PASSING THE TIME
1 Peter 1:13 ¶ Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: 18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
One of the things that humans are greatly occupied with is the filling up of their time with activities. And a great deal of our effort is put forth to keep our offspring from being ‘bored!’ We must have our calendar filled with events in order that we go from the finish of one excitement to be able to look forward to the next scheduled one. And here in this passage we find heaven’s command for the satisfaction of the spirit and mind of the true believers. It is to pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
Now this ‘fear’ is not cringing with terror. It is reverential fear, a holy respect and honor of the Lord Christ. And it is the very first thing that the believer becomes acquainted with upon his new birth. Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
Every unregenerate soul is lacking this quality! Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes. Proverbs 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil. Genesis 20:11 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.
It is only in this reverential fear and respect wherein our own personal holiness is perfected! 2 Corinthians 7:1 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.
And in this same chapter we find this fear linked with a god-granted repentance, in contrast to just a worldly sorrow. 2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 7:11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
This reverential fear is involved with every individual believer, in every stage of his progressing sanctification. Having a consciousness of the true Lord God invokes upon him such an awareness that he cannot but have this fearfulness with a trembling spirit. Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
And this God consciousness is the greatest deterrent against sin! It was the only thing that kept dear Joseph from sin. He was in a strange land. None of his family or former acquaintances were there. When his master’s wife tried continuously to seduce him, his only defense was that he could not do that and sin against God! Genesis 39:9 There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?
Without this reverential fear of God all manner of corruption breaks forth into society. The entire judicial system would be corrupt! 2 Chronicles 19:5 And he set judges in the land throughout all the fenced cities of Judah, city by city, 6 And said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment. 7 Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts. 8 Moreover in Jerusalem did Jehoshaphat set of the Levites, and of the priests, and of the chief of the fathers of Israel, for the judgment of the LORD, and for controversies, when they returned to Jerusalem. 9 And he charged them, saying, Thus shall ye do in the fear of the LORD, faithfully, and with a perfect heart.
And this was the condition of the judge in the Lord’s parable concerning our persistence in prayer. Obtaining a right judgment from a man who has no fear of God is extremely difficult! Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: 3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. 4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
And not just the natural law, but especially were those who kept the law of God before the people to be in a reverential fear. Malachi 2:4 And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the LORD of hosts. 5 My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name. 6 The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity. 7 For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.
This was most certainly the desire of God that they have this respect to him in order for the people to be ‘blessable.’ Deuteronomy 5:29 O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever! 6:24 And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.
Dear soul, the fear of the Lord within the heart of man, and not commonality of religious identity, is the common denominator which links every true believer! Psalm 119:63 I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts. Ephesians 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Acts 9:31 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.
For even as individual members of society, working in their various places of employment, the true believer is made to be a good employee by this inner respect of his Lord and Savior! Colossians 3:22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; (that is, just working when the boss is looking), but in singleness of heart, fearing God: 23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
And they are made better all round citizens by it! 1 Peter 2:17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.
For true, born again believers are derived from every nation and language, in all the ages of the earth! Therefore the commonality in this great diversity is the inward fear of the Lord God! Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
But rest assured, dear Reader, none shall escape this issue! Yes, one may determine not to live in a consciousness of God. One may determine, as this judge did, not to fear God, nor man. But even the denial of this reverential fear of God will bring forth judgment! Jeremiah 2:19 Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.
For very single knee shall one day bow in reverential fear of The Holy God! And every single tongue shall one day confess Him to be Lord of all! For it is not a matter of “if” this shall happen! It is a matter of “when” it shall happen! Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
For just take notice of the voice of the everlasting gospel! Revelation 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
And just what is the conclusion of the whole matter? Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
And dear Reader, as it is the sun’s warmth and light which dispels the fog, and clears the air, so it is the fear of God arising within the soul, which clears the dismal fear of man and demon! Even when the Harlot’s religion comes together against the believer, he is to overcome that fearful situation by the fear of God within his heart! 1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. Philippians 1:28 And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.
Isaiah 8:11 For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, 12 Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. 13 Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.
Acts 4:26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. 27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, 28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. 29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, 30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. 31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
1 Peter 3:14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation (this word means ‘manner of life’) in Christ.
That example of life, that is, one’s daily conduct and attitude, is of strong influence as one is not fearful of the world’s terror due to the sanctifying fear of God within their hearts! For it is this godly living, expressing a reverential fear of God in daily conduct that is of great effect to unbelieving family members. 1 Peter 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation (manner of life), coupled with fear.
The Harlot church favors a religious argument to this witness of reverential fear in order to force a ‘decision’ from a non-religious person. But God’s word states that continued godly conduct has greater affect! The wife’s merry heart is like a medicine, used by God to cure the husband’s ungodliness. Prov. 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
Pastor Gene Breed
March 9, 2018