Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin
Tree of Life
Lessons we can learn from the Doctrine of Fear.
One of the main areas that believers need to beware of thinking that they are mature believers in some areas and they also think they’re going forward when in reality, they are not. For remember what our LORD said in MAT 7:16, “You will know them by their fruits.”
MAT 7:18, “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.”
Now, as we will see, it all begins because they have the wrong mental attitude and their mental attitude is carrying them backwards not forwards. And as long as this type of individual remains arrogant and refuses to admit their negative decisions they will live in the arrogant skills.
Self-justification, self-deception, and self-absorption, are all excuses that they use. Paul warned us about this in the last days when he said in 2TI 3:1-7, But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men [believers] will be lovers of self [the three arrogant skills: self-justification, self-deception, self-absorption], lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, slanderers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful [lack of capacity], unholy, unloving, implacable, malicious gossips, without self-control [no virtue in control of the soul], brutal, not lovers of intrinsic good, treacherous, thoughtless, pumped up with arrogance, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of GOD; who adhere to a superficial form of the spiritual life, but they have denied its power; consequently, avoid such persons as these. For among them are those who creep into homes and seduce silly women overwhelmed by their sins, led on by multifarious lusts, always learning but never able to come to an epignosis knowledge of the truth.
Isaiah describes this in ISA 44:20, He feeds on ashes; a deceived heart has turned him aside. And he cannot deliver himself, nor say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”
Your mental attitude is so important because that’s where you develop your proper motivation and it also where you do most of your sinning, in the mental attitude. These mental attitude sins include arrogance, pride, jealousy, implacability, bitterness, vindictiveness, inordinate ambition and inordinate competition, all motivational sins, and sinful thoughts such as fear, guilt, worry, anger, judging, hatred, even murder. And these are the sins that destroy your life. Character is the result of two things: mental attitude and how we spend our time. Let’s look at some mental attitude sins. Let’s begin with arrogance.
Arrogance is the antithesis of grace, the total blindness to the grace of GOD. Arrogance is synonymous with vanity, which is empty pride in regard to one’s person, attainments, or possessions coupled with an excessive desire to be noticed, a lust for attention, lust for approval or praise from others. Arrogance deceives its victim.
JER 49:16, “As for the terror of you, The arrogance of your heart has deceived you.”
Arrogance will bring dishonor in your life, PRO 11:2, “When arrogance comes, then come dishonor.”
Arrogance will cause self-destruction, PRO 16:18, “Arrogance precedes destruction, and before a fall there is a lifestyle of arrogance.”
Now, all of that takes place in the mental attitude.
Pride. Pride is defined by inordinate self-esteem, conceit and a pre-occupation with self. Pride also means rejection of authority beginning with the mental attitude of thinking evil.
Arrogance, Pride, Conceit, is the original sin of the greatest genius creature of all time. We call him Satan or the Devil, but his original name was son of the morning, Heylel. He was the first creature to enter into this sin. In fact, it is the original sin found in the fallen angels in the pre-historic angelic conflict. It is the one sin that motivated Satan to rebel. It is the one sin that motivated the fallen angels to rebel. It is the one sin that motivated the woman in the garden to sin.
PRO 8:13, “The respect for the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way, And the perverted mouth, I hate.”
PRO 16:5, “Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; Assuredly, he will not be unpunished.”
Jealousy. Jealousy is older than the human race because jealousy existed in eternity past when Lucifer, the son of the morning, became jealous of GOD. The first case of jealousy in the human race surfaced when Cain became jealous of his brother Abel and he ended up murdering his broth Cain because of jealousy. Scripture describes jealousy as cruel; SOS 8:6; filled with anger and revenge; PRO 6:34; and frustrating, PRO 27:4.
PRO 6:34, “For jealousy enrages a man, And he will not spare in the day of vengeance.”
In fact. there was one occurrence of jealousy recorded in England in 1966, which shows the potential destructive results of jealousy. It was called in England the “Morbidly Jealous Murderer.”
“Morbid jealousy accounted for 12% of insane male murderers incarcerated at Broadmoor in England. The crime was most frequently committed by beating to death with a club or strangulation. Most morbidly jealous murderers are male. Most victims are wives or mistresses. On the average, these murderers had been married 10 years and had been delusional for half that time.”
So, as you can see, jealousy can be a very serious mental attitude sin. Jealousy is a self-destructive mental attitude and a system of thinking form the kosmos or the world system.
JAM 3:14-16, But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your right lobes, do not be arrogant and lie against the truth. This wisdom [jealousy is called a form of wisdom] is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist there is disorder and every evil thing.”
Jealousy will always create instability and disorder in the life of the believer.”
PRO 14:30, “A tranquil heart is life to the body, But jealousy is rottenness to the bones.”
Jealousy is self-destructive, JOB 5:2, “For jealousy slays the foolish man,” As goes your mental attitude, so goes your health. Jealousy is the worst of all the mental attitude sins because it is the strongest of the mental attitude sins. Jealousy is the strongest mental attitude sin, PRO 27:34.
Pride is the worst sin and is the other side of the coin from jealousy. PRO 27:3, “A stone is heavy and the sand weighty, but the provocation of a fool is heavier than both of them.”
The “stone” in this passage is overt jealousy and anger; the “sand” is subtle jealousy.
PRO 27:4, “Wrath is fierce; and anger is a flood; but who can stand before jealousy.”
So great was the sin of jealousy in Israel that a special offering was made for it (NUM 5:11; 31). It is very difficult to get over jealousy. Jealousy invariably is a symptom of neurotic insecurity. No one can make you jealous unless you let them.
Implacability. Then there is the mental attitude sin of the one that most believers are facing during this crisis implacability, and that is the mental attitude of fear.
The Doctrine of Fear.
Fear is used two ways in the Bible. Fear is used for a mental attitude sin, characterized by panic when in a dangerous situation as well as intimidation. Fear is a painful emotional distress aroused by impending pain, danger, disaster, evil or by illusions regarding the same. It can be fear of something that is real something imaginable. But the point is fear will torment you and punish you.
Fear is self-induced misery. 1JO 4:18, There is no fear in virtue-love; but mature love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not matured in love. Fear is worry, apprehension, consternation, or horror. Consternation is when a person becomes paralyzed toward their problems. Usually they run away from the problem like a frightened horse or they close their doors and hide from society. In fact, it’s not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live. And that’s what fear will do it will paralyze you. Fear is also an active feeling of dread, of which fright and terror are the more intense degrees. Fear is also used in the Bible for reverence, respect, or awe. It is a reverence manifesting itself in obedience. In this respect, fear is a Christian virtue, 1PE 2:17, Honor all men; love the brotherhood, fear GOD, honor the king.
So, the meaning of the word “fear” in the Bible is determined by the context in which it is used. Neglect or rejection of the mystery doctrine of the Church-age and failure to utilize its fantastic problem-solving devices result in many problems, including fear. We are designed by GOD to be rational creatures, but fear can make us irrational. Therefore, fear is an irrational and emotional sin. In fact, many believers have discovered that when you face your fear, most of the time you will discover that it was not really such a big threat after all. For the believer, fear is failure to learn and apply Bible doctrine to the problems of life, and failure to learn and utilize the problem-solving devices. Fear is also a part of the emotional complex of sins. Fear is made up of a whole system of sins which include worry, anxiety, insecurity, incapability of doctrinal application, and therefore inability to use the problem-solving devices.
ROM 14:23, “…whatever is not from faith is sin.”
Fear includes all the problems of emotionalism, for fear is an emotional sin. Many sins involve only thinking but fear involves emotion and little or no thinking. The Christian loser is bogged down and hindered from his advance by various categories of sins and arrogance related to fear. Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world. The only thing we have to fear is HEB 4:1-3, Therefore, let us fear lest, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, “As I swore in My wrath, They shall not enter My rest,” although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.
Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to really live. Look at HEB 13:6 so that we confidently say, “The LORD is my helper, I will not be afraid. What shall man do to me?”
And this is a quotation of PSA 56:4, “In GOD, whose word I praise, In GOD I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?”
To face your fears and not be afraid is the final test of maturity. Fear is crippling, it shackles those who could do great things and keeps them from even attempting that which they could possibly achieve. Fear chokes and kills dreams and creativity and the most interesting thing about fear is that it is a learned behavior.
The Snowballing Principle of Fear.
First of all, the more things you surrender to fear, the more things you fear. Today you may be worried about only one thing; tomorrow about two things, etc. And soon you become so emotionally involved in fear that you have no identity. Irrationality means loss of identity, which means the accumulation of fear until you are afraid of life. And fear is something that, if not controlled, continues to develop in your life until you have no capacity to enjoy life and as a believer you become a loser.
Speaking of the ungodly David said in PSA 53:5, “There they were in great fear where no fear had been;”
You see fear is irrational thinking, there was no reason to fear! One of the motivations for becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol is fear of life, anxiety, worry, and tension. So, to the extent to which you surrender to fear, the greater is your capacity for fear. Fear destroys happiness. Where the fear is, happiness is not. And that’s because there is no way you can have true love or true happiness apart from a healthy mental attitude. And fear destroys the mental attitude.
So, the greater your capacity for fear, the more you increase the power of fear in your life. And the more you increase the power of fear in your life, the greater your mind set as a loser believer and the greater your chances of failure to execute the PPOG through the mechanics of the spiritual life under equal opportunity.
Look at EXO 14:10, And as Pharaoh drew near, the sons of Israel looked, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them,
The verb to look is Qal imperfect of nasa which means that they kept staring and concentrated on Pharaoh’s army, the oncoming problem. And by concentrating on Pharaoh’s army, the problem, they were overwhelmed by fear and they completely forgot the grace of GOD and the power of GOD and the marvelous deliverance that they had experienced just a week or so before.
They concentrated on the wrong thing! They concentrated on the problem! And they not only panicked but they began to do something which all of us have been guilty of at some time “they began to whine and complain.” Whining and complaining Christians are not going to solve their problems! If you’re complaining, you’re concentrating on the wrong thing. And, we have all done this at some time in our lives! We concentrate on the circumstances of pressure rather than the principles of doctrine. We concentrate on the disaster rather than the solution!
EXO 14:11-14, Then they said to Moses, “Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent.”
Notice that first they had to be stabilized in their mentality or else some of them would have turned back to the Egyptians “begging to be slaves”! And you’ll live like a slave unless you learn to become stabilized under pressure. The Jews faced extermination from the pursuing chariot army of Pharaoh. They were not trained in war, They were in a hopeless situation. So, Moses told the Jews “do not fear”! When you’re in a hopeless situation that’s when you need to think! The LORD will fight for you while you will keep your mouth shut! You see, that’s the whole concept of the faith rest drill. In grace, the LORD fights our battles!