SID: John Bevere, what is the fear of the Lord?
JOHN: The fear of the Lord, first of all, is not to be scared of God. Okay. How can we have a relationship, intimacy with somebody we’re scared of? Okay. If you remember when Moses brought Israel out of Egypt, he made a statement to them. He said, when God came down on the mountain they all ran away, and he made this statement, Exodus 20:20. If you want a 20/20 vision this is it. He said, “Do not fear,” he said, “because God is coming to touch you to see if there’s fear in you.” Now wait a minute. “Do not fear because God is coming to see if this fear is in you.” It sounds like a contradiction. It’s not. He’s differentiating between being scared of God and fear of the Lord. The person who’s scared of God has something to hide. What does Adam do as soon as he disobeys God? He runs from the presence of God. A person who fears God has nothing to hide. He’s scared to be away from God. So if you want the initial definition of the fear of the Lord, it’s to be terrified, not scared, terrified to be away from God. So when we fear God, we venerate him. Now venerate is huge. What does that mean? It means we honor, respect, we reverence Him more than anything or anyone else. So it means that we take on His heart and we love what He loves, and we hate what He hates.
SID: Would you say that’s a definition of holiness because it says in the Bible, “Without holiness you will not see God.” What’s your definition?
JOHN: Yeah, but wait a minute. How is holiness developed? According to the New Testament, “Perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord,” Second Corinthians 7:1. Okay. So the fear of the Lord is the prerequisite to holiness. Moses said, “God has come to see if this fear so that you do not sin.” Fear of the Lord is to hate evil. Now let me tell you the way most Christians look at this in America. Many Christians will say, I dislike evil. No, the fear of the Lord is not to dislike evil. The fear of the Lord is to hate evil. So we love what He loves, we hate what He hates. Now I’ve heard religious people say this: “I hate those sinners, you know. They live like this, they do that. I hate them. I fear God.” No, you don’t fear God because you hate what He loves. God is in love with that person that’s bound to sin. He died for that person. How dare you say, “I hate that person, I fear God.” You don’t fear God because you hate what He loves. So when you embrace the fear of the Lord, you get a greater measure of the Holy Spirit because, Sid, I’m going to really bare myself here. Back in the late ’80s, early ’90s, I was praying two hours every day. Okay. I’d get up at five, pray until seven and then go to work. One day I said, “Why isn’t there a stronger anointing? Why isn’t there a stronger presence of the Holy Spirit in my life?” I pray two hours every day. I’m reading your word. I’m studying. Why isn’t there a stronger? And you know what the Lord said to me? He said, “Because you tolerate sin, not only in your life, but in the lives of others.” And I was like, what? And He said, “Read Hebrews 1.” So I go to Hebrews 1, where Jesus is raised from the dead. God the Father inaugurates him as Lord of the church, and makes the statement to Jesus. He said, “Because you’ve loved righteousness,” the Lord said, “stop.” He said, “Every Christian loves righteousness,” but He said, “that’s not all I said.” The Father looks at the Son and He says, “Because you’ve loved righteousness and hated sin, therefore, God, even thy God has anointed you above your companions.” He said, “Learn to hate sin the way I hate sin and you’ll see the anointing of God in your life in greatness.” So what I’ve noticed is I would go into my prayer closet and I wouldn’t even pray, I wouldn’t even sing. I would just meditate on the awesomeness of our Father. And bam, there’s this presence. So this started going on every day. And one day I just say, “Hold it!” I said, “It used to be so hard for me to get into Your presence in the prayer closet. Now it’s getting so easy.” And the Holy Spirit said, “How did Jesus teach his disciples to pray?” So I said, “The Lord’s Prayer. Our Father which are in Heaven hallowed be thy name.” There it is. Jesus, you taught your disciples, you can’t come into the presence of God without the reverential fear of the Lord. See, if you look at the Book of Hebrews, it says that, “Jesus was heard because of his godly fear.” It’s one thing to pray, it’s another thing to be heard. Okay. So there’s a lot of prayer that goes on. But I want to be heard. It’s the fear of the Lord. So to get back to what I said to you earlier. That morning in the hotel room in Malaysia when God spoke to me, He said, “Lucifer lead worship. He didn’t fear me. He didn’t endure forever.” He said, “A third of the angels surrounded my throne. They didn’t fear me. They didn’t endure forever. Adam and Eve walked in my presence, glorious presence. They didn’t fear me. They didn’t endure in the Garden forever.” So the Lord spoke to me and He said, “Every created being that surrounds my throne throughout eternity will be tested in the fear of the Lord.”
SID: You know, a lot of people miss the word for the Holy Spirit is “holy”, and that’s why God says, “Be ye holy, for I God am holy.” I’m reminded of Katherine Kuhlman. I told you about her earlier. Katherine used to say, “Please don’t grieve the Holy Spirit. He’s all I’ve got.” And I never totally understood that until I read the Book of Acts, the first chapter, the 8th verse, “You shall receive power.” And the word for power is “dynamite power”, like the same power that rose Messiah Jesus from the grave. You shall receive that dynamite power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And why do you have this power? To be witnesses. That’s the whole purpose of this program. I want you to see miracles so you will be a witness.