion to all men, even so through one reverence for God that will cause us
wanting to inflict punishment upon act of righteousness there resulted to “sin not.” This is the power of
us because of our failures. As a justification of life to all men” God’s love and mercy. Solomon
consequence of the fall and the lies (Romans 5:18, NAS). called this wonderful truth the
of Satan, we fail to see God as He This forgiveness did not come to “conclusion of the whole matter.”
truly is, a merciful Father longing to us without a cost. God could not “Let us hear the conclusion of
bring us the assurance of His unconditionally pardon us without the whole matter: Fear God, and
changeless love (see Malachi 3:16). undermining His justice, creating an keep His commandments: for this is
This love is evidenced in the imbalance between justice and the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes
fact that Adam and Eve did not mercy, and bringing His entire 12:13).
As we comprehend the mercy of sins against them.” Revelation 2:11; 20:6, 14). This
God in contrast to our own sinful- No one, whether in Noah’s time death means being forsaken of God.
ness and unworthiness, our hearts or ours, has actually had to face the And to be forsaken or given up by
will be filled with awe and reverence. full and final consequences of sin. God is the wrath of God (see Ro-
His goodness, accepted into the Only one Man has borne the true mans 1:24, 26). Jesus tasted this
heart, will become a power in our weight and penalty of our transgres- wrath for the entire human family.
lives leading us to repent of sin (see sions. Again, the Bible states: He was cut off and, at one point, felt
Romans 2:4). “God presented Him as a as if He would not come forth from
sacrifice of atonement, through faith the tomb. (see Psalm 88:5-7; He-
Forgiveness for the World in His blood. He did this to demon- brews 2:9). On the cross, “Jesus cried
Notice also that this everlasting strate His justice, because in His out with a loud voice, saying, “‘Eli,
gospel, which calls us to “fear God,” forbearance He had left the sins Eli lama sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My
is to be preached to those who committed beforehand unpunished” God, My God, why have You
“dwell on the earth, and to every (Romans 3:25, NIV). forsaken Me?’” (Matthew 27:46,
nation, and kindred, and tongue, God has not marked our sins NKJV). Christ experienced the soul

In our daily lives we try to drown out God’s


gentle, beckoning voice that draws us to Him.
Why are we hiding from God?
and people” (Revelation 14:6). This against us, but against His Son. God anguish of eternal abandonment in
is because everyone has been in- let our sins go unpunished and Gethsemane and on the cross, for us.
cluded in God’s forgiving love. In allowed His only begotten Son, Jesus “Then He said to them, ‘My
other words, God has held back Christ, to bear the judgment that soul is deeply grieved, to the point of
everyone’s punishment for sin; He belonged to us. Just before He went death’” (Matthew 26:38, NAS).
has not marked iniquities against the to the garden of Gethsemane and to If we were left to bear the burden
entire world. The Bible speaks to this the cross, Jesus proclaimed this truth: of our sin, it would crush us; but
truth in no uncertain terms. “Now is the judgment of this Christ has taken our punishment.
“To wit, that God was in Christ, world: now shall the prince of this The Lord laid on Him “the iniquity
reconciling the world unto Himself, world be cast out. And I, if I be of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). His life was
not imputing their trespasses unto lifted up from the earth, will draw all crushed in our place. Christ took our
them; and hath committed unto us men unto Me. This He said, signify- penalty upon Himself so that He
the word of reconciliation” (2 ing what death He should die” (John could bring eternal forgiveness to the
Corinthians 5:19). 12:31-33). chief of sinners, even those who
The New American Standard Notice that last sentence. Christ crucified Him.
Bible says, “…not counting their was speaking of the death He would “And when they were come to
trespasses against them.” die. The judgment that belonged to the place, which is called Calvary,
And the New International this world was death. Not just the there they crucified Him…. Then
Version says, “…not counting men’s first death, but the second (see said Jesus, ‘Father, forgive them; for
they know not what they do’” said, ‘Surely this man was the Son of Summary
(Luke 23:33, 34). God!’” (Mark 15:39, NIV). The psalmist declared, “the fear
Christ had the right to pray Perhaps this soldier was one of [reverence for] the Lord is the
that prayer on two counts. First, who had mocked Christ. He may beginning of wisdom” (Psalm
He is the second Adam, the new have been one who had spit in His 111:10). True wisdom begins when
head of the human race (1 face or had crushed that crown of we catch a glimpse of the heart of
Corinthians 15:45-47). He is our thorns deep into His brow. Yet now, God.
representative and, as such, has in witnessing a firsthand demon- There is no greater insight into
taken full responsibility for us— stration of God’s love, in stark His character than to consider how
just as the president of a corpora- contrast between man’s hate and He has dealt with sin and sinners.
tion bears responsibility for his God’s forgiveness, his heart was God has not counted our sins
employees or parents bear respon- touched. against us. He has taken them to
sibility for their children. Sec- The good news or gospel mes- Himself in the person of Jesus
ondly, He had the right to ask sage carried by the messenger of Christ. Christ reveals the Father’s
God to forgive those who sinned, Revelation 14 has the power to cause heart of love by His life and death.
because the sin was against Him. the hardest sinner to be in “awe or This knowledge induces the human
Christ had taken the wages of our reverence” of God. Every human heart to “Fear God;” that is, to
sins upon Himself. He was cruci- heart is drawn to Christ’s death on hold God in such awe and rever-
fied for us all and, therefore, by us the cross, to God’s love personified. ence that we fear losing Him more
all. As a result, Christ purchased And if we do not resist this drawing, than we fear losing anything else
the right to extend forgiveness to our hearts will experience an awe of this world has to offer.
every member of the human God that will lead us to turn from Whoever you are, wherever you
family without imperiling the sin. are, the Bible has good news for
justice of God in the least bit, “And the angel said unto them, you. Do not be afraid of God; but
because justice had been served on ‘Fear not: for, behold, I bring you rather be in awe, filled with rever-
Christ. good tidings of great joy, which shall ence and respect in the light of His
At the same time, Christ be to all people. For unto you is goodness and grace. You have a
cannot and will not violate our born this day in the city of David a Savior. He was born, He lived, and
freedom of choice. He will not Savior, which is Christ the Lord’” He died for your sins. He is risen
force us to be forgiven. Our (Luke 2:10, 11). from the dead and ever lives for
response to His love will determine These good tidings are for you, your eternal salvation. He loves you
whether or not this prayer of friend. They are for all people more than life itself. Amen.
Christ’s will be eternally answered everywhere. The wisdom of this
for us individually. world is foolishness; but “the fear of
The revelation of divine love the Lord is the beginning of wisdom:
precedes any response on our part. and the knowledge of the holy is
God first brought forgiveness to us understanding” (Proverbs 9:10). The
through the cross. This forgiveness fear of the Lord is knowledge of who
has the power to bring awe and God is. It is insight into the true
reverence to the hardest human character of the Holy One. Christ
heart. Notice its effect on the reveals this wisdom to us. He shows
Roman centurion. us the Father (see John 14:9). Jesus
“And when the centurion, who thus begins our journey into true
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