Fear God – Read It As Reverence in Duty or Christian Grace

Illustration-Title-Fear God – Read It As Reverence In Duty Or Christian Grace-logo-text

Fear God defined, how the Lord uses fear in His Word and how Christians comprehend it.

Fear God is the message given to all people in Revelation 14. When enjoined as a duty or Christian grace it refers to reverence. It is awe and love combined. God’s precepts are consistent with His attributes. The law of love is the foundation of His government. God desires from all His creatures the service of love – homage that springs from an intelligent appreciation of His character. Moreover, if we know God, we will have some sense of His wondrous, dreadful, and indescribable glory and of our own absolute insignificance.

The prophet beheld an angel flying 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, 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. Revelation 14:6, 7.

Question: What duty does the message to fear God calls for?

Answer: Revelation 14:7, first clause

Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him;

Question: What is meant by fear God?

Answer: The word “fear” in its primary sense expresses terror, apprehension, dread. When enjoined as a duty or Christian grace it refers to reverence. It is awe and love combined. If we know God, we will have some sense of His wondrous, dreadful, and ineffable glory and of our own utter insignificance. One who chooses his or her own way or the way of men in preference to that of God, has not the fear of God before his face.

Question: Of what is this reverence the beginning?

Answer: Psalms 111:10, first clause

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom:

Question: To what will it inevitably lead?

Answer: Job 28:28, Psalms 111:10

And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.


The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. Psalms 19:9. It uproots evil from the soul and leads to holy watchfulness and diligence. We will see in the light of His:

  • glory – our shame
  • holiness – our sin
  • purity – our corruption

When we understand that all these perfections are given in love through Christ to save us, it creates love within our hearts. Thus fear and love combine in reverence. These views of self and God will lead us to choose God’s will and way in preference to our own. It is this wisdom which leads to the keeping of the commandments of God. One who knew by blessed experience the value of God’s law thus expressed his thanksgiving: How sweet are thy words to My taste; yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Psalms 119:103. Whom have I in heaven but thee, and there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee? Psalms 73;25. Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous, and shout for joy, all ye upright in heart. Psalms 32:11. This may be your experience. Read more: Experience God: Victory in Christ – Be Perfect

Fear God and keep His commandments

The wise man said – Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. Ecclesiastes 12:13. This is the essential knowledge, a vital Bible principle. For that reason Satan exalts science above God, nature above its Maker, and how can God look upon such wisdom? From Solomon’s experience we should learn that in watchfulness and prayer is the only safety for young and old. Security does not lie in exalted position and great privileges. One can never trust in own wisdom and integrity.

In Scripture every:

  • vital principle is declared
  • duty made plain
  • obligation made evident.

The whole duty of man is summed up by the Savior. Jesus said: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. . . . Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Matthew 13:37, 39. In the Word of God the plan of salvation is plainly outlined. The gift of eternal life is promised on condition of saving faith in Christ. The drawing power of the Holy Spirit is pointed out as an agent in the work of mankind’s salvation. The rewards of the faithful, the punishment of the guilty, are all laid out in clear lines. The Bible contains the science of salvation for all those who will hear and do the words of Christ.

Perfecting holiness in the fear of God

Paul revealed to Corinthians how they can become sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty. He added: 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. 2 Corinthians 7:1. Why should we not do this, when we have the privilege of becoming children of the Most High, and calling the God of heaven our Father? Let us develop Christlike character out of admiration for God. Remedy Paraphrase.


Those that are faithful and obedient to the promptings of God’s Spirit and the teachings of His Word will proclaim this warning to the world. They had taken heed to the sure word of prophecy, the light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise. 2 Peter 1:19. Moreover, they had been seeking the knowledge of God more than all hid treasures, counting it better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. Proverbs 3:14. And the Lord revealed to them the great things of the kingdom. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant. Psalm 25:14.

One who chooses his or her own way or the way of men in preference to that of God, has not the fear of God before his face. In the day of final judgment, every lost soul will understand the nature of his or her own rejection of truth. The cross will be presented, and its real bearing will be seen by every mind that has been blinded by transgression. Men will see what their choice has been. Every question of truth and error in the long-standing controversy will then have been made plain. In the judgment of the universe, God will stand clear of blame for the existence or continuance of evil.

Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest. Revelation 15:4


  1. GC88 311; BEcho, Jun, 1887; BCL 70; CE 83-85; PK 82; DA 59 –The Ellen G. White Estate 
  2. King James Version (KJV) Bible – BibleGateway
  3. New Testament Paraphrase – The Remedy
  4. Image courtesy – Pixabay


Last update: March 3, 2019



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