THE FEAR OF THE LORD

THE LORD’S GREATEST TREASURE

The Lord Jesus Christ asked, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26) The prophet Isaiah declared: “…the fear of the LORD is his treasure.” (Isaiah 33:6) The most blessed and beneficial of all the LORD’S treasures regarding the salvation of men’s souls is the fear of the LORD!

CAUGHT UP!

Text: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

INTRODUCTION

This is a verse by verse study of the imminent [could occur at any moment] resurrection of “the dead in Christ” (1Thessalonians 4:16) and the simultaneous change of the saints “which are alive and remain” (1Thessalonians 4:15, 17).

GOOD AND EVIL

DEFINED BY THE BIBLE

According to the word of God, to do GOOD is “to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments (Deuteronomy 30:16). A man commits EVIL when he turns his heart away from God, will not hear him, and walks in a rebellious way: “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12) Such a rebellious man will be “drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them” (Deuteronomy 30:16-17; James 1:14). The prophet wrote: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20)

JUSTIFICATION

PREFACE

The following definition will clarify the scriptural doctrine of justification.

            JUSTIFICATION—‘In theology, remission of sin and absolution from guilt and punishment; or an act of free grace by which God pardons the sinner and accepts him as righteous, on account of the atonement of Christ’ (Noah Webster, 1828). A sinner is justified when God declares him to be righteous.

ALL MEN NEED GOD’S JUSTIFICATION

     None of Adam’s natural descendants are righteous—For by the first man Adam “sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12). The word of the Lord plainly declares: “…There is none righteous, no, not oneThere is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:10-18); the psalmist David wrote: “The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Psalm 14:1-3) The prophet Isaiah confirmed: “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isaiah 64:6)

CALLING OF THE SPIRIT

TWO OR THREE WITNESSES ARE REQUIRED

            UNDER THE LAW OF MOSES

The LORD declared: “One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.” (Deuteronomy 19:15; Hebrews 10:28; Matthew 18:16) The two essential and separate witnesses of the three “that bear witness in earth” (1John 5:8-10) in these last days are the word of God and the Spirit of God.

REPENTANCE TO SALVATION

All forms of the word repent appear 112 times in the Holy Bible. In his 1828 dictionary Noah Webster gives the following definition of REPENT: ‘To feel pain, sorrow or regret for something done or spoken…A person repents only of what he himself has done or said…To express sorrow for something past…To change the mind in consequence of the inconvenience or injury done by past conduct.’ Hopefully the next two studies on repentance will settle any controversy, and show clearly that God commands that every sinner must repent to be saved!

FULL MINDED MEDITATION

Prosperous and successful meditation—The LORD, who said, “I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.” (Isaiah 48:17), has established and prescribed a very wonderful and prosperous meditation for his people. All forms of the word ‘meditate’ appear twenty times in fourteen chapters of six books in the entire Holy Bible. However there are at least fifteen different Bible synonyms for the word ‘meditation.’ They are: “muse” (Psalm 143:5), “imagine” (Genesis 6:5), “study” (2Timothy 2:15), “ponder” (Proverbs 4:26, “HIGGAION” (Psalm 9:16), “Selah” (Psalm 3:2), “plot” (Psalm 37:12), “care” (1Samuel 10:2), “commune” (Psalm 4:4), “consider” (Deuteronomy 4:39), “think” (Proverbs 23:6-7), “devise” (1Kings 12:33), “learn” (Proverbs 16:23), “examine” (Psalm 26:2), “weigh” (Isaiah 26:7), and “cogitations.” (Daniel 7:28)

EMPTY MINDED MEDITATION

Vain and dangerous meditations—Everyone should be aware of the vain and dangerous forms of meditation that have been devised by and are practiced by men in the world. The word of God warns: “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2Timothy 3:13); believers are also warned that “the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1Timothy 4:1). This study will repeat some of God’s warnings concerning the world’s counterfeit meditations. The next study, FULL MINDED MEDITATION, will explore the exceedingly excellent meditation that has been ordained by “the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 40:28).

THREE WITNESSES

THREE BEAR RECORD IN HEAVENFor there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” (1John 5:7). Since his glorious resurrection from the dead the Lord Jesus Christ possesses all power “in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18). In him “dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9). He is now sitting at the right hand of his “Father in his throne” (Revelation 3:21) in heaven, till the Father makes his enemies his “footstool” (Psalm 110:1; Mark 12:36). THREE BEAR WITNESS IN EARTHAnd there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one” (1John 5:7-8). The three which bear witness in earth are unmistakably and precisely identified by the scriptures: