If we fear our boss, college professor, employer, or spouse more than God, we are guilty of idolatry, putting human figures in the place of God.
What we learn and experience at the Feast of Tabernacles should keep us in the proper fear of God for the rest of the year. Here's how to approach the Feast.
The Feast is not a celebration just for the sake of having a good time. Our festivities should focus on God's faithfulness, rejoicing in all He did during the year.
Though no verse directly states it, a unifying factor in the instructions for the Feast is God's faithfulness, which will lead us to the proper fear of Him.
Realizing God's willingness to help and knowing His worthiness begin to build in us the vital components of genuine, sincere worship.
The fear and trembling before God is more like reverence and awe instead of abject terror. It leads us to total dependence upon God with a desire to repudiate sin.
Scripture takes a very stern view of sin because it is failure to live up to God's standard and destroys relationships, especially our relationship with God.
Fearing God is equated with obeying or complying with God's instructions, voluntarily measuring all our thoughts and behavior against His Law.
Many have inadvertently adopted a soft concept of God, disrespecting and showing contempt for God's authority and power. Godly fear is a gift of wisdom.
We must have established some relationship with God before we can rightly fear Him. A holy fear is the key to unlocking the treasuries of salvation and wisdom.
The fear of God is the first line of defense, keeping us from profaning God's name, tarnishing the image of the Lord, and defending us from pain and/or death.
We must fill our lives with peace, repenting, changing our attitude, and voluntarily yielding to God before we can produce the fruits of righteousness.
Good and evil do not mix; we cannot associate with what is wrong. The proper fear of God plays a significant role in ridding evil from our lives.
Even before we acquire the necessary building blocks of faith, hope, and love, we must acquire the fear of God, which unlocks the treasures of God.
After the Spirit of God is imparted, removing the fear of men and installing the life-sustaining fear of God, the real dramatic growth takes place.
When the Bible is mentioned as a resource of strength and purpose to some people, they meet it with everything from eye-rolls to bitterness and apathy.
If we fear things other than God, we stunt our spiritual growth. We stop overcoming because any non-godly fear will involve self-centeredness, the opposite of God.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on Michael Creighton's book, State of Fear, warns that the same kind of hypnotic persuasiveness of Adolph Hitler and the effective propaganda efforts of Joseph Goebbels are being employed by the global warning alarmists, controlled by anti-God evolutionists, to enslave us economically with oppressive …
Here are four qualities of character that our full acceptance of God's sovereignty will build and that will prepare us for whatever work God may choose for us.
John Ritenbaugh, focusing on Deuteronomy 14:23-26, with the instructions for converting the tithe of the produce into money (second tithe or festival tithe), emphasizes that the reason for this monetary conversion is to learn to fear God. Of the 400 instances of the word fear in the Scriptures, three fourths have negative …
Like Job, we must surrender to God's will and purpose for our lives, realizing that both pleasant and horrendous times work for our spiritual development.
Eternal life is to live a quality life as God lives, having developed a close relationship with God, living by faith and accepting His sovereignty over all.
We are not individually sovereign, but we are taught to give ourselves over completely to God's sovereignty. If we do, we will reap unfathomable blessings.
We are mandated to live by faith, being given trials of faith in order to chisel our character. We must totally and unreservedly accept God's sovereignty.
Even though a Christian's potential is so wonderful, it is still necessary for God to motivate His children to reach it. This begins with the fear of God.
In Matthew 13, the hidden treasure the man finds provides the spiritual solution to the leaven - corruption - the woman hides in the three measures of meal.
There are two seemingly-contradictory types of fear, the good fears and the bad ones. We must begin and remain in the proper fear of God to cast off other fears.
Fear can be broken down into two broad categories: the fear of God and the fear of everything else. If we fear God, we will not need to fear anything else.
Most converted Christians realize that God is sovereign. But sometimes the Bible reveals something about God that makes us uncomfortable. Can we accept it?
God pays attention to the small things we may excuse in ourselves, sins we commit in weakness. God's patience does not constitute approval of our sin.
There is an aspect of God's goodness that is rarely associated with goodness. As surprising as it may seem, God's goodness can be feared!
As obnoxious as tyrannical power may seem, we have the obligation to behave lawfully. Even the vilest of leaders has been allowed by God to rule.
It is true that we cannot physically see the invisible God, but that does not mean that we cannot recognize His involvement in our lives. Here's how.
Winston Churchill observed that 'Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.' The majority of organized 'Christianity' has a similar view of God.
The apostle Paul inventories spiritual gifts that God has given for the edification of the church, including ministry of the word and practical service.
Some may doubt that God is in control, but God's sovereignty over His creation is complete. The course of world events are moving according to His will.
Paul's admonition to Timothy to stir up God's Holy Spirit applies just as much today when we sometimes become blindsided by fears about the future.
We must not limit God's glory to something physical like fire or cloud, but rather recognize God's glory as radiating from His character, which we can share.
The key to overcoming the fear of loss of control is to admit that God is in control. If we have our priorities straight, God will take care of our anxieties.
Formality and decorum (in terms of dress and behavior) are part of godly standards and sanctity. We must always look for the spirit and intent of what God commands.
Love motivates the two intrinsic parts of God's holy character—goodness and severity, as He seeks to rescue humanity from the consequences of sin.
Humility, poverty of spirit, and acknowledging our total dependence on God are of the utmost importance. God responds to those who are humble.
When the fear of the Lord forms the basis for a marriage, the couple is starting out their marriage properly, and they can expect good results in time.
Martin Collins, reflecting on the obsession with alien invasions portrayed by movie and video game industries, warns us that a real alien invasion has been underway for a long time by such species as flying silver carp, Asian tiger mosquitoes, Burmese pythons, feral hogs, red imported fire ants, zebra mussels, etc. all …
God's faithfulness is the foundation of our faith. We cannot live by faith unless we believe we have a God who is faithful in everything He does.
As God's instruction manual, the Bible contains the answers and guidance we need in times of trouble. Scripture reflects His mind more than any other resource.
Both Tabernacles and Unleavened Bread keep us off balance so that we remain humble, seek stability, and trust in God's providence for our ultimate destiny.
John Ritenbaugh, cuing onto Ecclesiastes 5:18-20, observes that we must do what we must to keep a relationship with God. Solomon teaches us that money may provide some security, but it cannot be relied upon for satisfaction; only a relationship with God will fill that yawning vacuum. Money is neutral commodity, serving either …
God wants us to use wisdom to change ourselves, humbly replacing our perspective with His perspective. God gives wisdom as a component of His grace.
'Good' is a term we use very loosely, yet it is a major characteristic of God. It is defined in terms of what God is: absolute goodness.
God's providence is a subject that few people, even in God's church, have a full grasp on. Most look on it too narrowly, but we must consider it carefully.
Carnal fear puts us into terror, but fear of God brings security. We dare not try to replace the fear of God with the love of God; both are foundational.
Once we accept God's sovereignty, it begins to produce certain virtues in us. Here are four of these byproducts of total submission to God.
Fearing God leads to a determination not to bring shame on God's name or offending and hurting the relationship between God and us.
Deuteronomy, which is to be reviewed every seven years, provides us with vision and instruction for living in our spiritual Promised Land.
The parables of the leaven and the treasure hidden in the field show two sides of the same coin. The hidden treasure is the God-given solution to the leaven.
Solomon warns against bad choices in our investment of time. Our knowledge that we will ultimately die should motivate us to use our time circumspectly.
Too many feel that they are above the law, but paradoxically, laws proliferate when corruption prevails. We must be subject to all law, God's and man's.
David Grabbe, unraveling several apparently contradictory scriptures, exposes a fundamental flaw in western thinking—namely the binary (that is, either-or) thinking that leads us to construct false dilemmas. Perhaps the best example of this is the one delineated by Protestant theologians who conceptualize law and grace at …
As he closes Ecclesiastes 7, Solomon makes a confession about the search for wisdom, saying that, even to him, true wisdom remained beyond his grasp.
God emphasizes Ecclesiastes during the Feast of Tabernacles to show the result of doing whatever our human heart leads us to do. The physical cannot satisfy.
David Maas, concluding the series on the W's and H's of meditation, focuses on a series of scriptures warning us to guard our hearts, bring every thought into captivity, and let no one take our crowns, emphasizing our responsibility to take charge of our thoughts, monitoring not only what goes into our minds, but proactively …
God has blessed us with the Sabbath, a period of holy time, when He redeems us from the clutches of our carnality and this evil world.
Moses, Jonah, David, and Gideon demonstrated resistance to God's prompts, indicating that they initially feared men more than they feared God.
It is unusual for lunar eclipses to occur on God's holy days. Understanding those days helps us to find the right significance to the blood moons.
John Ritenbaugh, focusing on Proverbs 4:7, maintains that our supreme objective in godly living is attainment and cultivation of wisdom, which consists of attributes giving us skill in living. We learn that the Book of Ecclesiastes has no meaning for someone not called of God, relegating it as an epistle of despair from one of …
The church of God is not immune to the deterioration of doctrine. Minor deviations from doctrine bring about irreparable, disastrous consequences.
There is a danger that arises when the righteous suffer and the wicked prosper: trying to put God under obligation to bless us through becoming 'super-righteous'.
John Ritenbaugh, reminding us that Ecclesiastes chapters 1-6 contains a sub-theme of materialism—specifically an indictment of the supposed satisfaction one receives from it suggests that materialism contains no lasting fulfillment. According to some studies, the higher a person is on the economic scale, the less …
Sin creates estrangement from God, causing us to fail in everything we attempt. Sin always produces separation; it never heals, but causes death.
God spoke audibly to Moses and the people, intentionally testing their faithfulness, to instill the fear of the Lord in them, and to keep them from sin.
Martin Collins considers that if the Church of God is the Kingdom of God in embryo, we have a charge to learn how to teach. In the Millennium, we will teach the laws and ordinances. We will be kings and priests, responsible for those refugees coming out of the tribulation. We, as future spirit beings, must be preparing now to …
The Bible tells us that at the Feast of Tabernacles, we can spend our money on whatever we desire. Do we indulge ourselves, or do we enhance the Feast for others?
We must seek God as ardently as we would a physical love relationship, spending quality time with Him. If we make no effort, the relationship cools.
God has given His people tremendous gifts that, if used, will build their faith and draw them closer to Him. He wants us to succeed because we matter.
John Ritenbaugh, claiming that one major reason people find Ecclesiastes to be pessimistic is that much of life also contains negativity, suggests that Solomon, who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, found much of life discouraging, disappointing, trying, and fraught with vanity. Nevertheless, his lifetime observations …
Ecclesiastes is perhaps the most practical book in the Old Testament, providing overviews of life-guiding advice, essentially a roadmap through the maze.
Being reared in a democratic nation sometimes complicates our relationship with God; God's government is actually a sovereign, benevolent dictatorship.
The story of Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac encourages God's people that they need never doubt God commitment and ability to give them everything they need.
Mike Ford, reflecting upon the high prevalence of 'snowflakes' (i.e., anxiety-ridden young people) needing a safe place, exemplified by the Yale girl shrieking for a safe place from Halloween costumes, and Harvard snowflakes, terrorized by having to pay library fines, contends that we have never experienced such fearfulness in …
God never says the Christian life would be easy or that life would always be fair. Difficulties and tests are given to test our hearts and promote humility.
In this keynote address of the 2007 Feast of Tabernacles, John Ritenbaugh, focusing on Abraham's pattern of life, answers the question, 'Why is the Church of the Great God doing what it is doing at this time?' Abraham and Sarah's life of faith is the pattern that God's called-out ones are obligated to follow. Interestingly, …
The Kingdom of God is our goal, and our vision of what it means gives us compelling motivation to overcome, grow, and bear fruit in preparation for eternal life.
Liberty without guidelines will turn into chaos. We will be free only if we submit to the truth. All authority, even incompetent authority, derives from God.