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The Fear of the Lord
By Dan Vis
October 08, 2017
Comments: 53

Note: over the next few weeks we're going to do a three part series on the importance of Bible memorization, all drawn from Revelation 14. For more information about memorization, check out our introductory Crash Course. Then, move on to our life-changing Breakout Challenge--coming soon.

Troubles in this world seem to be accelerating. The recent string of hurricanes and the mass shooting last week in Las Vegas are just two examples of terrible headlines suggesting the return of Christ is drawing near. Politics, technology, economics, and other trends all reinforce that conviction.

Fortunately God has a special message to prepare His endtime people for the coming crisis.

It is found in Revelation 14, where three powerful angels broadcast a message "to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people" (Revelation 14:6And 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,). Ultimately, these messages produce a people at last who "keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus" (Revelation 14:12Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.). And it is just in time. Immediately afterwards, John looks and "behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle" (Revelation 14:14And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.).

Clearly it is important to understand these messages!

The message of the first angel begins with these startling words: "Fear God" (Revelation 14:7Saying 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.). It's a reminder that God is sovereign and should be given the reverence and respect He deserves as an omniscient and omnipotent being. It's given to a world that seems to have forgotten their moral accountability to their Creator and Judge.

The "Fear of the Lord" is also an important Bible theme. The Bible describes it as both "the beginning of knowledge" (Proverbs 1:7The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.) and "the beginning of wisdom" (Proverbs 9:10The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.). Those who possess it come to the place where they are described as hating evil. (Proverbs 8:13The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.). It enables them to escape the snares of the enemy (Proverbs 14:27The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.). And by it, the power of sin is broken (Proverbs 16:6By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.). In fact, we are urged to abide in this experience "all the day long" (Proverbs 23:17Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.).

While there can certainly be an unhealthy fear of God, a proper reverence and respect for God is powerful.

But how can we obtain this experience? The Bible tells us exactly:

Proverbs 2:1-5
1 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; 2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; 3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; 4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.

The process is clear. We open ourselves to God, internalize His Word (through memorization), actively apply ourselves to understanding and obeying the principles contained within it, and the result is sure. We will come to "understand the fear of the LORD" in due time.

I believe this is one of the most important reasons to memorize Scripture. As we go through our day, the internalized Word comes to mind in all the various situations of life. It is a constant reminder not only of the will of God, but also of the presence of God. Like Elijah, we hear that still small voice speaking to our hearts (I Kings 19:12And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.). Like Hagar, we are reminded "Thou God seest me" (Genesis 16:13And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?). That's the fear of the Lord...

To experience this "all the day long" (Proverbs 23:17Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.) we must learn to make Scripture our "meditation all the day" (Psalms 119:97O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.).

We learn to hate evil because the entrance of God's Word gives us the light we need to see sin for what it is (Psalms 119:130The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.). We escape the manifold snares of Satan because meditation on Scripture makes us wiser than our enemies (Psalms 119:98Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.). The power of sin is broken in our lives, because we have hidden Scripture in our hearts (Psalms 119:11Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.).

We will come to understand more fully the true fear of the Lord as we grow into a conscious, continuous sense of the will and presence of God. And that growth happens when we begin to memorize Scripture.

Comments

Have you experienced a clear sense of the will and presence of God in your life? Has Scripture memory deepened that experience? Share a testimony or two in the comments below.

Posted by Dan Vis on 10/29/19
Diedra, be sure to join up for our Breakout Memory Challenge if you haven't already. It's a great way to restart a memory program that has stumbled, as well as a great help to those starting out. I'm sure you will love it. And the reference is Psalms 119:11Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.. :)
Posted by Diedra A Alston on 10/29/19
For a time I memorized scripture daily with my worship thought. I still remember the verses. I desire to
do this again. Thank you for reaching
out to all of us. The Word have I hid in my heart that I may not sin against
thee. I wish I had memorized the location of the Scriptures. Thank you for giving me another opportunity.
Posted by Carole Bliss on 03/24/19
I have taken thus class. I still go over the verses regularly. I realize how vital they are.
I use index cards and go over them when I walk
BLESSINGS
Carole
Posted by Dan Vis on 05/06/18
Glad you found this a blessing Pam! I think all three messages point to the importance of Scripture memory. In this senses, it's as much a message for us on how to prepare, as it is a warning to the world about the prophetic symbols these messages talk about. You did a beautiful job describing the fear of the Lord experience...
Posted by Pamela Kendall on 05/05/18

Thank you Dan for this beautiful connection between scripture memory and the 1st angel's message! Thanks for pointing us back to these articles at BMC... such a great connection to the Revelation book focus!

I especially like the emphasis on the memorized word providing a continuous sense of God's presence and his will. The internalized word makes Him more real to our minds (compare Deuteronomy 30:11-1411 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. & Romans 10:5-85 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. 6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) 7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) 8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; - Jesus = the word: when the word is near, Jesus himself is near!) The more personally acquainted we are with Him by intimate association/intimate communion through His word the better we will trust him and the more we will cherish and respect (fear - in the sense of awe/reverence) his opinion, his wisdom expressed in his word when making our choices and the more we will seek him/the word for counsel instead of trusting to our own (faulty) wisdom.

Posted by Dan Vis on 10/26/17

Thanks Vicky, glad that spoke to you. It is an amazing thought that the God of the universe condescends to meet with us personally, isn't it?

And yes, Debbie, it seems clear to me, the winds of strife are loosening more and more each day... And how that should redirect us to what is truly important. Well said...

Hi Carolynn, great to see you again!

Posted by Carolynn Joanne Kozak on 10/26/17

This is a great blessing to experience more of God's Love by memorizing His Words of Life. "Wonderful, Wonderful, YES my God is Wonderful"

Thank-you! everyone for sharing, your comments are a blessing to me.

Posted by Debbie Payne on 10/23/17
Thank you for this inspiring message of hope! As we see the four winds of strife being let loose your message redirects us to what is of vital importance...keeping a firm grip on God and His powerful words of love. Memorizing His word does kick up my spiritual walk...it is truly a blessing! Keep encouraging us...it's working!
Posted by Vicky Lewis on 10/22/17
"It (the internalized Word) is a constant reminder not only of the will of God, but also of the presence of God. Wow, that is deep. I had never thought about when memorized verses come to mind that I am experiencing the presence of God. . . God speaking to me!
Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 10/18/17
Oops, thanks, Dan - I forgot to tag Roy. I appreciate you spotting that ... :-D
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/16/17
Well glad to have you here Roy! Now I know 2 Roy Kim's. :)
Posted by Roy on 10/15/17
Hi Fiona! Hi Dan! Thanks for having me. I look forward to getting engaged and learning in this community. Dan, I think you are thinking of another person with the same name because I've never been to Australia yet :).
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/15/17

Hi Roy! Great to hear from you again. It has been awhile hasn't it? Are you still in Australia?

Let me know if you have any questions about anything, or I can help at all as you get oriented to our learning environment. Please see the comment above--a note from Fiona...

Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 10/15/17

A message for you, Dan, from Blessing.

Welcome, Roy! Good to have you here with us! God works with us when we are searching.

You will be blessed here, Roy. There are many classes and discussions to encourage you in your spiritual journey.

It is true that we need some degree of quiet to memorize Scripture - whether in nature or at home. And the Scriptures are a stay and solace to the soul too.

Do take part in our next challenge coming up - the discussions are lively and the topics presented very interesting! We hope to see you there! :-)

Posted by Roy on 10/14/17

Hello and God's blessings to all. I recently joined this community and I would like to thank God for this ministry. I was searching for a Scripture memorization program or method when I remembered the FAST Missions which I first heard about around 2007. I remember the name Dan Vis also. I did a Google search and was able to find this website. I pray that God will strengthen my walk with HIm and that I would be trained to be a disciple of Christ through the classes and programs here.

I feel God's presence most when I am in nature away from the noise and distractions of the city. I like to think about God during these times in nature and perhaps it would be an opportune time to memorize Scripture in the quiet and solitude.

Posted by Blessing on 10/14/17
OK Dan. I appreciate your quick response. Good night!
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/14/17
Cool. :) Guess it has been that long, John. Guess that means we're both getting older...
Posted by John Gilmore on 10/14/17
Indirectly about that long, Dan. My daughter, Tesha, introduced me to FAST in 1999. We didn't meet in person until a few yrs later.
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/14/17

Another wonderful testimony, Fiona! So appreciate your desire to share that experience with others...

Blessing, just login and go to the Crash Course classroom (under classes). Our email provider had a glitch that caused them to lose several automation sequences. So your emails will not be coming, but the lessons are all unlocking properly.

And thanks for sharing John. Hopefully some will respond. 18 years--praise God. Have we known each other that long?

Posted by John Gilmore on 10/14/17
Having been regularly memorizing for the last 18 yrs, yes, God's presence has been more deeply felt. His Word has grown more precious to me. I wish I had started earlier.
Posted by John Gilmore on 10/14/17
I did the Breakout Challenge earlier this year and was blessed. Thanks for the bulletin inserts, too. I'll pass some out today.
Posted by Blessing on 10/14/17
Bro Dan Happy Sabbath! Please I want to complete the Crash Course on memory gem. I stopped on day 3.
Have a blissful Sabbath day rest!
Blessing.
Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 10/13/17

I was just thinking that I need to send you a message, Becky, because it was been so silent from your side! Lovely to see your messages, Becky!

It is a very timely post, Dan. I appreciated it.

I have found Scripture memorization to be a wonderful blessing - while going about my daily business; chatting with friends - sharing Scripture even though they are not Bible people; helping me make decisions; encouraging myself and others; and understanding Scripture. As others mentioned above, working on memorizing Scripture makes the Bible come alive! I enjoy writing out my verses on cardboard to have on hand for moments in the day. My little verse packs give me joy. :-) I just long to have others start on the wonderful path of memorizing Scripture so that they can experience the blessings! I long to have friends and family prepared, for I believe that we are going to need those verses in our hearts and minds in the times to come. We need to be settled into the Truth. Having Scripture in our minds helps us know what we believe.

I am keeping you in prayer, Shanthi. May the heavenly angels surround you like they did Elisha.

I enjoyed reading everyone else's stories. :-)

Posted by Dan Vis on 10/13/17
Glad to have you back Becky! God is so good...
Posted by Colette Guthrie on 10/13/17
Becky thank you, I got your message :)
Posted by Becky Rich on 10/13/17
Ok, Dan I somehow didn't get the tags correct. Help? So sorry.
Posted by Becky Rich on 10/13/17

I hit the wrong button and sent my post before previewing it, so just want to add how much I enjoyed your testimonies, everyone: Robyn Pearl Hattingh, Ann, Colette, Blessing


Shanthi, how are you now? We were stateside a few weeks ago, and the smoke we inhaled traveling through the eastern side of Washington,Idaho and Montana, set me up for the pneumonia I'm now experiencing, I think. Protect your lungs!

Posted by Becky Rich on 10/13/17

I just read this memo this morning and it spoke volumes to me. I've been silent lately at Fast, Dan due to many reasons, traveling, illness, etc, but not silent with God.

I read His word voraciously. It's almost like I can't get enough of it. I want to KNOW God's word, but even more, I want to know Him. I've slowed my memorizing down because as Qing mentioned above, it's not how many verses we memorize butrather the process of truly hiding God's word in our heart through meditating upon His word and internalizing it.

It is too easy to get off track and let memorizing become an end to itself, but God patiently draws me back when I stray. I signed up this morning for the new challenge and am going to keep my heart focus on our Savior as I reclaim some of His beautiful promises and blessings in the book of Psalms.

Posted by Blessing on 10/13/17
He is bro Dan. May His name be praised forever and ever. Amen!
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/12/17
God is a constant source of strength Blessing, isn't he? Another wonderful testimony to the power of the internalized Word...
Posted by Blessing on 10/12/17
I daily draw strength from the scripture text in Philippians 4:13I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. and by remembering that the Lord is my health and deliverer - Jeremiah 17:14Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise. following series of health challenges I've had through child bearing. I have learnt daily to appreciate He who is my salvation and my health.
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/12/17
Like the say Qing, the teacher always learns the most. :)
Posted by Qing Ling on 10/12/17
That's what I love about FAST Dan - always stepping it up. Never a dull moment ! Like having a Personal trainer...except for the spiritual journey :)
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/12/17
My prayers are with you Shanthi! I've been hearing about these fires and praying already. We used to live in Northern California and still have friends there. Praise God for the comfort and courage His Word can bring!
Posted by Shanthi Solomon on 10/12/17

You mentioned that troubles in the world are accelerating. I am currently kind of surround by firestorms burning up the countryside. A completely new experience - waiting for the evacuation order. It was terrifying the first two days, but the scriptures that I have memorized are what give me peace and strengthen me. Psalms 4:8I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety. I will both lay me down in peace and sleep for thou LORD only makest me dwell in safety. I slept soundly last night. Praise God!

Please pray for all of us in Angwin.

Posted by Dan Vis on 10/11/17
Wow, what a testimony Ann. It does get easier after awhile, doesn't it. Keep up the good work!
Posted by Ann Lavenburg on 10/11/17
I'm looking forward to the new challenge. Lately I've been printing out all 10 of the verse pack and folding the paper to memorize as I walk my dog and do other tasks. It has "amped up" my ability to remember. I look back to March when I started and how l-o-n-g it took to remember one verse and reference. Now I have 150 verses. God is good!
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/10/17
I think you are going to love the new book focus we're adding this time around Qing! I can't wait to see how it goes.
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/10/17

We'll be looking more at Revelation 14 the next two weeks Uau. You are going to love it!

Thanks for your enthusiasm Barbara! Our next big program is going to be the Breakout Challenge--our absolute best training course on how to accumulate verses rapidly. Hope you can participate!

Posted by Qing Ling on 10/10/17
Great post.a bible study in itself with so many bible text references. I am more and more excited about the power of scripture memorization, particularly in the recognition that the end goal is not about getting the most verses memorized word perfect, even though word perfect memorization is part of it- but the greater joy is in all the steps taken TO memorise... The meditation, the praying, the sharing with others.. the constant walking with Jesus! Psalms 119:97O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
Looking forward to BMC November take #2. I just know it's going to be another spiritual goldmine experience.
I long to see victory over sin in my life and many verses shared in this page have been very encouraging.
Dan, Colette, Ann
Posted by Barbara E. LaRose on 10/10/17
I can't wait to start this program!! I've loved everything about Fast Missions so far and eagerly await the next program.
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/09/17
Praise God, Ann! What a great testimony of the power of Scripture. :)
Posted by Ann Lavenburg on 10/09/17
I just received an email from a non Adventist friend who started memorizing a scripture packet I sent her. She told me how those scriptures sustained her as she coped with her elderly mother's fall and hospitalization. She lost her father in May and as an only child all of this care taking is on her. Anyway the point is, Ann, my friend from high school, was greatly encouraged by the scriptures she memorized. :)
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/09/17
Great! It will be awesome to have you Colette. I think adding the book focus (Psalms) is going to make this challenge really exciting for new members. Pray I can get all the details ironed out successfully!
Posted by Colette Guthrie on 10/09/17
I will be joining the breakout challenge. On Sabbath I recited 8 of the 14 Sabbath school memory verses so will be using that as a spring board to promote FAST.
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/09/17

Thanks everyone: Robyn Pearl Hattingh, Ann, Colette, Joy, Valerie! So exciting to hear how the memorized Word is working in your lives. And of course in so many others as well. After a similar experience in my own life, I've been sharing memorization with others for over 20 years. I've seen the same miraculous impact time and time again!

I hope everyone signs up for our Breakout Memory Challenge this year! It is going to be our best one yet...

Posted by Carole Bliss on 10/09/17

This is a very vital and important message.
I plan on memorizing all these verses.
In different situations, verses come to mind. I see the need and value of this way of storing HIS word in our hearts, and sharing it with others.

Blessings,
Carole

Posted by Valerie Wise Burrell on 10/09/17
Dan,
This message is so very timely. Your words " we open our hearts to God, internalize His word.." get to the heart of the matter. We must open our hearts to God for His Word to find a place to be planted to bring forth fruit. Thank you again.
God bless you.
Posted by Joy Hank on 10/09/17
The memorization of scripture has had significant implications in my life since I began with it this year. It has helped in encouraging those going through difficult times; in counselling those looking for guidance. Memorization certainly gives the Holy Spirit an easier time in bringing the right words to mind. I find this when there are special prayer needs; participating in Bible discussions and even when listening to a sermon. But one of the deepest benefits I have found is the insights gained through the repetition process. I have been deeply and truly blessed. I would certainly challenge and encourage one and all to take the time to hide God's word in your heart!

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