October 3, 2014
When we began this series, we opened up with the initiating place for the families of fear at the time of the temptation of Eve and Adam's subsequent partaking of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the consequences that followed. In #5, we talked about David's song in Psalm 34, and his statement, "and He delivered me from all my fears." Let's consider a few more of David's songs.
One of the most significant Psalms all of us are familiar with is the 23rd Psalm. I’ve often been a critic of preachers who use this Psalm at funerals because it is not a Psalm for dying; it is a Psalm for living. Fifteen separate statements occur in this Psalm. Each of the fifteen represent steps that describe the process through which the Lord takes His people – those that continue to respond – from the initial point of their relationship with Him (The Lord is my Shepherd) to maturity (and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever).
One of the most important steps in our overcoming and growth process is being delivered from the Fear of Evil.
David makes the statement, “Yea, though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no Evil…”
No one was more qualified than David to speak from experience with such a statement of faith. Today’s coffee break is not about the 23rd Psalm (maybe we will get a chance to talk more about that in later coffee breaks) but about what David learned about the nature of the Fear of Evil.
We’ve already discussed in a couple previous coffee breaks the fact that the Fear of Evil is rooted in eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. We’ve already mentioned that religion is one of the primary symptoms of this fear. There are a whole lot more symptoms, and David gives us some real insight.
Take a look at the 49th Psalm. In verse 5, the KJV translators erred in translating the Hebrew aw.kabe as “heel.” It actually properly translates as “a lier in wait.” Let me therefore retranslate the verse for you like this: “Why should I fear evil in the midst of days when I am surrounded by those who lie in wait for me.”
It suddenly becomes clear that one of the usual symptoms of the Fear of Evil is focusing on whether one is surrounded by those who seek their life. I’ve got a description for this, and maybe you see it as well.
-- Conspiracy theories. How about the “black helicopter crowd?” How about Y2K? We can really take this to extremes, but you get the picture.
Without breaking down every single verse of the 49th Psalm, it quickly becomes clear that some of the symptoms of the Fear of Evil are:
-- Trusting in wealth or riches. From this we can extrapolate
-- Worrying about not having enough.
-- Boasting of one’s abundance.
-- Prolonging one’s lifespan by whatever means and avoiding death. (Hence, the Fear of Death.)
-- Making sure that their names are put on monuments, buildings, plaques, carvings, statues and the like so that posterity remembers their names.
-- Leaving their wealth to foolish causes.
-- Attempting to ensure that their heirs remember the things they’ve said, no matter how foolish those sayings.
Skip back to the 41st Psalm, and you get some more of what David saw.
Beginning in verse 5 (Amplified Bible), “My enemies speak evil of me saying, ‘When will he die and his name perish?’ And if one comes to see me, he speaks falsehood and empty words, while his heart gathers mischievous gossip [against me]; when he goes away, he tells it abroad. All who hate me whisper together about me; against me do they devise my hurt – imagining the worst for me. An evil disease, say they, is poured out upon him and cleaves fast to him; and now that he is bedfast, he will not rise again. Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted [relied on and was confident in], who ate of my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.”
Once again, we see the fear of conspiracy against the one who fears evil. The list of symptoms of the Fear of Evil continues in this short passage:
-- Excessive focus on the activities of one’s enemies.
-- Worry about Gossip and whispering behind one’s back.
-- Fearing false accusations.
-- Being afraid of being cursed – particularly with diseases.
-- Fear of Betrayal.
In the 56th Psalm, David rather humorously, but in a strong declaration of faith in God, arrests his own fear of evil like this:
“By the help of God I will praise His Word; on God I lean, rely, and confidently put my trust; I will not fear; what can man who is flesh do to me? All day long they twist my words (the Fear of Man) and trouble my affairs; all their thoughts are against me for evil and my hurt. They gather themselves together, they hide themselves, they watch my steps, even as they have (expectantly) waited for my life. (Fear of Death) They think to escape with iniquity, and shall they?”
Thus we see that these fears come directly from the Fear of Evil:
-- The Fear of Conspiracy.
-- The Fear of Man.
-- The Fear of Death.
Let me break away from the Psalms, now, and take a different approach.
In a Coffee Break series published some eight years ago, I noted that in the midst of some studies on the makeup, nature and character of the seven condemned nations that occupied ancient Canaan, I discovered a direct parallel between each of the characteristics of these nations, God’s command to Israel to wipe them out, and John’s seven letters to the seven Ekklesias in Revelation 2 & 3. I won't revisit that discussion today other than very briefly in the following observations.
The seven nations that once occupied Canaan were: the Hittites, the Hivites, the Amorites, the Jebusites, the Perizzites, the Girgashites and the Canaanites. Each of them had certain national characteristics, methodologies, military tactics and lifestyles that differed from one another. Though they shared a pretty common heathen worship of the same gods, each of these nations had distinctive characteristics that differentiated themselves from each other.
The Hittites were a fierce, militaristic, barbaric people who doted on using the Fear of Death over their people and over the enemies they subdued. The Amorites feared evil of every kind. They preferred the mountains and hills where their elevated dwelling allowed them to see any encroachment or approaching enemy. They used the Fear of Evil as a weapon against their enemies, and were a proud, arrogant, extremely religious people. The Perizzites, on the other hand, were a controlling people who parlayed a form of “democracy” as a means of ruling their populace. The Fear of Man was their hallmark. Each of the seven nations suffered from the three families of fear, but the three just named had these fears as their central identifying characteristic.
I’ve said all that to say this.
The Amorites expanded their worship of Baal, Ashteroth and a pantheon of minor false deities into an art. They played it to the hilt. Many of their kings were also high priests of Baal. One such Amorite king was Ethbaal, whose name literally meant, “living with and under the favor of Baal.” Ethbaal had a daughter whom he gave in marriage to the king of Israel in order to secure a covenant of peace between their two nations. The daughter’s name was Jezebel, and she was given to Ahab, the king of Israel. (We discussed the Spirit of Jezebel in an in-depth series about a year ago.)
Jezebel – like all of the Amorites – not only suffered from the Fear of Evil, she used it like a weapon against her husband, and against all who rose up against her. She was a usurper of authority – and particularly, the authority of God. Jezebel, more than any other person in Scripture, epitomizes the extremes to which the Fear of Evil takes people. She parlayed the Fear of Evil into deception as an art.
One of the first events we see her making use of that fear is with Naboth, the Jezreelite.
The story goes like this (see 1 Kings 21): Ahab, the king of Israel and Jezebel’s husband, sees a very fruitful vineyard that catches his eye and decides he wants to buy it for himself. He approaches Naboth to sell it, and Naboth declines to sell because it was passed on to him as an inheritance from his father. Ahab starts pouting over Naboth’s refusal to him. I mean, after all, Ahab was the KING! No one should refuse his request!
Jezebel sees her husband's pout, asks him what the problem is, and once she finds out the situation says to Ahab, “No problem, Hon! I’ve got this one taken care of. Stand by. I’ll give you this vineyard as my gift to you.”
Whereupon Jezebel sets about to conspire against Naboth. Remember what we talked about earlier – where conspiracy is a hallmark of the Fear of Evil? Anyhow, Jezebel finds a couple of citizens of good standing in the community, leaders with reputations to uphold, and persuades them to make accusation against Naboth. Meanwhile, she proclaims a fast in the city where Naboth lives.
Then she calls for a great public gathering where the city is going to honor Naboth as “Man of the Year,” or some such tommyrot. Naboth, of course, gets suckered into attending this public gathering. After all, he is going to be honored before his peers! Right?
Nope. The two men of standing in the community, who themselves had been deceived by the letters they had received from Jezebel, rose up at this public celebration and accused Naboth of treason. Well! Suddenly the Man of the Year ceremony turns into a stoning by the gathered crowd, and just like that, Naboth is dead!
See what the Fear of Evil does to a person? They get sucked into committing murder under the guise of “doing good.” Well? Wasn’t it a good thing to put a traitor to the king to death?
Having been accused and put to death for treason, Naboth’s vineyard is now available for legal seizure by the government. Jezebel, of course, takes the property and presents it as her gift to her husband, Ahab, who instantly becomes her slave for life.
See what the Fear of Evil does to a person? The picture of Jezebel as a manifestation of the Fear of Evil takes on many other dimensions, however. In II Kings 9, we have the picture of the king of Judah, Jehu, executing the judgment of God upon Jezebel. When the king of Israel, Joram, who is one of Ahab and Jezebel’s sons, sees Jehu coming, he says to Jehu, “Is it peace, Jehu?” Jehu answers him directly and says, “What peace so long as the whoredoms of thy mother, Jezebel, and her witchcrafts are so many?”
That simple and direct answer of Jehu’s gives us a glimpse of a woman who took sexual perversion to such extremes as can hardly be imagined. Linked to her sexual perversion, and the idolatry she led Israel into, was the practice of witchcraft, manipulation, the casting of curses, and the putting to death of many hundreds of the prophets of God who had populated Israel as God’s representatives.
Today isn’t the time to get into the nature of witchcraft, nor the many forms of it seen in Scripture, but suffice it to say that Jezebel introduced a horrific dimension of this evil as an extension of the Fear of Evil into the life and culture of the nation of Israel – a dimension that ultimately caused Israel’s disintegration as a nation and its carrying away into captivity. The sexual perversion she brought included homosexual activity, lesbian activity, bestiality, sado-masochism, and virtually every licentious and lustful sexual act one can imagine as the fruit of fear, incorporated into the worship of Baal.
In Revelation 2, we see the Fear of Evil manifested as the spirit of Jezebel when John writes to the Ekklesia in Thyatira saying, “Notwithstanding, I have a few things against thee because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce my servants to commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed unto idols…”
This is where this spirit affects the body of Christ terribly in this age. The Fear of Evil works hand in hand with and through the spirit of Jezebel, usurping the Word and the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ in churches and fellowships in the form of preachers and teachers who lead people astray with doctrines of demons and teachings that entice them into a “comfortable” Gospel.
This spirit parades in evangelical churches, traditional churches, Pentecostal churches, home fellowships and informal gatherings – and let us not forget the cult groups and churches with the oddball doctrines – foisting itself as the authority of the Lord, often uttering prophecies that make folks’ ears tingle, and their flesh feel good – all the while leading them down the primrose path to death and destruction, and cheating them out of a genuine love-relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
John’s prophecy to Thyatira was dead on! He said that Jezebel teaches and seduces “my servants” to commit fornication. While one could easily imagine that as preachers going out and having affairs with women other than their wives, that’s probably the last possible usage of this phrase. John wasn’t talking about physical acts; he was talking about spiritual fornication: spiritual adultery.
Put very simply, spiritual fornication or adultery is the effort to force folks to live under legalism, laws and commandments – in short, the Law – while preaching Grace, Mercy and Love. One is supposedly “married” to the Lord, but living under legalistic conditions and traditions of man. In truth, one either lives in a love-relationship with the Lord, or they live under the Law. To try to do both causes one to commit adultery or fornication against the Lord.
This is the single greatest attribute or symptom of the Fear of Evil and it permeates the body of Christ today. No fear is greater than this one, and no deliverance from any evil spirit is more dramatic in the change it effects in the lives of people than to be set free from the Fear of Evil. Deliverance from the Fear of Evil is available to every single person, and it simply begins by saying, “Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, I submit myself to you totally for your guidance, your direction, and your Truth. Deliver me from every symptom, and every evil and wicked spirit that comes from this family of the Fear of Evil.”
That’s the beginning place. Experiencing the freedom that follows, and walking it out, is an adventure you’ll never forget!
Again, if you are in need of healing -- especially if you have some terminal disease or prognosis of a very short time to live from the doctors -- please join our prayer conference calls on either Monday or Wednesday of each week at 7:00 PM Eastern. Once again, the number to call is (805) 399-1000. Then enter the access code: 124763#. To get into the queue for prayer, when Randy opens the call up for everyone, hit *6-1 on your keypad. Let us minister to your need for healing!
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