Alleged Contradictions in The Bible – Part 7

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Alleged Contradictions – Part 7

“Walk… In The Fear of The Lord”, Versus “Perfect Love Casts Out Fear”

Act 9:31 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.

1Jn 4:18 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.


Should you and I “Walk in the fear of the Lord”? If we do fear Him, does that mean we are “not made perfect in love”?

I hope that you have been brought to see that just as the fear of man correlates with the love of this world, so it is with the fear of God. Those who fear man, love this world, and those who fear God, love God and “the things of the spirit”. But just like every alleged contradiction we have studied to this point, the things of the spirit are understood only by those who have been given to “receive the things of the spirit”, and those who have not be granted that gift will take “some of the word” and attempt to make it contradict “the sum of Thy Word”.

Psa 119:160 The sum of thy word is truth; And every one of thy righteous ordinances endureth for ever.

2Pe 1:20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture at all is becoming its own explanation. (CLV)

1Co 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: [“the sum of thy word” Psa 119:160 and Joh 6:63]

1Co 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
1Co 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
1Co 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

There are those who know nothing of any of these truths, or who do not know how to apply these truths, who use that statement in 1Jo 4:18, “He that fears is not made perfect in love”, to teach that we need not fear God under the New Testament. More than that, some even teach that if you do fear God, you are not made perfect in love. As is always the case, such people have no idea or have forgotten how to apply all the above verses, and they have forgotten what ‘love’ is or what ‘love’ produces in those who do have “the love of God”.

1Jn 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

Let us establish that the Greek word in both Luke 12:5 and 1Jo 4:18 is:

From G5401; to frighten, that is, (passively) to be alarmed; by analogy to be in awe of, that is, revere: – be (+ sore) afraid, fear (exceedingly), reverence.

Here are all the entries for this Greek word in the New Testament:
Total KJV Occurrences: 93
fear, 35
Mat_1:20, Mat_10:26, Mat_10:28 (2), Mat_10:31, Mat_21:26, Mat_28:5, Luk_1:13, Luk_1:30, Luk_1:50, Luk_5:10 (2), Luk_8:50, Luk_12:5 (3), Luk_12:7, Luk_12:32, Luk_18:4, Luk_23:40, Act_13:15-16 (2), Act_27:24, Rom_11:20, 2Co_11:3, 2Co_12:20, Heb_4:1, Heb_13:6, 1Pe_2:17, Rev_1:17, Rev_2:10, Rev_11:18, Rev_14:7, Rev_19:4-5 (2)
afraid, 29
Mat_2:22, Mat_14:27, Mat_14:30, Mat_17:6-7 (2), Mat_25:25, Mat_28:10, Mar_5:15, Mar_5:36, Mar_6:50, Mar_10:32 (2), Luk_2:8-9 (2), Luk_8:25, Luk_8:35, Luk_12:4, Joh_6:19-20 (2), Joh_19:8, Act_9:26, Act_18:9, Act_22:29, Rom_13:3-4 (2), Gal_4:11, Heb_11:23, 1Pe_3:6, 1Pe_3:14
feared, 18
Mat_14:5, Mat_21:46, Mat_27:54, Mar_4:41, Mar_6:20, Mar_11:18, Mar_11:32, Mar_12:12, Luk_9:34, Luk_9:45, Luk_18:2, Luk_19:21, Luk_20:19, Luk_22:2, Joh_9:22, Act_5:26, Act_10:2, Act_16:38
fearing, 6
Mar_5:33, Act_27:17, Act_27:29, Gal_2:12, Col_3:22, Heb_11:27
feareth, 4
Act_10:22, Act_10:35, Act_13:26, 1Jo_4:18
reverence, 1

Of the 93 times this word appears, it is translated as ‘reverence’ only one time:

Eph 5:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence [Greek: phobeo, fear] her husband.

Here is that Greek word from which 5399 is taken and which is also translated as ‘fear’:


From a primary φέβομαι phebomai (to be put in fear); alarm or fright: – be afraid, + exceedingly, fear, terror.

Here are the entries for this word:

Total KJV Occurrences: 47
fear, 41

Mat_14:26, Mat_28:4, Mat_28:8, Luk_1:12, Luk_1:65, Luk_5:26, Luk_7:16, Luk_8:37, Luk_21:26, Joh_7:13, Joh_19:38, Joh_20:19, Act_2:43, Act_5:5, Act_5:11, Act_9:31, Rom_3:17-18 (2), Rom_8:15, Rom_13:7 (2), 1Co_2:3, 2Co_7:1, 2Co_7:11, 2Co_7:15, Eph_5:21, Eph_6:5, Phi_2:12, 1Ti_5:20, Heb_2:15, 1Pe_2:17-18 (2), 1Pe_3:2, 1Pe_3:15, 1Jo_4:18 (3), Jud_1:23, Rev_11:11, Rev_18:10, Rev_18:15
terror, 3
Rom_13:3, 2Co_5:11, 1Pe_3:14
exceedingly, 1
feared, 1
Mar_4:41 (2)
fears, 1

There are really only 46 entries for this word because as you can see the words ‘feared’ and ‘exceedingly’ are both translated from this one Greek word phobos’ in Mark 4:41:

Mar 4:41 And they feared exceedingly [G5401: phobos], and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

Of the 46 times this word appears in the New Testament, it is translated as ‘fear’, ‘terror’, ‘feared’ and ‘fears’ in every case. It is never once translated as revere or reverence. But just for the record, this is the Webster’s dictionary definition of the English word ‘revere’:

Here is what we are told of how we ought to relate to this word ‘reverence’ in the Old Testament:

Lev 19:30 Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD.

Psa 89:7 God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.

Psa 119:38 Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear.

Ecc 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

The word ‘duty’ has been added by the translators and is better left off. The fact is that mankind is not complete without a healthy Biblical “fear of God”.

This is what the Old Testament tells us is the relationship of a son to his father:

Lev 19:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Lev 19:2 Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.
Lev 19:3 Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.

Having been a child in need of discipline, I can vouch for the meaning of those words, “fear every man… his Father”. As much as I hated going to school as a child, I dreaded going home if my mother had said that morning, “Just wait until your father comes home”. Every rebellious carnal child needs a healthy fear of his mother and of his father, and that is just as true today as it was when these words were inspired of the holy spirit “for our admonition” (1Co 10:11).

Pro 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Yes, these words “were written for our admonition”:

1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

Fully aware of how politically incorrect these words are today, they are nevertheless the Truth of the Word of God:

Pro 19:18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.

The book of Proverbs gets more explicit by the chapter:

Pro 23:13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
Pro 23:14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

And what does all this chastening produce in a son? A child, either a physical or a spiritual child, when chastened by a loving father, a physical or a spiritual father, learns to fear God and keep His commandments (Ecc 12:13):

Pro 23:15 My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine.
Pro 23:16 Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things.
Pro 23:17 Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.

It is a “right thing” to teach our children that the fear of their parents produces love for those parents. It is an undisciplined spoiled child who has been given everything he wants, who grows up to hate others and murder even his own parents.

1Ti 1:9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for mans layers,

Did the coming of Christ and His New Covenant nullify this principle? This is what the New Testament teaches us to this day:

Heb 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Heb 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

A child who fears to disobey a loving father is a well balanced, respectful, and loving child who will grow to the point of being of the same mind as his loving father. But the carnal mind looks at abusive fathers and declares all fathers who discipline their children to be abusive fathers. That is the same fascist mindset that says that anyone who drinks alcohol is a drunkard. Truly a mind which does not “fear God and keep His commandments” is not a “whole man”!

Ecc 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. [“duty of” is added by the translators]

Ecc 12:13 [This is] the end of the matter, all has been heard: Fear God, and keep his commandments, for this is the whole of man. [‘of’ is added] (ACV)

Old Testament Only?

Let’s ask and answer the question: Is the fear of God just an Old Testament doctrine? Did “the times of reformation” brought in by Christ change our need to fear God and keep His commandments? After all, as some are quick to remind us:

Heb 9:10 Which [Old Testament rituals] stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.

Heb 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

Let’s examine what the New Testament scriptures teach on this subject so we can know for certain whether we need to fear God under the terms of the New Covenant:

The New Testament reveals that the Lord’s sanctuary spoken of in Lev 19:30 is nothing less than you and me if we are God’s elect.

1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Co 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

“If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy.” Is that something you or I should fear under the New Covenant? If indeed “perfect love casts out fear”, what does the New Testament teach about whether we should fear God? Is it possible to fear God and still have “perfect love”?

The answer is that once we know what “the love of God” is (1Jo 5:2-3), then we can see clearly that it is impossible to be perfected in love without having the fear of God, as we are about to see.

This is what we are told is the doctrine of the New Testament concerning whether we are to fear God:

Heb 4:1 Let us therefore fear lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.

Rev 11:18 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.

Rev 14:6 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,
Rev 14:7 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.

Rev 19:4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.
Rev 19:5 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.

According to the New Testament, we are 1) to “fear… lest we come short… of entering into His rest; 2) Those who “fear [God’s] name” are to be rewarded at “the time of the dead”; 3) A vital part of “the everlasting gospel” is the proclamation that we are to “Fear God and give glory to Him”; and 4) Finally, we are told that a voice comes directly out of the throne of Christ commanding us: “Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.” That is the New Testament doctrine of who is to fear God in the New Testament.

So ‘phobos’ really does mean ‘fear’ and can rightly be translated “feared exceedingly” in the context of seeing a man walking on water in the midst of a terrible storm:

Mar 4:41 And they feared exceedingly [G5401: phobos], and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

To conclude this study on the apparent contradiction between these two verses:

Act 9:31 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.

1Jn 4:18 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.

Let’s ask and answer the question. If the scriptures actually teach us to fear God as a child fears his father, did our Lord Himself fear His heavenly Father? Christ Himself had inspired Isaiah to admonish us:

Isa 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Having inspired Isaiah to give us that warning this is what Christ taught us during His proclamation of the everlasting gospel while He was on this earth in an earthen vessel:

Luk 12:4 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.
Luk 12:5 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.

There it is out of the mouth of Christ Himself! “I will forewarn you whom you shall fear… I say unto you, Fear [God]” So Christ’s doctrine concerning the subject of ‘the fear of God’ is the same doctrine in the New Testament as it was in the Old Testament. We are told that Christ has lived a life which was exemplary for us:

1Pe 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

Did our ‘Example’ fear His Father? Yes, He did, and this verse concludes this study showing that the fear of 1Jo 4:18 is the fear of men, as Christ told us there in Luke 12: 4, “Be not afraid of [men]”. It certainly was not the fear of God of whom Christ left us this example:

Heb 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;

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