Fear of God
First posted: January 29, 2022
In the previous posting, we meditated on how to deal with fear that is derived from dangers that are all too real. In this article, we shall meditate on the true role of fear, especially with regard to God, and how that role is misapplied by souls that are not submissive to the Spirit. Basic and esoterical as some of these concepts may seem, they are fundamental in understanding the nature of God's latter-rain revival on Earth.
As many of you may know, fear makes a very early appearance in the history of mankind, as indicated in the passage below:
"6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. 8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. 9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? 10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself." (Genesis 3:6-10)
Notice that Adam and Eve hid from God in fear when they heard His voice, even after they had had encounters with Him in the past and had communed with Him with no issues whatsoever. Obviously, the fear was motivated by their nakedness, which had not been an issue in the past but had now become a problem because of their fall. Hence, we can see that fallen man's first reaction to the presence of God was fear followed by avoidance. In other words, fallen man's fear of God led to him seeking separation from Him. The question then becomes, was this "separation reaction" what God wanted to see in man, especially now that man had fallen? If that had been the case, God would have never gone into the garden to walk in it and look for them. Now that man was filthy with sin, God could have very easily spoken with a loud thunder from the sky to chide them for their disobedience and decree His sentences against them from a "safe" distance. Yet, He chose to physically walk in the garden and approach them to the point that they could hear Him coming towards them. This means that man's "separation reaction" upon feeling fear of God was not the "correct" reaction but rather an incorrect reaction born out of their fallen state. It would be foolish to think that God had gone into the garden to be near them because He "did not know" that they had fallen. Thus, we can safely say that God knew that they were filthy even as He came closer and closer to them. Does this mean that He was "OK" with their unholy state and did not see it as an issue that would interfere with His ability to be close to them? Of course not. We can therefore conclude that His decision to approach them physically reveals that He was not requiring or demanding an avoidance/separation reaction from man, even in his fallen state. What was God expecting man to do? What would have been the correct reaction from man, especially considering his new state of "fallenness"? Was he supposed to show fear? If so, what should have been his immediate reaction after experiencing that fear? We pray that the answers to these questions will become clear by the end of this posting.
Before answering the questions at the end of the above section, we must answer the most basic of those questions first: Were Adam and even supposed to react with fear? To answer that, let us consider the following verse:
"4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him." (Luke 12:4-5)
Notice that Yeshua encourages those listening to Him to fear God, especially because of God's authority (mistranslated as "power") to punish you by terminating you and casting you into Gehenna (the valley of lamentation, translated as "hell" above) because your life is no longer of any use. This means that Adam and Eve were supposed to react with fear as God approached them, especially because they had just done something that had put in peril their lives' eternal purpose.
The question then becomes, is fear of God expected from us even if we have not done anything deserving of punishment from God? To answer that, let us consider the following passage:
"48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. 49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. 50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation." (Luke 1:48-50)
Notice that God has "no issues" with people who fear Him, regardless of "impending-punishment status". In fact, He extends His mercy on those who fear Him, and that mercy extends across generations, meaning that a person who fears God creates an atmosphere around him or her that can impart that fear in those who are exposed to that atmosphere, including the person's children. And, as that fear is "transmitted", so is the mercy from God that comes with it.
Some may find that what we have said so far in this posting amounts to nothing more than "stating the obvious" since, to many believers, "fearing God" is an accepted/desired attitude. However, it is important to emphasise the Scriptural backing of this "obvious" fact for two important reasons. For one, reading what the Spirit of God has to say about the fear of God in Scripture helps to purge us from the flat and limited definition that the matriarchal Church has created for the term "fear of God". Second, it protects us from misunderstanding other passages of Scripture that the matriarchal Church has misused to convince believers that anything that somehow "promotes" fear and judgement is contrary to Scripture and to the nature of the more "benevolent and loving" God of the "New Testament".
As we saw in Luke 12:4-5 above, we are to fear God more than man because of the thoroughness and the long-lasting consequences of the punishment that He can inflict upon us. However, as we also saw in Luke 1:50 above, fear is not necessarily associated with a guilty conscience that is expecting punishment for some previous wrongdoing. To better understand this, let us consider the following passage:
"17 And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them. 18 And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him. 19 And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus. 20 And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee. 21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? 22 But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts? 23 Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk? 24 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house. 25 And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. 26 And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day." (Luke 5:17-26)
Notice that Yeshua first forgave the man's sins, meaning that He first addressed any fear of punishment in the man's heart. After confronting the religious people's unbelief that a man could forgive sins, He proceeded to heal the sick man, making him walk before everyone. Verse 26 then witnesses that they were all "amazed", a word that was translated from the Greek words lambano meaning "to take, receive, embrace" and ekstasis, which literally means "to put (something) out of its state/stasis". As you may have already figured, ekstasis is the origin of the English word "ecstasy". Thus, ekstasis speaks of someone who has been jolted out of his normal state of mind. When you then consider the word lambano, we can conclude that Scripture is declaring that the people described above were suddenly enveloped by an atmosphere that jolted them out of their normal state of existence. They were in the presence of something, or, shall we say, Someone extraordinary, Someone whom they could not see but whom they could perceive. They then glorified God, knowing in their inner being that the presence they were enveloped in was the presence of God Himself. They were then filled with fear but did not run away as Adam and Eve had done. They had heard when Yeshua said to the sick man, "Your sins are forgiven", and they knew that, in the midst of their fear, they could believe that God had forgiven them as well (this is part of why Yeshua uttered those words before healing the man). They then declared, "We have seen strange things to day".
The word "strange" in verse 26 was slightly mistranslated from the Greek word paradoxos, which, as you may imagine, is the root of the English word "paradox", meaning that they had beheld things that defy or seemingly contradict natural logic or the "traditional" point of view. This all correlates with the paradoxical notion that man has the authority to forgive sins. How can man, who is weak and fallen himself, be allowed such an authority? Yes, in his fallen state, man possesses no such authority, but, once man is able to rise from that fallen state, like the sick man of Luke 5:17-26 above, he can start to walk in that extraordinary authority. Notice that the atmosphere of fear came as the man walked before them, taking his bed with him and going home. Just as Yeshua had walked in the authority of God before them, this man was also doing the same, which intensified the fearsome presence that was enveloping them. In short, the fear that those people experienced that day did not stem from a fear of being punished by God but from the extraordinary Nature of His presence and the fact that that Nature was being replicated in man.
As a parenthesis, it is worth noting that, when the religious people took offence at Yeshua for forgiving the man's sins, they ironically became offensive to God Himself, but not because they did not believe that "Yeshua was God" (whatever that may mean to a matriarchal). Instead, as certified in the following passage, God's offence at their religious indignation was because they refused to believe that a man (i.e. any willing man) could possibly exercise the authority to forgive other men of their sins towards God:
"19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. 21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained." (John 20:19-23)
The words "remit" and "remitted" in verse 23 above were satanically mistranslated by the KJV from the Greek verb aphiemi, the very same verb that they translated as "forgiven" and "forgive" in Luke 5:20-21 above. Also, the word "Ghost" in verse 22 was slightly mistranslated from the word pneuma meaning "spirit". Therefore, this authority to forgive or retain others' sins requires that a person operate in the Spirit and not the soul. Even though the meaning of this authority is difficult to explain in one paragraph, it can at least be said that, when another person engages with you whilst you are in the Spirit and does not recognise the God Authority that is in you (which is there on account of the Spirit's presence within you), then that person's future and destiny is placed in your hands, and you will have the authority to subject the other person to constant judgement and punishment in his life until he repents in his heart of what he did to you. He may never see you again, and he may never be able to express his regret to you, but, by having a change of heart, it will be as if he had physically approached you and begged for your forgiveness, after which he would then be released of the punishment that you placed over his life. This writer believes that, in some cases, even the other person's eternal destiny (i.e. "heaven" or "hell") can hinge on that person's willingness to repent of the evil that they did to you. In other words, you will have the authority to close the door of salvation to that person until he or she is willing to bend their knee to you and repent of the evil that they did to you and God. This reveals the immensity of the work that Yeshua did at Golgotha on our behalf. It is sad that the matriarchal Church is so stubbornly unwilling to accept this, and she is even willing to fight God to the death to prevent such an authority being manifested in the sons of men. That is how little fear and reverence they have towards the God of Israel, a God whom they do not know or understand, a God who, in their opinion, is too "paradoxical" to be real.
The manifestation of a fear of God that does not arise from fear of punishment per se can also be seen in the following passage:
"11 And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people. 12 Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. 13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. 14 And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. 15 And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother. 16 And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people. 17 And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about." (Luke 7:11-17)
The name of the city where all of the above happened, Nain, is derived from the Hebrew word naa meaning "pasture, abode of shepherd, meadow". Interestingly, the first appearance of naa is in verse 2 of the following passage, translated as "pastures":
"1 [[A Psalm of David.]] The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters." (Psalm 23:1-2)
Hence, we can say that the events in Luke 7:11-17 happened within a strong shepherdly or pastoral context. This is why verse 13 declares that, when the Lord saw the mother of the dead child, He had "compassion on her". Compassion is a very empathetic emotion, and the ministerial endowment most directly related with empathy is the pastoral endowment. The pastoral nature of the events in Luke 7:11-17 can also be seen in the fact that the Lord told the mother not to weep, since the pastoral endowment has a natural tendency to dislike seeing other people experiencing pain and is therefore prone to soothing and comfort those who are suffering. The pastoral context is further emphasised by the presence of the mother herself, given that the pastoral endowment is "female" and "maternal" in its nature. Notice also that "much people of the city" were with the grieving mother who had just lost her only son and was widowed, meaning that the city was aware of her need and her pain and had rallied around her to provide her with pastoral comfort in that very sad and difficult moment. The fact that the Lord "came and touched the bier" (v14) emphasises the pastoral context yet again, given that, as we have shared before, the ministerial endowment most directly related to the sense of touch is the pastoral endowment.
Having said all of the above, it is interesting to consider that the Spirit of God does not refer to the Lord by His earthly, human name, i.e. Yeshua in Luke 7:11-17. Instead, He is referred to as "the Lord", or kurios in Greek (v13). This means that, despite the pastoral context enveloping all the events described in the passage, Yeshua did not descend to the soul level, remaining in the Spirit instead:
"Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." (2 Corinthians 3:17)
[The 2 words "Lord" in this verse were translated from the Greek noun kurios, which is the same word for "Lord" used in the original Greek text of Luke 7:13]
The fact that the soul did not attempt to ignore or defy the dominion of the Spirit in Luke 7:11-17 above (despite the strong pastoral context) can also be seen in the reaction of those carrying the bier when the Lord touched it. They could have very easily interpreted Yeshua's touch as the emotional touch of a grieving soul, which would have prompted them to continue towards the burying place. Instead, they "stood still" (Luke 7:14), aware of the kurios Spirit authority with which Yeshua had touched the bier. It was not a touch of soulish "pastoral consolation". It was a touch that claimed Authority Dominion over that bier and over the soul that had been within the body inside that bier. Even in their state of pastoral sorrow, empathy, and dismay, they recognised that authority and submitted to it, stopping to see what the Spirit of God would say and do next.
Interestingly, the phrase "stood still" in Luke 7:14 was translated from the Greek verb histemi, which, as we have shared before, literally means "to fix, establish" and has a strong apostolic connotation of foundational judgements. Hence, when the Spirit of God chose to use the word histemi in Luke 7:14, He was subtly pointing to how the men carrying the bier were open to the anointing of God's apostolic judgements. Instead of rejecting the Spirit's judgements, they embraced them, and they allowed them to do their work, even if they were not fully aware that those judgements were about to bring the dead son back to life.
When the kurios commanded the young man to arise, he arose and began to speak. The word "began" was translated from the Greek verb archomai, which, as we have shared before, is related to principalities and people who operate in places of high authority. The word "speak", on the other hand, was translated from the Greek verb laleo, which, as we have shared before, is related to the prophetic endowment. Hence, when the Spirit of God declares that the young man "began to speak", He is not simply declaring that the young man was "OK" and had returned to "normal". Instead, He is declaring that that young man arose a different person than how he had died. He arose with evangelistic Head Authority and prophetic anointing, an authority and anointing that had been imparted to Him by the Lord, the kurios dressed in weak, human attire who had just taken dominion over death and had risen him from the dead.
This writer has no precise idea why the young man had to die. It is as if a judgement from God had sentenced him to die, even when God knew that that death would break the heart of a mother who was already widowed and felt so alone. It is, however, as if God knew that that young man would "die" in one way or another if that judgement was not applied on his life. It is possible that, growing up in such a pastoral Nain environment, raised by a female figure, the young man would have grown up to be a weak and docile individual, moved to and fro by the will of others. Because of this, he may have been led down a path that would have culminated in his untimely death, a death that his mother would have had to live through and for which she would have found no solace, a death that would have led her down a spiral of despair that would have culminated in her own premature death. It is as if all of this awaited that mother and her son, for which reason, God needed to intervene and kill the root that would have yielded all of this undesired fruit. Because the mother was a narrow-gate believer who, despite being pastoral, was receptive to God's judgements, she enabled an opening through which God's judgement came in and killed her son. But, as God did all of this, He prepared everything so that she would be able to endure through this trial (1 Corinthians 10:13), providing a group of loving and supporting people who would rally around her and give her pastoral comfort as she grieved. He also prepared everything so that Yeshua would go into Nain on that precise day and know exactly what to do to not only comfort her but bring her son back to life, made new and "rebooted" so that he could fulfil his evangelistic and prophetic callings and avoid the purposeless, untimely death that he would have otherwise suffered years later.
After the Lord delivered her son as a new man to his mother, "there came a fear on all" (Luke 7:16). Interestingly, the word "came" was mistranslated from the Greek verb lambano, which, as we saw above, literally means "to take, receive, embrace". This means that fear (phobos in the original Greek) enveloped them like a cloud that embraced them. In other words, the Presence of God enveloped that place and filled them with fear. This is why they immediately recognised the Lordship of His Presence and glorified Him, saying, "a great prophet is risen among us" and "God hath visited His people" (Luke 7:16).
In Acts 2, the Spirit of God declares the following:
"38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. 41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;"(Acts 2:38-44)
Notice that Peter the evangelist's message was not one of lovey-dovey "compassion" and "understanding", preaching to the crowd how much Jesus "loved" them and wanted to "bless" them and make their lives "all better". Instead, it was a message of apostolic judgement calling them to repentance and that then projected them towards the prophetic calling that God had for them. It was a "male" message that judged them apostolically and exhorted them prophetically to evangelistically save themselves and stop acting like sheep that blindly followed "this untoward generation" ("this skolios, i.e. crooked, generation" in the original Greek), a generation made crooked by the "female" pastoral spirit.
When the people gladly received Peter's logos word and converted to the Lord, they came under the apostles' teaching (mistranslated as "doctrine") and abided in an environment of pastoral fellowship (v42). This means that, as young spiritual babies, they came under the maternal care of the 2 "female" ministries of teacher and pastor, like a literal baby who is nursed by his mother in the first months of his life. This, however, does not mean that they remained under a covering that glorified the soul and minimised the spirit. This is why the Spirit of God declares that they were also steadfast in the "breaking of bread" and in "prayers" (v42). The "breaking of bread" points to apostolic judgements since, as we have shared before, judgements act like a sword that cuts through and exposes what is inside. The "prayers", on the other hand, point to the prophetic endowment since, as we have shared before, that is the endowment that is most directly related to prayer. Hence, we can say that these believers were persisting in the "male" endowments of apostle and prophet, even as their young souls were being nurtured by the "female" endowments of teacher and pastor.
It is worth noting that the word "fellowship" in Acts 2:42 above was translated from the Greek noun koinonia, which only appears 4 times in Scripture. After appearing for the first time in Acts 2:42, it appears for the second time in the following verse, translated as "contribution":
"For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem." (Romans 15:26)
Notice, therefore, how koinonia is linked to the concept of generously giving to others, which points most directly to the prophetic endowment, the endowment that prompts us to give ourselves in sacrifice for the sake of others. Hence, the koinonia fellowship of Acts 2:42, though pastoral in its context, also has a strong prophetic connotation in the Spirit, meaning that Acts 2:42 is speaking of the sharing of pastoral emotions that also enable the sharing of prophetic emotions. By the same token, the "teaching" mentioned in Acts 2:42 explicitly refers to the "apostles' teaching", meaning that the teaching these souls were receiving was also imparting an apostolic anointing to them. This reinforces the fact that, as they were being nurtured in a "feminine" way by the teacher and pastoral endowments, they were also receiving a "masculine" impartation of the apostolic and the prophetic.
Notice that, after describing this female/male impartation, the Spirit of God declares that "fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles" (Acts 2:43). Interestingly, the phrase "came upon" was translated from the Greek verb ginomai, which literally means, "to become, to come into existence" and is the root of the Greek noun gyne meaning "woman". Hence, the verb ginomai has the connotation of something that is "birthed into existence", as when a baby comes from inside a woman's womb and appears in the external, visible world. This means that Acts 2:43 can be taken as saying that these souls were "impregnated" with fear, and that fear was then "born" from inside of them and was made manifest in the environment around them. When this happened, "wonders and signs" were done.
The word "wonders" was translated from the Greek noun teras, which literally means "prodigy, portent", and can be translated as "monster" or "freak" in modern-day Greek. Hence, teras has the connotation of something great and impressive that is so unusual or extraordinary that it leaves you awe-struck. This explains why the prefix "tera" is used in the word "terabyte" to denote 1024 gigabytes of storage, where "gigabyte" denotes 1024 megabytes. Considering that the prefix "mega" in "megabyte" is derived from the Greek word megas meaning "great" and that the prefix "giga" is derived from the Greek word gigas meaning "giant", we can see how a "terabyte" refers to something that is literally 2 orders of magnitude above "ordinary" greatness, even going beyond the level of the "gigantic". Therefore, we can say that teras points to the evangelistic endowment of tallness and strength, and it refers to the extraordinary nature of God Himself, a nature that is so gigantic that it overwhelms anything that may be considered megas great or gigas gigantic in the natural realm. Said another way, as people become pregnant with the "fear of God" and give birth to it, the immense, monstrous, and overwhelming greatness of God is made manifest in the visible realm.
On the other hand, the word "signs" in the phrase "wonders and signs" of Acts 2:43 was translated from the Greek noun semeion, which is derived from the word sema meaning "mark". Hence, semeion has the connotation of a mark that is intended to point towards the way to go, just as a road sign indicates the right road to take to reach a desired destination, and it also has the connotation of a mark that points to what is coming in the future. This means that a spiritual semeion points beyond the natural, visible realm, prophetically projecting people out from the present realm and towards the future.
From the above, we can say that the phrase "wonders and signs" points to the evangelistic and prophetic endowments, which, as we have shared before, are the 2 "grace" endowments. This means that, as the fear of God is birthed out of men's souls, the grace of God is made manifest amongst men at a level so extraordinary that it surpasses any type of "grace" that the soulish, matriarchal Church can manifest, and it is a grace that points people away from the banality of an earthly existence and into the fullness of God's prophetic calling for their lives.
Interestingly enough, the word "done" in the phrase "wonders and signs were done by the apostles" of Acts 2:43 was also translated from the Greek verb ginomai, meaning that the "wonders and signs" were "birthed" out of the apostles and made manifest in the natural realm. This means that the birthing of the fear of God out of the hearts of men is followed by the birthing of "wonders and signs" that make evident the monstrously extraordinary greatness of the God of Israel and point man towards the fullness of his prophetic calling.
In Acts 5, the Spirit of God narrates the following incident involving a couple lying to God:
"1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, 2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet. 3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. 5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. 6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. 7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. 8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. 9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. 10 Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband. 11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things." (Acts 5:1-11)
Notice that Ananias and Sapphira's sin did not involve killing someone or scamming thousands of shekels from some unsuspecting victims, neither were they unfaithful in their marriage or ruining someone's reputation by spreading lies about them. They were not coveting an estate or authority that belonged to someone else either. Their sin was to sell a possession and give a generous offering to the Church whilst telling everyone that they had given the entire amount of the sale. Humanly speaking, one could make a strong argument that capital punishment seemed like a very harsh sentence for such a "petty" transgression. So what if they had not donated the full amount of the possession? Didn't Peter actually say that they had the right to keep half of the price if they so chose? The problem that God found with their actions, however, was that they brazenly lied about their generosity, possibly with the hope of gaining "political" relevance amongst the brethren. Despite the heavy presence of God in the Primitive Church, they thought that they could get away with "rising through the ranks" by lying. The reason for this can be discerned from their names. Ananias is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Hananiah, which literally means "Jehovah has graced", and the name Sapphira means "beautiful", which again points to grace, since beauty is a manifestation of grace. This means that both were focused on the left-handed grace that was pouring down upon the Church due to God's presence, but they were unaware of the right-handed judgement nature of God. They were willing to be embraced by the grace coming out from God, but they were unwilling to be embraced by the fear of God that was palpable in their gatherings. They were willing to embrace God's "beauty" (i.e. His grace) but not His "harshness". In their quest for "grace" and "beauty", Hananiah and Sapphira did not understand the following passages of Scripture:
"18 And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him. 19 For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee." (Isaiah 30:18-19)
"1 O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. 2 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works. 3 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD. 4 Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore. 5 Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth; 6 O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen. 7 He is the LORD our God: his judgments are in all the earth." (Psalm 105:1-7)
"1 Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. 2 Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? 3 I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. 4 For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. 5 And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. 6 And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth." (Isaiah 63:1-6)
Despite their brazen defiance of God's judgement nature, God was merciful towards Ananias and Sapphira, giving them an opportunity to repent. However, God gave them their opportunity separately to prevent them the temptation of deriving a false sense of strength from their soul unity. The matriarchal soul always seeks strength in "numbers", convinced that something can "become" true if enough people can be convinced that it is true. To the pastoral-matriarchy soul, truth is not an objective reality outside of themselves that must be found. Instead, it is a concept that can be moulded to take the shape that is most pleasant to their souls. Instead of seeking the One True God of Israel, matriarchal souls are always fashioning golden calves and convincing others to call them "God".
"1 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. 2 And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. 3 And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. 4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt." (Exodus 32:1-4)
Since true judgement is objective, it isolates you and forces you to look ahead towards the truth rather than to the sides to see what others may think. This is why the Spirit of God addressed Ananias and Sapphira separately, reducing the Canaanite peer pressure they might feel to be loyal to each other and not to the Truth. Being the head of his household and possibly the instigator of the popularity-building scheme, Ananias was the one whom God confronted first. When he heard the Spirit's logos words of confrontation against him, he "fell down and gave up the ghost" (Acts 5:5). Interestingly, the phrase "gave up the ghost" was slightly mistranslated from the Greek verb ekpsycho, which is derived from the prefix ek meaning "out" (from which the English prefix "ex" is derived) and the word psyche meaning "soul". In other words, ekpsycho literally means that his soul (not his "ghost" or "spirit") came out of him. Since Ananias was ruled by his soul and had relegated his new-born spirit (Ephesians 4:24, Colossians 3:10) to an irrelevant role, there was nothing left in him to raise him up again once his soul was gone. God's judgements always kill the temporal and make you "fall to the ground", but their intention is to raise you back up as a resurrected being with a new nature. However, that second part can only happen if you have embraced the judgement and trust that the new spirit nature that God has for you is better than the soul nature being killed by His judgements. Unfortunately, Ananias had made a stubborn commitment to focus on God's grace and to remain centred around his soul, this despite being constantly exposed to God's strong Spirit presence in many of the Primitive Church gatherings he was a part of. He turned into a "daredevil", recklessly dismissing the fierceness of God's "male" nature, all of which led to him suddenly experiencing the full brunt of the fierceness that he had so callously dismissed. This is why he needed to die before he infected others with his dismissive recklessness.
Notice that Peter confronted Ananias in the form of questions followed by a clear declaration of what he had done (lying to God, not to man). This meant that the Spirit of God was not merely imposing a pre-established verdict on him. Instead, He was prompting/awaiting a reply from Ananias' soul, as if giving him one last chance to drop down to his knees in repentance. Unfortunately, Ananias chose to remain standing as he was confronted by Peter's words, as if awaiting "what else" would happen next. Because he refused to willingly go down to his knees, the Spirit of God was forced to fell him like a tall but rotten tree. That is when he fell to the ground and died without a chance to be resurrected because he had refused to repent.
Notice that Sapphira was given 3 hours after her husband's death to have a change of heart. Had she been spiritually aware, she would have known that something had happened to her husband and that she was about to be confronted by God about what they had done. Now that her husband was dead, any cloud of spiritual influence that he had over her was gone, and she was free to think on her own and decide what was right and what was wrong. Unfortunately, Sapphira proved that she was not an innocent victim coerced by a strong-willed husband to do things that she would otherwise never want to do. As long as there was no punishment or public awareness of what they had done, she was more than happy with what she had done, deeming it not worthy of any shame or repentance. Interestingly, the Spirit of God not only gave Sapphira 3 hours to think things over, He also began the interrogation in a "softer", more "indirect" way, asking her first to confirm the price at which they had sold the possession. Despite all of this, Sapphira stuck to her story, oblivious to the judgement that was about to come down upon her. This is why the Spirit of God struck her down and she ekpsycho-ed, i.e. the soul came out of her, which made it impossible for her to rise up again since, just like her husband, she had relegated her spirit to a remote corner of disability and irrelevance.
Acts 5:11 then declares that a great (megas in Greek) fear "came upon all the Church". The phrase "came upon" was once again translated from the Greek verb ginomai, which, as we said above, means that a megas fear was birthed from within the Church, and it was a fear that also spread out to those outside the Church who heard what had happened. This birthing and spreading of the fear of God was possible due to the early apostles' willingness to execute judgements. When Peter heard from the Spirit of God that Ananias and Sapphira needed to be judged, even if "all they had done" was to tell a "white lie", Peter did not immediately cover his ears with his hands and start to say, "La, la, la, la, la, la, la" until he could no longer hear God's statement of truth. Despite (or should we say, because of?) the fact that Peter had been abiding with Yeshua for some 3 years, and despite (or because of) the fact that he had been apart from the physical Yeshua for only a few weeks, Peter's instinct was not to react with "compassion" and "understanding" towards these "well-meaning" believers who, after all, were selling valuable possessions to donate to the Church. Instead, he gladly agreed with the need to confront Ananias and Sapphira and allow his mouth to prophetically issue the judgement that needed to be applied, which in this case was physical death. Thus, when believers in the Church allow the judgements to freely flow from their mouths (unimpeded by the matriarchal paradigms of the soulish Church), the fear of God is allowed to birth and flow throughout the environment, like a pleasant aroma that flows from an open perfume and into all the surrounding air. And, as the fear of God is allowed to flow, repentance and forgiveness flow and monstrous greatness is birthed in man. This is why, immediately after narrating the incident with Ananias and Sapphira, the Spirit of God declares the following:
Interestingly, the words "signs" and "wonders" in the Acts 5:12 above were translated from the same Greek words semeion and teras used in Acts 2:43 (studied above). However, you may have noticed that the order of the words is different in Acts 5:12 when compared to Acts 2:43, where the word "wonders" is mentioned first. This may seem like a "meaningless" detail, but it is full of spiritual significance, as evidenced by the other verses in Scripture where both words are listed together. Consider, for example, the first verse where both words appear together in the original Greek text:
"For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect" (Matthew 24:24)
Notice that, in this context, signs and wonders, with the word "signs" mentioned first, are mentioned in the context of false Messiahs and false prophets who honour power over truth. The next appearance of both words together is in Mark 13:22, which is the parallel verse in the Gospel of Mark corresponding to Matthew 24:24 above, with "signs" being mentioned again ahead of "wonders". The next appearance of both words together is in the following verse:
"Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe" (John 4:48)
Notice again that "signs" is mentioned ahead of "wonders" in the context of what hard-hearted people expect to see in order to believe. The next appearance of both words together is in the following verse:
"And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke" (Acts 2:19)
Notice that, in the verse above, "wonders" is mentioned ahead of "signs" in the context of what God will do in the latter days. The next appearance of both words together is in the following verse:
"Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:" (Acts 2:22)
Notice that the word "wonders" is again mentioned ahead of "signs" in the context of the things that Yeshua of Nazareth did as a man approved of God. The next appearance of both words together happens 21 verses later:
"And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles" (Acts 2:43)
Noticer that "wonders" is mentioned ahead of "signs" in the context of what the apostles did under God's anointing. One must bear in mind, however, that Acts 2:43 is subtly depicted as a continuation of the "wonders and signs" described 21 verses earlier, in Acts 2:22, meaning that, as the apostles started out their "post-ascension" walk, they were continuing in the anointing of the true Messiah. Two chapters later, however, the order of the words is reversed:
"18 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. 21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done. 22 For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed. 23 And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. 24 And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: 25 Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? 26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. 27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, 28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. 29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, 30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. 31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness." (Acts 4:18-31)
The phrase "signs and wonders" (semeions and teras-es) in verse 30, with the word "signs" mentioned first, is mentioned as a request to God for validation from Him against the human authority figures so as to confirm who the real spiritual authorities were in the eyes of God. Even though the request for validation was correct and stemmed from the prophetic words in Psalm 2 (quoted in verses 25 and 26), there is a subtle infiltration of the soul in that the request was to grant this validation to God's "servants", who are then referred to in the 3rd person in the rest of the request: "that with all boldness they may speak thy word" (v29). In other words, the believers gathered there were not requesting that they all be validated before the visible human authorities. Instead, the emphasis was on the validation of the men who had just been harassed by the earthly "leaders", i.e. Peter and John, and for the other apostles who, like Peter and John, had walked with Yeshua for several years. It is as if, at that point, a subtle Old-Covenant separation between "ministers" and "laymen" began to surface. Instead of morphing from an Old-Covenant Judaism to a New-Covenant Christianity where all believers could freely walk in the Anointing, the believers praying in Acts 4:24-30 were morphing into an Old-Covenant "Christianity" where the Judaic "ministers" were now being replaced by a new class of apostolic "ministers" who, like Moses, would lead the people to the Promised Land.
One could argue that God fully approved of their prayer because "the place was shaken where they were assembled together" (v31). However, the words that follow say that "they were all filled with the Holy Spirit", meaning that God did not respond by simply filling Peter, John, and other apostles present. Instead, He responded by filling all of them, including those who had excluded themselves from the prayer for validation and vindication. The phrase "assembled together" was translated from the Greek verb synago, from which the English word "synagogue" is derived. Hence, as the Spirit of God literally shook the place, He was declaring that the promise of Psalm 2 was for the entire "synagogue", the entire assembly of believers, not just a select few. God honoured their prayer, misguided as it was, because they were still young in the faith. He saw the pureness of their intention in that they did not let themselves be intimidated by the earthly "authorities" that were trying to silence them, so He honoured their prayer by creating an earthquake that shook the place. But, in doing so, He was also emphasising to them that His intention was to answer the prayer not just on behalf of Peter, John, and the other apostles but on behalf of everyone, on behalf of the entire Body of Christians who were willing to believe. Unfortunately, most of the believers there were unable to discern this subtle difference between their thoughts and God's thoughts, and the Old-Covenant separation between the apostles and the rest of the Jewish believers only worsened from there, leading to the "divorce" in Acts 6 that we have shared on before, a divorce between the early apostles and God that led to their increasing irrelevance and to the apostle Paul becoming more and more relevant through the sacrificial death of a faithful man named Stephen. Thus, we can conclude from all of the above that the appearance of the word "signs" before "wonders" in Acts 4:30 is related to something negative, even if the context seems to be mostly positive.
The next appearance of the words "signs" and "wonders" together is in Acts 5:12, which is where we started earlier. The next joint appearance of both words is in the following verse, where the word semeion is mistranslated as "miracles" instead of "signs":
"And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people" (Acts 6:8)
Notice how the order of the words is reverted to "wonders" appearing first, this time in the context of a man full of faith and power who was acting in the Spirit, thereby reiterating the mention of "wonders" before "signs" in the context of someone fully obedient to God's will. Just before being murdered by the religious "authorities", the very same Stephen uses the words "wonders" and "signs" when confronting his murderers, as narrated in the following passage:
"35 This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush. 36 He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years. 37 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear." (Acts 7:35-37)
Notice how "wonders" is yet again mentioned before "signs" in verse 36, this time in the context of what Moses, the one rejected by men, did in the land of Egypt. Notice also that Moses is then immediately described as pointing the people to Yeshua, who would come in the future and whom the people should hear (v37). This means that, when Moses performed the "wonders and signs", he did so in a spirit that did not ask people to focus on him but instead asked the people to focus on someone who would rise from among the people (v37), meaning that neither he nor the prophet who would come belonged to a "higher caste" that was "above" the rest of the people.
The next time that "signs" and "wonders" appear together is in verse 3 of the following passage:
"1 And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed. 2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren. 3 Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands. 4 But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles. 5 And when there was an assault made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully, and to stone them, 6 They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about: 7 And there they preached the gospel." (Acts 14:1-7)
Notice that "signs" are mentioned before "wonders" in verse 3 in the context of the work done by Barnabas and Paul in Iconium. To the naked eye, it may seem like "signs" is finally mentioned before "wonders" in a positive context, given that the verse declares that it was the Lord who "granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands". However, a closer examination of the verse and the surrounding text reveals that the context is not as positive as it may initially appear. Notice, for example, that the verse declares that the Lord granted the signs and wonders, as opposed to "performing" them or "putting them into practice". The word "granted" in verse 3 was translated from the Greek verb didomi, which literally means "to give". Interestingly, the first 3 appearances of didomi in Scripture are in the following verses, translated as "give":
"8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." (Matthew 4:8-10)
[The word "give" in verse 9 was translated from didomi]
"31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery." (Matthew 5:31-32)
[The word "give" in verse 31 was translated from didomi]
"38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away" (Matthew 5:38-42)
[The word "Give" at the start of verse 42 was translated from didomi]
Even though it would be very wrong to say that the verb didomi always has a negative context in Scripture, it is still interesting that its first 3 appearances have such a negative context. The first appearance, for example, is in the context of satan promising Yeshua to give Him the kingdoms of this world if He would only fall down and worship him, meaning that didomi is used in the context of giving away one's eternal integrity in exchange for being given some temporal reward. The second appearance is in the context of divorcing someone for acting in irreconcilable fornication, and the third appearance is in the context of giving the left cheek in prophetic sacrifice to those who Jebusitely demand things from you. Thus, we can conclude that the first 3 appearances of didomi refer to someone who compromises his integrity to get a temporary reward, which results in God divorcing him even as He continues to interact with him, giving to him not out of joy but out of obligation as he demands things from Him.
From the above, we can begin to infer that there was something subtly amiss when God didomi-ed signs and wonders to be birthed through the hands of Barnabas and Paul (in Acts 14:3 above). This is certified by the events that soon followed. Notice how, despite the signs and wonders, the multitude of the city was divided, with some of them siding with the Jews and some of them siding with the apostles (Acts 14:4). This means that some of them remained attracted to the Old-Covenant message of Judaism, a message that reinforced the separation between an "elite" ministerial class and a "common" layman class, and they remained attracted to it even when the ministerial "elite" in Judaism were not manifesting the power of God in any transformative way. Eventually, despite the fact that the apostles stayed with them for a long time birthing signs and wonders, the Gentiles, along with the Old-Covenant Jews and their rulers, decided to arrogantly mistreat them (hubrizo in the Greek) and to stone them (Acts 14:5). This forced the apostles to flee to the neighbouring regions (Acts 14:6). Notice, therefore, that the signs and wonders did not stir any significant fear or reverence towards God. Yes, many did believe (Acts 14:1), and the faith of many was affirmed in some way by the signs and wonders that God didomi-ed to the apostles to birth through their hands (of service), but the elitist message of minister/layman separation remained too strong for the people there to have a direct encounter with the fearsome God of Israel. This is why the Spirit of God goes out of His way to mention the "rulers" in Acts 14:5, emphasising how the people of that region were enamoured with the concept of relying on a higher caste of "leaders" to direct them and command them, like a horse that is controlled by its rider through the bridle. Hence, it is not a spiritual coincidence that the word "assault" in Acts 14:5 was translated from the Greek noun horme, whose only other appearance in Scripture is in verse 4 of the following passage:
"3 Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. 4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth." (James 3:3-4)
[The word "listeth" was translated from the noun horme and the verb boulomai meaning "to will, to desire". Therefore, verse 4 is speaking of how the ship can be made to go in the direction defined by the potentially wild and violent whims of the pilot. This is what happens to those who embrace elitism and blindly submit their wills to the wills of their "rulers".]
Hence, we can see from all of the above that Barnabas and Paul were in a place where people had already compromised their integrity, granting certain "elite" the control over "spiritual" matters whilst they were left to handle "secular" matters, just as satan was tempting Yeshua to give him control over the spiritual atmosphere whilst Yeshua was left in control of the kingdoms in the earthly realm (Matthew 4:9). Hence, we can say that a permanent separation between God and that region resulted, leading to God giving (i.e. didomi-ing) them a divorce (Matthew 5:31). After that, all that God could do was to give to them blessings in keeping with His word, at least up to the measure that they were willing to collectively believe in that region (Matthew 5:42). In other words, just as with the Israelites whom God divorced in the wilderness, God provided for the people of that region and cared for them as per His "contractual obligation" with them, granting their demands but without allowing them to enter the Promised Land. Under these circumstances, God didomi-ed to them signs and wonders in response to the faith that they did have, but only up until things came to a head and the elitists were able to win out and drive the apostles out. This is why Acts 14:3 says that God gave testimony unto the "word of His grace", meaning that they experienced God's left-handed grace but not His right-handed judgements. Had they been fully open to His judgements, the fear of God would have filled that region and, instead of "signs and wonders", they would have experienced "wonders and signs" and the apostles would have never had any fear of being disrespected or attacked the way that they were.
Interestingly enough, the name of the city where all of the above happened was "Iconium", which literally means "little image". Thus, the name of the city correlates with how Old-Covenant people turn those in the "minister class" into little images, miniature icons of God on Earth, as if God's intention is to create a group of "mini-me"s that look like Him but are deformed by dwarfism, to be honoured like God but without all the qualities of the "real" God.
Unfortunately for Barnabas and Paul, things did not go much better in Lystra, one of the cities they fled to:
"8 And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked: 9 The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, 10 Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked. 11 And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. 12 And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker. 13 Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people. 14 Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, 15 And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: 16 Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. 17 Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. 18 And with these sayings scarce restrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them." (Acts 14:8-18)
Notice how the people immediately tagged Paul and Barnabas as "gods who had come down in the likeness of men" (v11), which emphasises how the people of that region were so focused on detecting "demigods", members of a higher caste who were somewhere between men and God. What is interesting is that they deemed Barnabas to be the "higher-level" god, calling him "Jupiter", whilst calling Paul "Mercurius", even though Paul had been the one through whom the lame man had been healed. According to verse 12, they did so because Paul was the "chief speaker". The phrase "chief speaker" was translated from the Greek verb hegeomai meaning "to lead, to go before" and the word logos, which, as we have shared before, is related to apostolic judgement. In other words, they saw the judgement nature in Paul and immediately deemed him as inferior to the more silent Barnabas. It is as if they perceived Paul to be the Jebusite enforcer/police officer working for the giant Amorite Barnabas. In the Old-Covenant, matriarchal mindset, positions of authority or power are intended to be enjoyed as positions of leisure where you can force lower-level positions to do your bidding and carry out the dirty work that you would otherwise be forced to do. Also, the Old-Covenant matriarchal soul deems judgements as means to an end, the end being the arbitrary will of whoever has made it to the highest positions of power. That is why, to them, Paul, the judgement-maker, was merely the instrument used by Barnabas to clear the way for him and execute his will. By contrast, the New-Covenant spirit-centric soul understands that judgements are an "end" in themselves, laying the foundation so that everything done on top of them is subservient to the Truth, not to the arbitrary will of anyone. Said another way, the New-Covenant soul understands that judgements are not moulded like a golden calf to fit the will of whoever has reached a position of "authority". Instead, they are the parameters that must guide the will of all, even the will of the ones in authority. Any will that goes against the judgements is an invalid will, no matter how powerful the person doing the "willing" is.
Notice also how the "priest of Jupiter" (v13) appeared with oxen to perform sacrifices in honour of Barnabas (and Paul). This emphasises how the people of that region relied so heavily on a caste of "wise priests" who would make sure that all the necessary religious rituals would be carried out whenever they were needed. Naturally, Barnabas and Paul were appalled by this, and they tried to convince the people that they were "men of like passions with you" (v15), meaning that they were asking them to recognise all men as equals, as members of one and only one "class". Notice also how Barnabas speaks of God allowing them to walk in their foolishness up until now. In other words, he was telling them that the fact that they had been able to do this nonsense for all this time was not proof that God was OK with it. As we shared above, God sometimes "honours His contract" and provides for (i.e. didomis to) people even when they are not carrying out the fullness of His will. It is clear from Acts 14 that the people of that region, Jewish and Gentile, had deep religious zeal. They believed in the invisible realm, and they believed in the existence of divinity. Unfortunately for them, their understanding of divinity was distorted by their belief in a caste system that divided the universe into a caste of "divine-less mortals", a caste of "way-out-there divinities", and an in-between caste of demigods, of "mini-me" versions of the real "divinities" who could communicate with them and carry out these divinities' arbitrary wills on Earth. All of this explains why God could only grant or concede "signs and wonders" instead of executing mighty "wonders and signs" that would have filled that region's atmosphere with the fear of God and His very Presence amongst (and within) the sons of men. There was only room to preach the "words of His grace" (Acts 14:3), not the words of His judgement, and as many that could be rescued were born again, but not before some additional price would have to be paid.
After Barnabas and Paul were able to stop the animal sacrifices planned in their "honour", the following happened:
"19 And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. 20 Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe." (Acts 14:19-20)
Notice how the people of Iconium, from whom Paul and Barnabas had fled, went in pursuit of them to stop their assault on their ministerial caste system. It is also interesting to consider that they seemed to focus on Paul, stoning him and leaving him for dead outside the city. There is no mention of where Barnabas was at the time, not even when it is said that "disciples stood round about" Paul (v20) before he suddenly rose up, probably to their stunned surprise, and re-entered to city before leaving it in the company of Barnabas the next day. There is no explanation given in the passage as to why Barnabas seemed to have been spared the "stoning experience", but it appears as if the instigators from Antioch and Iconium had a more difficult time convincing the people of the city to attack Barnabas. Just a short time earlier, Barnabas had been equated with the "great" Jupiter himself, and Paul had been considered his lower-ranking officer/god. Many believe (including this writer) that Paul was a man of relatively short stature (especially since "Paul" literally means "small or little"), and this writer believes that Barnabas was a tall and handsome man with much charisma and who instantly appealed to people. Hence, the elitist Old-Covenant hearts of the people in that region must have felt more comfortable attacking the "less important" Paul.
After the incident, Paul and Barnabas continued to preach in the cities of that region and eventually returned to Antioch, where they reported to the brethren about the successes they had had whilst preaching to the Gentiles. After that, a dispute broke out within the Church over whether the Gentiles who converted to Christ needed to be circumcised. Paul and Barnabas strongly disagreed with the calls to Judaise the believers, which led to them being asked to go to Jerusalem to share their thoughts with the apostles and elders there. The Spirit of God then declares the following:
The word "miracles" was mistranslated from the word semeion, and the word "wonders" was translated from teras, meaning that a more correct (and consistent) translation would read "declaring what signs and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them". Notice how Barnabas is mentioned before Paul, just as "signs" is mentioned before "wonders" again, as if subtly indicating that something in Barnabas contributed to the "signs" coming before the "wonders" during their incursions into Gentile territory. Interestingly, the Spirit of God ends Acts chapter 15 with a narration of how Barnabas and Paul separated after they had a difference of opinion over whether a man named John Mark should accompany them on their next trip. Barnabas wanted to forgive Mark for abandoning them in Pamphylia (Acts 15:38), but Paul wanted to hold Mark accountable for his betrayal and not let him accompany them on the next trip. After their separation, Barnabas took Mark and went to Cyprus, and Paul teamed up with Silas to continue his work. After Acts 15:39, Barnabas is never mentioned again in the book of Acts, and only Paul's experiences are narrated, as if certifying that Paul was the one who had acted in the Spirit and Barnabas had been the one acting in soulish mercy. Thus, we can say that a "divorce" of sorts occurred between Paul and Barnabas, which correlates with what we said above regarding didomi and its negative connection to divorce. This divorce was necessary because he was holding Paul back on what needed to be done to bring a deeper transformation amongst the Gentiles, as manifested by the names of the places, listed in Acts 14:6, that they fled to after they fled the hostility in Iconium:
The name "Lystra" mentioned in Acts 14:6 means "ransoming", and the name that follows it, "Derbe", means "tanner". As we have shared before, "tanners" are spiritually related to the green horse of sacrificial Death and Sheol. Both Lystra and Derbe are mentioned as being cities of "Lycaonia", which literally means "wolf land". As we have briefly hinted before, wolves are related to the black-horse stage and to the Balaams that surface during that stage. In other words, Paul and Barnabas were in an atmosphere that caused believers to reach the black-horse stage at best, becoming stuck there as they were enveloped by the Balaam spirit that uses spiritual grace for temporal purposes. This meant that the spirits in that area required a ("Lystra") ransom in the form of a "tanner" (i.e. "Derbe") green-horse sacrifice in order to let the people go and allow them the freedom to grow spiritually. As evidenced by the incident described in Acts 14:19-20, it was clear that something in Barnabas prevented him participating in such a sacrifice along with Paul. He was more about grace and "pastoral forgiveness" than about harsh judgements on others or exposing himself to harsh judgements as a price to redeem others. This is why God allowed the "Mark incident" to arise between them so that the divorce that had happened between God and Barnabas (for his refusal "to go radical green") could be manifested in a "divorce" between Paul and Barnabas. Paul needed to team up with someone else who was willing to go through green-horse Death and Sheol. Such a person was Silas, who went on to have an intense green-horse Sheol experience with Paul at Philippi, as described by the Spirit of God in the chapter that followed, Acts 16.
"22 And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. 23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: 24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. 25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. 26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed. 27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. 28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. 29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:22-30)
Notice that the jail keeper "came trembling and fell down before Paul and Silas" (v29), meaning that he was gripped by the fear of God after experiencing the amazing thing that had just happened. Starting from Acts 14, this is the first time that anyone seems to experience any type of fear in response to God's actions. The subtle matriarchal elements in Barnabas' heart and the region's Old-Covenant caste atmosphere had been causing "signs" to constantly go before "wonders". But, now that those elements had been neutralised by the green-horse ransom that had just been paid, "wonders" (in this case, the great earthquake) could again go before "signs", and the fearsome Presence of God was finally made manifest.
The passage above describes Paul and Silas paying a green-horse price for Philippi, but it can be said that Paul also paid a green-horse ransom for Lystra, Derbe, and Iconium through the stoning that he endured by himself (described in Acts 14:19-20). This is why, as he returned to that area with Silas, the Spirit of God declares that those congregations were "established in the faith and increased in number daily" (Acts 16:5).
The next time after Acts 15:12 where "signs" (semeion) and "wonders" (teras) are mentioned together is in verse 19 of the following passage:
"18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, 19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ." (Romans 15:18-19)
It is worth noting that, even though "signs" is mentioned before "wonders" in the passage above, the signs and wonders are described as "mighty", something that does not happen in the previous verses where signs are mentioned before wonders. The word "mighty" was slightly mistranslated from the Greek noun dunamis meaning "power". Hence, a better translation of verse 19 would read, "by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God". This means that the power of the "signs and wonders", not the "signs and wonders" themselves, are being emphasised. Notice also that the intent of that power is clearly described in the preceding verse: to make the Gentiles obedient. Therefore, as Paul worked the power of the signs and wonders, his intention was not to dazzle the audience with a "laser show" but rather to bring them to submit themselves under God, which would clearly imply them recognising the fearsome nature of God's presence. You cannot become obedient to someone whom you do not fear.
"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" (Psalm 111:10)
Thus, we can conclude from Romans 15:18-19 that, even though it is ideal for "wonders" to appear before "signs", this can only happen in a context where the fear of God will be allowed to flow freely. In hard atmospheres dominated by Old-Covenant thinking and caste-oriented elitism, "signs" may have to go before "wonders" for a season, but, if they are being executed in the Spirit, the power of these signs and wonders will be directed towards reaping fear and obedience in the hearts of those experiencing them. If they are executed without such a purpose, they may produce "salvations" and the significant conversion of a few lives here and there, but these fruits will tend to be ephemeral, and they will quickly allow the return of the Old-Covenant spirits that they temporarily displaced. Unfortunately, when these spirits return, they return stronger, disguised in a more "spiritual" and "Godly" form. By contrast, if the power of the signs and wonders is aimed at breaking the atmosphere and injecting the fear of God, a new atmosphere will be wrought that will enable "wonders" to go before "signs", thereby intensifying the fear of God in the atmosphere and enabling the extraordinary growth of God's people.
The next time that "signs" and "wonders" appear together in the same verse is in verse 12 of the following passage:
"11 I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing. 12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds. 13 For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? forgive me this wrong." (2 Corinthians 12:11-13)
Notice that "signs" is again mentioned before "wonders". However, just as with Romans 15:19, the signs and wonders are immediately associated with "power" (dunamis in Greek, mistranslated as "mighty deeds" at the end of verse 12 above). Notice also that the signs and wonders are mentioned in a "harsh" context where the Corinthians were minimising the relevance of what Paul had done amongst them, elevating other apostles above him. This means that Paul was operating in an Old-Covenant atmosphere that was very open to exalting "ministers" of a certain "level" (as opposed to an atmosphere that exalts God and sees all men as having the same potential of Oneness with Him). As evidenced by the 2 epistles to the Corinthians, it can also be said that the Corinthian Church was one where "power" and "spiritual gifts" were emphasised, meaning that it was a very "black-horse" atmosphere conducive to the spirit of Balaam that emphasises Hittite spiritual grace and Amorite natural grace and their use for banal purposes. All of this would explain why Paul had to release the power of signs and then wonders to break through the harsh Corinthian atmosphere. This writer believes that the Corinthians were never able to go beyond the black-horse stage, and it was only with the Thessalonians that Paul had a taste of a congregation that had the potential to go into the green-horse stage, which is why the greatly-misunderstood "rapture" passage (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17) was written to the Thessalonians (unbeknownst to the ignorant, matriarchal Church, the "rapture" passage is about the accelerated transition from black to green horse that will occur in believers in these latter days when the matriarchal Church is fully out of the way).
Interestingly enough, the next joint appearance of "signs" and "wonders" in the same verse is in verse 9 of the following passage in 2 Thessalonians:
"5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." (2 Thessalonians 2:5-12)
Notice how the "signs" are once again mentioned before "wonders" and in the context of deceitful power that is attractive to those who do not care for the truth and for righteousness, i.e. those who are opposed to God's judgements and who are more interested in using power to achieve unrighteous ends. Notice also how the word "power" (dunamis in the original Greek) is mentioned before the signs and wonders in verse 9, which contrasts with 2 Corinthians 12:12 above, where dunamis power (mistranslated as "mighty deeds") is mentioned after the signs and wonders. This points to how the deception stems from an unrighteous emphasis on power over truth.
The last time that "signs" and "wonders" appear together in the same verse is in verse 4 of the following passage:
"1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. 2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; 3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; 4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?" (Hebrews 2:1-4)
The word "miracles" in verse 4 was mistranslated from the Greek word dunamis meaning "power". Hence, we can see once again how "signs", "wonders", and dunamis power are mentioned together, in that order, just as when Paul describes his work with the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 12:12. Notice also how these signs and wonders are spoken in the context of people who were first unbelievers and then came to believe by the testimony of those signs and wonders. Notice also how verse 3 issues a warning about not neglecting such a great salvation, considering the righteous judgements that were applied to those under the Old Covenant. In other words, the context of the passage is about people transitioning from an Old-Covenant to a New-Covenant relationship with God, which is why (just as with Paul and the Corinthians) "signs" had to come before "wonders" because that is all that the environment allowed. Even so, the signs and wonders are carried out in the context of judgements and in the context of carrying out God's spirit will (v4), not man's soulish will.
From all of the above, we can safely conclude that, when "wonders" can be executed before "signs", they unleash the fear of God into the atmosphere, creating an atmosphere of extraordinary spiritual growth where God's people are enabled to achieve great feats. However, "signs" may need to go before "wonders" in an environment that is still trapped in the Old Covenant because such an environment is not conducive to the generalised release of God's fear. However, once the Old-Covenant atmosphere has been broken through, "wonders" can start to go before "signs" to release God's awesome and fearsome Presence all around. When the atmosphere is focused on power per se and not on God's judgements or will, wonders can never go before signs, and those signs and wonders will be preceded by a focus on power that will maintain Old-Covenant structures and hierarchies and never allow God's Presence to fill the atmosphere and elevate God's people to the fullness of their spiritual potential.
We can now go back to Acts 5:12, which is the verse that started us meditating on semeion "signs" and teras wonders above.
"And by the hands of the apostles were signs and wonders wrought among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch" (Acts 5:12)
As we said above, the appearance of "signs" before "wonders" is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does reflect an Old-Covenant environment that is not conducive to God's judgements and to the fear of His Presence. However, the Old-Covenant barrier had already been broken through before the events of Acts 5, with the Spirit of God describing "wonders and signs" happening earlier:
"And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles" (Acts 2:43)
Also, the fearsome Presence of God had just been manifested when Ananias and Sapphira had both been stricken down and killed in the presence of all. Therefore, the apostles' return to performing "signs and wonders" as opposed to "wonders and signs" indicates that they had a wilful regression towards the Old Covenant in their hearts. That is why the verse that immediately follows Acts 5:12 declares the following:
Notice how the people began to redirect their fear of God towards the apostles, magnifying them (instead of God), and the people became so awed by the apostles per se that they endeavoured to stay away from them. This means that the Old-Covenant chasm of "ministers" and "laymen" had once again been revived within the Church. Instead of acting like Paul and Barnabas when they realised that the people were seeing them as superior (Acts 14:14-18), they embraced the separation and did not bother to correct the people's attitude towards them. This is why the next chapter, Acts 6, shows that the apostles had become too "dignified" to even wait on tables. This is why, as we have shared before, the apostles then become less and less relevant in the Spirit's narration of Acts after chapter 6, with the focus turning towards the rise of Stephen and his sacrificial death, which then reaped the rise of the apostle Paul who, for all intents and purposes, becomes the (human) "protagonist" in the rest of the book of Acts. This self-demotion of the apostles to Old-Covenant priests is what is hidden behind the apparently irrelevant presence of the word "signs" before the word "wonders" in Acts 5:12.
In Revelation 11, the Spirit of God declares the following regarding the 2 witnesses:
"7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. 11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. 12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. 13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven." (Revelation 11:7-13)
Notice how the 2 witnesses go through a green-horse death, which is then followed by a resurrection that literally puts the fear of God amongst those who witness it, even the very enemies who had prompted their death. They had refused to fear God whilst the 2 witnesses were alive, even if they reluctantly recognised their authority and feared them due to the spiritual power that flowed from them. However, when the 2 witnesses died and resurrected after 42 months of silence, the spiritual atmosphere was cracked wide open, and the fear of God began to freely flow about. When His fear fills the air, His judgements also begin to flow, becoming immediate and decisive (instead of delayed and "toned down" as when the Old-Covenant, matriarchal soul is in control). This is why the Spirit of God declares the following a few verses later in Revelation 11:
"16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. 18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. 19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail." (Revelation 11:16-19)
This connection between the expansion of God's fear and the subsequent free flow of His judgements is emphasised 3 chapters later, in the following passage:
"6 And 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, 7 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. 8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." (Revelation 14:6-8)
The Spirit of God emphasises this connection yet again 1 chapter later, in the following passage:
"1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. 2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. 3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. 4 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. 5 And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened" (Revelation 15:1-5)
In the latter days, this cycle of green-horse death, resurrection, fear of God, and the free flow of His judgements will be made fully manifest and transform the atmosphere of the entire Earth.
In Acts 9, the Spirit of God declares the following:
"26 And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. 28 And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem. 29 And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him. 30 Which when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus. 31 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied." (Acts 9:26-31)
[Notice how fear was prompting the believers to separate themselves from Paul, even when God had transformed him and was sure to have given testimony to their hearts that Paul was indeed a believer now. It was until Barnabas defied the believers' natural fear and embraced Paul that he was finally able to join the brethren and commence his public ministry in Christ.]
Notice that verse 31 establishes a subtle connection between people walking "in the fear of the Lord" and the believers multiplying. As is subtly certified in the following passage, this multiplication is more than just numeric or quantitative, it is qualitative in that it involves the proliferation of God's very Nature in His people:
"13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." (Romans 8:13-17)
At first sight, verse 15 above would seem to contradict what we have been saying here since it declares that we did not receive a spirit of bondage to fear. However, the fear referred to in verse 15 is not the New-Covenant fear of God but rather the Old-Covenant fear that prompts people to separate themselves from God, just as when Adam and Eve fearfully sought separation from God after falling (Genesis 3:6-10) or as when the believers separated themselves from the apostles out of fear (Acts 5:13). This is confirmed by the word "bondage" in verse 15, since bondage is strongly linked in Scripture to the minister/laymen paradigms of the Old Covenant:
"22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. 24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. 25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. 26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all." (Galatians 4:22-26)
Having said the above, the question still remains: How do we reconcile Romans 8:15 with the spiritual connection between fear and God's multiplication amongst His people? We do this by understanding what the fear of God does. Whereas the Old-Covenant fear is like a wall of separation, the New-Covenant fear of God is like a thick cloud that envelops everyone and becomes "unavoidable". You can no longer "separate" or hide yourself from God because He is everywhere. Wherever you turn to run, He is there, and you are forced to acknowledge and deal with His Presence and the undeniable Truth that emanates from Him. This is why the Spirit of God declares the following:
"And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden" (Genesis 3:8)
The word "cool" in the verse above was (understandably) mistranslated from the Hebrew word ruwach, which literally means "spirit" or "wind" and is translated as such 324 out of 378 times (i.e. 6 out of every 7 times) in the KJV. Hence, a more direct translation would read that God was walking in the "wind of the day" or the "spirit of the day". When you are outdoors and the wind is blowing, you are literally surrounded by the wind. The wind envelops you, and you cannot pretend that it is not there, especially if the wind is strong. That is how the Presence of God operates, and it is how His fear operates when the soul is not in control and the Old Covenant is not the "law of the land". Even though Adam and Eve tried to hide from God, they were unable to, and they were forced to face what they had done, after which they received God's judgements and were cast out of the garden and into a soul-centred Earth.
The connection between God's Presence, fear, and an enveloping atmosphere can also be seen in the following passage:
"1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. 4 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. 5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. 6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. 7 And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. 8 And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only." (Matthew 17:1-8)
Notice how the cloud overshadowed them, meaning that they were in a sense surrounded by it and could not easily escape from it, even when they became "sore afraid" (v6).
The manifestation of God's Presence as an enveloping atmosphere of judgements is also evident in the following passage:
"1 O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. 2 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works. 3 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD. 4 Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore. 5 Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth; 6 O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen. 7 He is the LORD our God: his judgments are in all the earth." (Psalm 105:1-7)
[When His judgements are in all the Earth, they will become enveloping and unavoidable because they will be everywhere (i.e. "in all the Earth")]
As we saw earlier, we are no longer to experience the fear that comes with the Old Covenant because we can cry "Abba, Father", meaning that we are not just "invited guests" in God's Presence but are, in truth, His sons, His children, heirs with God Himself and joint heirs with the Messiah (if we are willing to suffer with Him). This means that we are not to experience the fear of an Old-Covenant slave, subject to dominion and oppression by "higher castes" that are "inherently better" than us. Instead, we are to experience the reverential fear that a good son will feel towards his father, knowing that his father will submit him to iron (corrective) and bronze (progress-inducing) judgements until he is shaped into his father's nature and can be his heir. This certifies the connection between the fear of God, the enveloping of His judgements around us, and the multiplication of His Nature that produces beings that are just like Him. That is why we can say that, in the case of God's people, our ultimate inheritance is God Himself, but only if we are willing to renounce the matriarchal, soul-centred Old Covenant ways and are willing to embrace the New-Covenant, spirit-centric ways of the Fearsome God of Israel.
Given all that we have already shared, this section may seem a bit redundant. However, it is important to highlight certain passages of Scripture that describe people acting in Old-Covenant fear. This is so that it may become even easier to discern between the Old-Covenant fear that creates separation from God and the New-Covenant enveloping fear that produces a people of wonders and signs who manifest the very Nature of God Himself.
Consider, for example, the following passage:
"26 And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. 27 And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not. 29 (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.) 30 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. 31 And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. 32 And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. 33 Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked. 34 When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country. 35 Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. 36 They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed. 37 Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again." (Luke 8:26-37)
Notice that Yeshua performed a wondrous work amongst the Gadarenes, who are referred to as "Gergesenes" in Matthew 8, which, as we explained before, was a form of the word "Girgashites". God had just executed a mighty judgement on the Girgashite and Amorite spirits that had taken hold of that territory. And, had the Gadarenes' hearts been open to the New-Covenant God, they would have allowed the fearsome Presence of God to fill that region's atmosphere, banishing the Girgashite and Amorite spirits there. Unfortunately, they collectively chose to remain in their Old-Covenant ways, which caused them to fear God in the wrong way and to ask Yeshua to separate Himself from them.
Now, let us consider the following passage:
"18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, 19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: 20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: 21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) 22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. 25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: 26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 For our God is a consuming fire." (Hebrews 12:18-29)
Notice how the Israelites who were only interested in an Old-Covenant relationship with God did not want to hear God's voice again because of how fearsome it was (v20), meaning that the fear drove them to separation. By contrast, the New Covenant (v24) is one where we are invited to draw near to mount Zion (v24) and to God, even as He is the "judge of all" (v23) and "Consuming Fire" (v29).
In Revelation 18, the Spirit of God declares the following:
"9 And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, 10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. 11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: 12 The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, 13 And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men. 14 And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. 15 The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, 16 And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! 17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, 18 And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!" (Revelation 18:9-18)
Notice that verse 10 declares that the kings of the Earth who delight with Babylon stand far away due to the "fear of her torment". This once again speaks of the type of fear that causes separation. Even though one could consider this separation to be "good", for they are finally separating themselves from the Babylon over which they rejoiced, the rest of the passage reveals that their separation from Babylon is without repentance. They wail over her fall because of how much they benefited from her, but at no point do they turn their eyes to God to recognise the wickedness of Babylon or the holiness of God's Name. In verse 15, the Spirit of God then declares that the merchants have the same reaction as the kings of the Earth, lamenting over the fall of their beloved city and standing far away due to fear of her torment. As we have shared before, Babylon is a spiritual figure of the pastoral matriarchy, and the kings of the Earth represent the Amorite kings who operate on the basis of their Girgashite "earth-swell" or "ground-swell" of support. On the other hand, as we have said before, "merchants" refer in a negative sense to the Canaanite spirit. Hence, the "kings of the Earth" and the "merchants" in the passage above refer to the Amorite "kingship" that the "female" pastoral ministry turned Canaanite has been able to exercise over the Earth with the support of the other "female" ministry, the teaching ministry turned Girgashite. Those invested in the pastoral matriarchy can only experience fear that separates them from God because they are immersed in the Old-Covenant paradigms and have an inherent revulsion against God's judgements, always seeing them as "evil" and as the manifestation of someone whom they cannot embrace as their God. Even as the matriarchal Babylon system experiences its demise as a result of God's judgements, those invested in it cannot recognise its inherent flaw, clinging to it in their hearts even as they fear the judgements on that system from a distance. This shows how the fear that an Old-Covenant, matriarchal heart experiences produces no fruit. Instead of forging a transformation, that fear only prompts them to create a distance between themselves and God, all in an effort to find a safe place where they can remain the same, far away from God's confrontational judgements.
In 1 John 4, the Spirit of God declares the following:
"17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." (1 John 4:17-18)
The matriarchal Church has often used the above passage as a tool to condemn any portrayal of God as a God of Judgements who is Fearsome in His Nature. However, as we have seen so far, such an interpretation of this passage clearly contradicts the rest of Scripture. To reject the need to fear God is to deny the full-blown manifestation of His Presence and the supernatural growth of God's people. How, then, are we to understand the passage above? First, we must remember who wrote it (humanly speaking) and the "tone" with which it was written. The above was written by the apostle John, who, as we have shared before, is clearly the most prophetic of all the 12 apostles who followed Yeshua during His earthly ministry. Therefore, it is even more dangerous than usual to interpret the words written through John in a literal and Girgashite way. John's words are very "spiritual" in their tone, as evidenced by the passage 1 chapter earlier, in 1 John 3:9, where John declares that someone who is born of God cannot sin. If we took this in a literal and Girgashite way, we would have to conclude that there are absolutely no born-again Christians on the face of the Earth and that Yeshua remains the only son that God ever had in the history of humanity. To understand 1 John 3:9, we must realise that the phrase "born of God" used in that verse refers to the spirit nature that was placed in us when we were born again, a spirit nature that was made after God and has no sin (Ephesians 4:24, Colossians 3:10). When we operate in that spirit component that is now in us, we cannot sin. This component is not "external" to our identity, meaning that, when we operate in it, God sees it as our actions, not the actions of some third party through us. And, the more we walk and grow in that spirit nature, the more likely it will be that we shall be that mature spirit component (or being) for all of eternity. When we walk in the soul rather than in the spirit, we are prone to sinning, and, at that moment, it is not the "born of God" part of us which is sinning, it is our fallen, matriarchal soul.
Returning to 1 John 4:17-18, the question remains: How are we to interpret that passage? To understand its true spiritual meaning, we must first consider the word "boldness" in verse 17, which was translated from the Greek noun parresia. Interestingly enough, parresia is derived from the words pas meaning "all" and rheo meaning "to pour forth". Hence, parresia could literally be translated as "all pouring" or "all flowing". Therefore, it has the connotation of someone flowing in complete, unhindered freedom. This means that, when our love is perfected or completed, we can flow with all freedom before the Lord without fear of experiencing disapproval and punishment. This happens because, at that point, our spirit nature is complete or fully developed and is fully compatible with God's Nature, meaning that nothing we do will offend Him or cause Him to release punishments against us in the "day of judgement" (v17).
After speaking about the possibility of having "all freedom" in the day of judgement, John says something in verse 17 that is utterly incomprehensible to matriarchal pastors, which is why they simply ignore it and move on. In the second half of verse 17, John declares, "because as he is, so are we in this world". As you may know from the film, when Moses asked God for His Name so that he could tell the Egyptians who exactly had sent him, God said, "Tell them that 'I AM that I AM' has sent you" (Exodus 3:14). Therefore, when John says, "as He is", he is referring to "I AM that I AM", and, hence, to God's very Nature (since one's nature is in one's name). This means that, when John adds, "so are we in this world", he is declaring that we are the manifestation of God's very Nature in this world, as if God Himself were present in this world. The word "world" in verse 17 was translated from the Greek word kosmos, which, as we have shared before, refers in a negative sense to the matriarchal, soul-dominated system that has been prevalent on Earth since man's fall. Therefore, the Spirit of God is declaring that we have been appointed to manifest God's "male" spirit, New-Covenant nature in the middle of this "female", soul-centric, Old-Covenant world that will make every effort to suppress that nature and keep us enslaved under the fear of the Old Covenant.
To understand what is said in the rest of 1 John 4:17-18 above, we must consider the word "torment" in verse 18, which was mistranslated from the Greek word kolasis. Interestingly, kolasis only appears one other time in Scripture, in verse 46 of the following passage, translated as "punishment":
"44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." (Matthew 25:44-46)
Notice how verse 46 above depicts eternal kolasis (i.e. "punishment") as the opposite of eternal life. As we have shared before, eternal life is more than just "making it into heaven", as the matriarchal Church so simplistically understands it. Instead, eternal life means becoming One with God Himself, for, as is declared in 1 Timothy 6:12-16, God is the only eternal one, and "eternal life" is something to be pursued by (rather than "handed to") the born-again believer. This contrast between "eternal life" and "eternal kolasis" becomes clearer when one considers the word kolasis itself; kolasis is derived from the verb kolazo meaning "to lop or prune, to restrain", which, in turn, is derived from the word kolos meaning "dwarf". Hence, kolasis has the connotation of cutting something off from its life source (like a branch that is pruned from a tree), thereby stunting its growth and leaving it permanently short of its intended height or size. In other words, the "eternal kolasis" that the Lord is referring to in Matthew 25:46 refers to a permanent "lopping off" of the person from God, the only source of eternal life, which leaves the person in a permanent state of dwarfdom, never able to achieve the "measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:13).
Even though it can be said that kolasis has a connotation of punishment (as when a tree is "punished" by having an ill-grown branch pruned off), its deeper meaning is related to the "dwarfing" or stunting of one's growth and stature. Consider, for example, who Yeshua is clearly implying in Matthew 25:44-46 will experience eternal kolasis: a person who does not "feed" the "least of His" when they are "(apostolically) hungry", or "give them drink" when they are "(prophetically) thirsty", or "take them in" when they are "(evangelistic) strangers", or "clothe them" when they are "(teacherly) naked", or "visit them" when they are "(pastorally) sick or in prison". If "salvation" (as the matriarchal Church understands the term) is not by works, and if the "everlasting punishment" of Matthew 25:46 is supposed to strictly refer to "going to hell", why does Yeshua say that "everlasting punishment" is for those who do not do certain things?
Due to the fact that the matriarchal Church is stuck in its infantile stage, never able to fully exit the "born-again birth canal", passages such as Matthew 25:44-46 above are always interpreted strictly in terms of "going to heaven" or "going to hell", which, as we just saw, clearly leads to contradictions with what other passages of Scripture declare. To a matriarchal believer, such contradictions are best swept under the carpet, to be dismissed as "overthinking Scripture". To shoo away tormenting thoughts that challenge their understanding, matriarchal believers frantically repeat their mantra, "Keep it simple, keep it simple, the Christian faith is nice and simple!!", and, after a while, the fears in their souls subside, and they can return to their simplistic faith. This is why the "everlasting punishment" of Matthew 25:46 actually applies to them, even if they will not spend eternity in literal hell. They are perfectly happy with their spiritual dwarfdom, always thinking of themselves as "little sinners saved by grace" who better not dare to aspire to manifesting God's very Nature on Earth or being One with God for all of eternity (Acts 13:46). These are the same people who cannot see Yeshua Himself in the "least" or "smallest of these" because they do not believe that "mere men" can operate in the nature of the Son of God. This is why they will make no effort to feed the "least of these" with apostolic wisdom to help them grow, or serve them drinks of prophetic anointing to help them operate as prophets, or allow them to make incursions into their personal domains to embolden them as evangelistic "conquering strangers", or cover their (teacherly) human frailty and weakness when they are challenging human authorities better attired than they are, or comfort their weary souls when they suffer from the matriarchal system's ruthless attacks against them. Because of this, they are cursed to suffer the eternal shame of dwarfdom, even if they are able to escape from the fires of literal hell.
Returning to 1 John 4:17-18, we can now safely interpret what the prophet John declared in a very spiritual, prophetic language. When the Spirit of God declares through John that "there is no fear in love" (v18), He is saying that the Old-Covenant fear that keeps you in a permanent state of dwarfdom disappears when you abide in God's New-Covenant love. When you embrace the love of God that allows you to believe that you can share in His Nature even though you are a "lowly human", the elements of the Old Covenant that keep you in a dwarfed state (either as a worthless layman "serf" or as a demigod "minister" who is above the common folk but always below God) disappear and you have all freedom (parresia) to grow to the fullness of what God has called you to be. Ironically, as you grow, you will abide in a different fear, the fear of God, which will prune, i.e. kolazo, the things that are limiting your growth, but that kolasis will not be "eternal". The fear of God will prune you and cause you some temporary pain, but you will be able to continue growing, like a tree that has its unproductive branches removed so that it can be more fruitful. By contrast, those in the Old-Covenant paradigm are locked in a fear that does not unite them to God but actually separates them from Him, causing them to remain permanently locked in a stunted, dwarf state. Yes, they can perceive God's "love" at some levels, but it will always be at a distance comfortable to their soul, for they are neither willing to believe the magnitude of God's calling for them nor interested in embracing the Fearsome God of Consuming Fire whose fear produces extraordinary unity with Him and supranatural growth.
Based on all of the above, we must emphatically conclude that, contrary to popular belief, the words in Matthew 25:44-46 above are not directed at the "unsaved sinners" in the world but rather at the "saved believers" in the Church. Otherwise, those words make no sense at all and can only be taken to mean that we escape the literal fires of hell by doing "nice" and "charitable" acts of "kindness". We must also emphasise that the words in 1 John 4:17-18 above speak of the "separating" fear produced by Old-Covenant thinking, not the righteous fear of God that produces extraordinary growth and life in God's people. Having said that, it can be said that 1 John 4:17-18 does refer, in an indirect way, to the fear of God, but only in the sense that it connects "fear" with "pruning". Whilst we have yet to be perfected, the fear of God can bring a measure of "pruning" (or "punishment") to our lives, but only to produce greater unity with God in love. This is why that passage speaks of "perfect love" and being "made perfect in love" in verse 18.
In Ephesians 5, the Spirit of God declares the following:
"17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God." (Ephesians 5:17-21)
Notice how verse 21 connects the fear of God with submission. Notice also that verse 21 does not explicitly speak of submission to God even though it speaks of fearing God. Instead, the submission spoken of is of "one to another". Why? Because, as we shared above, a New-Covenant heart does not limit the growth potential of man, seeing him as capable of growing into the fullness of the Nature of God Himself. Hence, the New Covenant heart can easily see God in his brethren, and this why its fear of God will prompt it to submit to others when it sees those others manifesting God's Nature and Authority. It is worth emphasising that this submission to one another is not driven by respect for earthly titles and power. Otherwise, it would not be a submission "in the fear of God", and it would not be "one to another", regardless of each other's title. The submission spoken of in verse 21 is not "unconditional" either, for it is triggered when one perceives God in the other person. If the "other" person does not manifest God's Nature, the submission spoken of in verse 21 above does not apply.
"16 And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go. 17 According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee: only the LORD thy God be with thee, as he was with Moses." (Joshua 1:16-17)
In some situations, we are to express "submission" to people who are not manifesting God's Nature, but it will only be in the context of Old-Covenant structures that we cannot avoid (for we are still in an Old-Covenant world, even if our heart is in the New Covenant). These "Old-Covenant submissions" (if and when they are valid in God's eyes), will be done more to honour the concept of authority that God has established than to honour the people misusing such authority.
"18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. 19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully." (1 Peter 2:18-19)
The word "servants" in verse 18 above was translated from the Greek noun oiketes, which is derived from the word oikos meaning "house". Hence, oiketes has the connotation of a "domestic" servant, i.e. a person living in someone else's household whose job is to provide a service for the owner of the house. Therefore, the passage above is in the context of someone working within the "personal domain" of another person and cannot be expanded to the context of, say, a citizen-government relationship (since a country is not the government's "personal domain"). It is also worth noting that the passage above speaks of being submitted to one's "masters" (despotes in Greek), not of being unconditionally obedient to them. The word "subject" in verse 18 was translated from the Greek verb hypotasso, which can also be translated as "submit", and is derived from the prefix hypo meaning "under" and the verb tasso meaning "place in a certain order, appoint, assign a place, place in a post". Hence, it speaks of recognising that you are in a functional position beneath someone else and that the other person has a certain latitude to assign you tasks, even if the tasks do not make sense to you or agree with your plans. In other words, if a gardener works for a person who asks him to rake the leaves in some garden from one side of the garden to the other, back and forth all day, the gardener will have no choice but to do so, even if it is a clearly futile task to him. The gardener may have much better ideas on how to invest his time in productive tasks beneficial to his "master", but, being in a post below his employer, he is obligated to carry out the useless task asked of him, knowing that he is being paid to execute gardening tasks as assigned to him by his despotes.
As we have shared before, hypotasso submission is not a sign of inherent inferiority but positional functionality. When you hypotasso under another person, your position is like a "hat" that you wear on your head whilst performing your function. When you are done performing the function, the hat comes off from over your head, and you become just like the person you submitted under (who will also have his own "boss" hat off of his head). New-Covenant people understand this perfectly. By contrast, Old-Covenant people believe in set-in-stone castes that permanently separate people into different levels of inferiority. This is why Old-Covenant people never take their hats off, and this is why they extend the meaning of hypotasso "submission" to mean obedience at all levels and at all times. New-Covenant people, on the other hand, know that, even as they wear their despotes' hat, they are still submitted under God and His Truth, and, whenever the despotes' orders stray from either the context of the position's functionality or from God's Truth, obedience is no longer required, and the despotes is not authorised to claim that you have violated your submission to him. This is why Yeshua also declared the following:
"4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? 7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. 8 Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: 9 But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God." (Luke 12:4-9)
Notice that the Lord is declaring that we are to fear God, which flies in the face of the matriarchal Church's constant efforts to de-emphasise (and even vilify) the fear of God. Notice also that we are to fear God more than we fear man, meaning that our submission to God should always trump any submission to man, valid as that submission may be. Notice also that, immediately after saying, "fear Him" (v5), the Lord speaks of our value in God's eyes. This means that, in order to truly fear God more than man, we must be aware of our New-Covenant value in God rather than the relative human value that the Old-Covenant (caste) system tries to place on us.
Notice also that Yeshua mentions 2 numbers in verse 6 above when He says, "Are not 5 sparrows sold for 2 farthings?". Contrary to what matriarchal believers may think, the Spirit of God did not record these words in Scripture so that we could know the market price of little birds 2000 years ago. Instead, He plastered these words into Scripture so that we could understand a spiritual principle based on the two numbers He mentioned. The number "5" points to the 5 ministerial endowments of Ephesians 4:11, and the number "2" points to the 2 "female" ministries of pastor and teacher. In other words, the Lord is speaking of how, when it comes to "sparrows", the 5 ministries are reduced to 2, meaning that the "sparrows" refer to the believers who have allowed their "5-fold ministry" potential to be reduced to 2. Hence, the sparrows in verse 6 speak of how Old-Covenant believers turn themselves into "little believers", little sparrows who are dominated by the 2 female ministries and who have deprived themselves of the ability to operate in the other 3 ("male") endowments of apostle, prophet, and evangelist. Even when these Old-Covenant "Christians" have reduced themselves to sparrows that can be sold for 2 "farthings", God still cares about them and does not neglect them (v6).
After speaking of the Old-Covenant sparrows that God does not forget, Yeshua immediately speaks of God "numbering" all the hairs of our heads (v7). Interestingly, the word "numbered" in verse 7 above was translated from the Greek verb arithmeo (from which the English word "arithmetic" is derived), which is only used 3 times in Scripture: in verse 7 above, in Matthew 10:30 (again referring to hair numbering and fearing God and not men), and in Revelation 7:9, when referring to a multitude before God's throne with white robes that no one could "number". Obviously, when Revelation 7:9 declares that "no one" (mistranslated as "no man") could number the multitude, it means that the multitude could not be numbered in the soul realm through natural understanding, but it could clearly be "numbered" by God Himself because He operates in the Spirit realm that transcends the cardinality of the soul. In the same way, He can number the seemingly innumerable hairs on our head, which in a deeper sense reveals an important spiritual reality: "Hairs" grow out of our head, for which reason they can represent the thoughts that are produced by our heads. Therefore, when God declares that He has numbered the hairs on your head, He is declaring that every single thought is so relevant to Him that He has numbered and catalogued them. In other words, your thoughts are not dismissed as just indistinguishable items that can be lumped into a generic term such as "hair" and do not merit individual consideration. As this writer has personally experienced when attempting to count large flocks of geese grazing at Hoboken, New Jersey's Pier A, large groups of very similar items are difficult to count, especially if they are in constant motion, and they can only be counted if the person doing the counting has a way of distinguishing between those he has counted and those he has not yet counted. Hence, the fact that God bothers to number the hairs on our head means that each individual thought that we produce is relevant to Him in its own right and is distinguishable from all our other thoughts. This shows how relevant we are to Him and that He does not simply lump the "laymen" believers into a "plebeian soup" where they are no longer distinguishable from each other (even if they think of themselves as such). A New-Covenant believer is always aware of this and is therefore never seduced into selling himself into Old-Covenant slavery like 5 ("ministry") sparrows that are sold for 2 ("female" ministry) farthings. The soul matriarchy system that the pastoral matriarchy promotes reduces us to a faceless mass of people, eroding our individuality. By contrast, the Spirit-centric system that New-Covenant believers accept from God emphasises our individuality and value before God. Thus, the fear of God that the New-Covenant believer inhabits in produces a fruit of submission that actually makes us aware of our value before God and releases us from unhealthy forms of submission towards men.
In Luke 1, the Spirit of God declares the following:
"46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, 47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. 48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. 49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. 50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. 51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree." (Luke 1:46-52)
Notice how, in the anointing of the Spirit, Mary declares that those who fear Him have God's mercy on them. This shows how God does not use fear as a weapon to put down people and control them like lifeless robots (the way that Old-Covenant people do). Instead, He showers them with mercy and exalts them over the proud (v52). The word "mercy" in verse 50 above was translated from the Greek noun eleos, which, after appearing in Luke chapters 1 and 10, does not reappear until Romans chapter 9, in verse 23 of the following passage:
"22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, 24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? 25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. 26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God. 27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: 28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth." (Romans 9:22-28)
Notice how eleos mercy is mentioned in the context of God exalting people who had once lived separated from His Promises but to whom God now "makes known the riches of His Glory" and who are now "vessels of mercy" prepared unto the Glory of God Himself (v23). When God opened the door completely for the Gentiles to enter into Him, He made it very clear that the Old-Covenant separation that the Jews had become accustomed to had lost all of its temporary legitimacy. Unfortunately, as the Gentile Church grew, it slowly regressed into the Old-Covenant paradigms that the soul is so comfortable with, to the point even of applying "reverse apartheid" on the Jews who had once applied "apartheid" on them. This is why the Spirit of God declared the following through Paul, using the word eleos once again (in verse 31) and its verb form, eleeo (in verses 30, 31, and 32):
"25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. 26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. 28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. 29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. 30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: 31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all." (Romans 11:25-32)
The connection between the fear of God and Him exalting us can also be seen in the following passage:
"32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Luke 12:32-34)
Some could argue that the above passage actually establishes a connection between being exalted, i.e. being given the Kingdom, and not fearing. Even though this is technically correct, we must take into account that the passage above is in Luke chapter 12, the same chapter from which we earlier quoted Yeshua telling us not to fear man but to fear God. In other words, when the Lord says, "fear not" in the passage above, He is again telling us not to fear man so that the fear of God may flourish and not be drowned out. Hence, as we let go of the Old-Covenant fear of man and embrace the New-Covenant fear of God, the kingdom is given unto us.
The word "have" in verse 33 above was mistranslated from the Greek word hyparchonta meaning "possessions, goods, wealth", which is derived from the Greek prefix hypo meaning "under" and the verb archo meaning "to be chief, to lead, rule". In other words, hyparchonta refers to the things that are under our rule or that we are masters over (making them our possessions). On the other hand, the word "alms" was translated from the Greek noun eleemosyne, which is derived from the word eleos meaning "mercy", which, as we saw above, refers to God's exalting mercy that ends Old-Covenant separations. Therefore, when the Lord tells us to "sell our possessions and give alms", He is telling us to forego the privileges that may come with living within the Old-Covenant's caste system where certain things and people are placed below us so that we may extend God's New-Covenant mercy to others and help them understand their exalted, New-Covenant, kingdom-receiving value before God. Hence, Luke 12:33 above, which sounds to the matriarchal "Christian" as a call to donate to the (white-hating) "Salvation Army", is actually about something much more profound than that.
The connection between the fear of God and being exalted to kingship by Him can also be seen in a passage that we already quoted earlier:
"25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: 26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 For our God is a consuming fire." (Hebrews 12:25-29)
Notice how verse 28 speaks once again about "receiving" or being given an unshakeable Kingdom in the context of recognising God's Fearsome Consuming-Fire nature. It must be clarified that the word "fear" that appears at the end of verse 28 in the KJV does not actually appear in the original Greek text, where the noun that is used is eulabeia (translated as "Godly fear" above). The word eulabeia is better translated as "caution, circumspection, reverence" and is derived from the prefix eu meaning "good" or "well" and the verb lambano meaning "to receive, embrace". Hence, eulabeia has the connotation of someone who does not absorb or receive something hastily but instead processes it well so that he may receive it in a proper way. This correlates with how some people go through great pomp and circumstance to receive a foreign dignitary. Instead of just saying, "Wassup, Joe? Come on in!!", they put up great decorations, invite many people dear to them, and then roll out a red carpet to welcome their revered guest, just as Cornelius did with Peter:
"24 And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and had called together his kinsmen and near friends. 25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. 26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man. 27 And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together." (Acts 10:24-27)
A few verses later, the Spirit of God declares the following:
"30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, 31 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. 32 Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee. 33 Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God." (Acts 10:30-33)
Notice how Cornelius's respectful reception of Peter did not stop at the door. After receiving him into his home, Cornelius was intent on him and his friends paying attention to every word that Peter was about to speak, for he knew that they were words sent to him by God Himself. Notice also how God was very pleased with Cornelius for his "alms", which were "had in remembrance in the sight of God" (v31). Interestingly enough, the word "alms" in this passage was also translated from the word eleemosyne that Yeshua uses in Luke 12:33 when telling us to sell our possessions and give "alms". This illustrates how, in a peculiar sense, Cornelius was showing mercy to the Jewish people, not believing himself superior to them for being a Roman, i.e. for being a natural citizen of the most powerful empire on Earth, the very empire that had conquered the Jews and had not been prevented doing so by the God of Israel Whom he was honouring with his alms. Because Cornelius did not believe himself to belong to a "superior caste" and instead showed mercies to the conquered sons of Abraham, God showed him mercy in return and enabled him to experience Yeshua's New-Covenant salvation and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
"44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, 47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days." (Acts 10:44-48)
The connection between the fear of God and kingship is subtly present once again in the following passage:
"Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour." (Romans 13:7)
As we have shared before, paying "tribute" refers to acknowledging and submitting to the apostolic nature of authority, paying "custom" refers to acknowledging the prophetic nature of authority by sharing in its burden to reach a visualised end, paying "honour" refers to acknowledging the teacher (and pastoral) nature of authority by honouring it even when it manifests itself in "female" vulnerability, and paying "fear" refers to acknowledging the evangelistic nature of authority by recognising its Fearsome, Kingly nature. Hence, we can conclude that, in God's New Covenant, when we honour Him as a King with our fear of Him, He honours us back by giving us the kingdom, i.e. making us kings like Him. Old-Covenant believers lock themselves out of the possibility of being kings because they are either too Canaanite to embrace the fear of God or too Girgashite to believe that fearing God paradoxically exalts us out of our earthly condition and towards God's Kingship.
In 2 Corinthians, the Spirit of God declares the following:
"17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. 1 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 6:17-7:1)
The "unclean thing" (v17) refers to the pastoral matriarchy system that is dominated by a Canaanite mindset that despises God's purifying judgements and is therefore perennially unclean and separated from God, meaning that it can, at best, operate under an Old-Covenant paradigm of permanently inferior laymen and "less inferior" priests who minister to God from a distance on behalf of the unclean laymen below them. God despises that system, for which reason He calls us out of it, prompting us to separate ourselves from the system that separates us from Him. By separating ourselves from the separators, we can enter into a direct New-Covenant relationship where we can know God as a Father and be His direct sons and daughters (as opposed to Old-Covenant grandchildren). This means embracing God as a Fearsome Father, and, as we fear Him without pulling ourselves away from Him, we are perfected in prophetic holiness (v1).
In Philippians 2, the Spirit of God declares the following:
Notice how, as the fear of God operates in us, our salvation is worked out. As we have said multiple times in the past, "salvation" in Scripture is more than just a "get-out-of-hell" card. It is a growth process towards the Promised Land, which is Eternal Life in God and having God Himself as our beloved inheritance. As we have also explained before, eternal life is not tantamount to escaping from hell. A great multitude of believers will not go to hell but will not have eternal life either. They will live outside the walls of Jerusalem, eternally cast off by God, even if they are not sent to the literal fires of Sheol. Like the unbelieving, Old-Covenant Israelites who escaped out of Egypt (i.e. escaped literal hell), these half-hearted believers will have their eternal calling perish in the wilderness without ever reaching the Promised Land, for, to them, getting out of hell was all the "promised land" that they were interested in. This low level of interest in God's high calling is the reason why they equate "salvation" with nothing more than the moment in which they were born again, when they were delivered through the Reed Sea and into a new spirit life that they have all but wasted and dismissed. These believers do not "fear and tremble" before the Father of Spirits. They only fear and tremble before the "superior" ministers directly above them, and only because they can behold these ministers and their supporting religious structures with their physical eyes. This is why Paul speaks of the Philippians working out their salvation with fear and trembling even in Paul's absence, for the Philippians did not need to see God (or Paul) with their natural eyes in order to fear Him with reverence.
In Revelation 1, the Spirit of God declares the following through John:
"12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. 16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. 17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: 18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." (Revelation 1:12-18)
Notice that, upon turning to see the voice, John saw 7 golden candlesticks, which refers to the 7 Spirits of God. Notice also that John then proceeds to describe 7 aspects of the Lord's appearance:
From the above, we can see how the Lord Yeshua appears in Revelation 1:12-18 as a "son of man" (v13) who has grown into the fullness of God's 7-faceted nature. Notice that, when John saw Him, he immediately "fell at His feet as dead" (v17) and that Yeshua laid His right hand --- the hand that had the 7 stars (v16) --- on him, and said to him, "fear not". This means that John's fall at His conquering feet was a result of the fear of God that overcame him as he beheld the resurrected Yeshua. Once that fear had achieved its intended result (i.e. having John descend into death), Yeshua could now resurrect him in the fullness of the 7 Spirits of God (represented by the 7 stars in the hand that He raised him with), and the fear could now leave, for John was symbolically perfected in God's love (1 John 4:17-18).
The fact that Yeshua was holding "stars" in His right hand refers to the 7 Spirits of God coming from high above to inhabit John's dead body. Ironically, it is when we are willing to die and descend to the lowest points of Sheol that the nature of God can descend from the Most High place and fully dwell in us. This is why the son of man declares that "I am He who lives, and was dead", having the keys of Sheol and Death (v18) because He was willing to go through green-horse Death and descend to Sheol. This is the path promised and laid out by God for the son of man, i.e. for you and me, if we are willing to embrace the fear of God.
Later in Revelation, the Spirit of God declares the following through John:
"1 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: 2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. 3 And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. 4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. 5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. 6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth." (Revelation 19:1-6)
Notice that verse 4 speaks of "24 elders". As we have shared before, the number "24" is a number of priesthood, as evidenced by the fact that the Levitical priesthood had 24 divisions, as per 1 Chronicles 24. Hence, it points to consecration, as when a priest consecrates his life unto God. The "elders", on the other hand, speaks of someone who is spiritually mature. Therefore, the reference in the passage to the "24 elders" before speaking of those who fear God, great and small (v4), points to how the fear of God leads to the manifestation of extraordinary holiness (i.e. consecration) and growth (i.e. maturity) in man. The reference to "small and great" emphasises how an atmosphere where the fear of God abounds breaks all castes, uniting all in holy fear, a fear that blesses and impacts not only those who have already grown (i.e. those who are "great") but those who are young and have yet to grow (i.e. those who are "small").
The passages that we have seen so far in this section contrast with the following passage:
"11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. 12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; 13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever." (Jude 1:11-13)
Notice how the above passage speaks of evil men confidently walking amongst the believers. This is because the "agapes" (mistranslated as "feasts of charity") had no atmosphere of God's fear in them (v12). As we have shared so far, the fear of God prompts you to either separate yourself from God or draw closer to Him. The men described in the passage above feel no need to separate themselves from the believers because there is no fear in the atmosphere, so they are "free" to remain unholy and without any sort of spiritual growth, as trees that produce no fruit. It is sad that the matriarchal Church has abhorred the fear of God so much that these men can freely roam about the Church's "holy meetings" Sunday after Sunday with their chin defiantly up as they defile and corrupt the growth of the believers around them with their very presence. God, in the meantime, stays far away from these "holy meetings", waiting for someone to come out from among them and be separate unto Him (2 Corinthians 6:17-7:1).
Based on all of the above, we can conclude the following: When a matriarchal heart perceives the presence of God, it runs away in fear in an effort to separate itself from God and the accountability that His Presence brings. This then prompts the question, "Should we fear Him, and is that fear contingent on impending punishment from Him?". The answer declared by God is that the fear of God is a good thing and that it is not necessarily linked to impending punishment. In fact, it is as we become more and more aware of the level of forgiveness that God has made available to us that our fear of God paradoxically reaches a new level, a level that emanates from our awareness of his Nature and transcends the natural fear of punishment.
As we embrace that higher level of the fear of God, we also begin to experience God's pastoring at a level that transcends the "pastoring" performed by Canaanite pastors, and we can experience that pastoring because we remain aware of the Lordship of the Spirit and do not allow that pastoral comforting to exalt the soul above the Spirit.
As we embrace the fear of God at the New-Covenant level, God's "monstrous" teras greatness is also birthed in us, and we begin to produce evangelistic wonders and prophetic signs, meaning that we begin to manifest a level of grace that far transcends what the matriarchal, Old-Covenant Church can ever manifest. When the fear of God abounds, the "male" ministerial endowments are fostered in us, even as we are being nurtured by the "female" ministerial endowments. This is what allows the "wonders and signs" to flow from us unimpeded.
Along with the wonders and signs, God's judgements begin to flow freely in an atmosphere of God's fear, purifying God's people and enabling even greater growth. Unfortunately, this virtuous cycle of growth was cut short in the early Church as the signs began to precede wonders and believers subtly reverted to an Old-Covenant mindset. However, the prophetic promise in Scripture is that, through His faithful remnant, a resurrection will be birthed in the Church through green-horse sacrifice, the fear of God will spread, and His judgements will flow freely like a mighty river across the entire Earth. As a result, the Old-Covenant, matriarchal system that the Church has so fervently clung to shall be destroyed. This free-flowing fear of God shall cause a massive multiplication of God's very Nature in the sons and daughters of men, a multiplication that God the Father has so dearly longed for. Those stuck in the Old Covenant will resist this change, determined to separate themselves from God as His fear and judgements spread across the Earth, but they shall be no match for God's operations through His people, and their sad matriarchal dominion shall be obliterated from the face of the Earth.
Through the fear of God, we are perfected in New-Covenant love, and the fruit of submission is produced in us, a submission that is not born out of the Old-Covenant fear of kolasis punishment but from a love for God and His Truth. As we embrace the New-Covenant fear of God, we become more and more aware that the Old Covenant is for the "birds" who have reduced themselves to 2 soul-centred facets and who therefore need to operate at a lower, more animalistic level of fear to produce a temporary form of submission where one always rises at the expense of another. By contrast, the New-Covenant fear of God and a submission to His Kingship paradoxically produces Kingship in us all, causing us to reign with Him as mighty Kings without having to gain that kingship at the expense of someone else's eternal value. As the fear of God spreads, we grow in holiness, developing the 7-faceted Nature of God in us and enabling others to grow in an accelerated way towards the fullness of God's Nature.