Thursday, August 25, 2016

Reprise: The coming darkness

This was first published in October 2009 on this blog.


"In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." (John 1:5)

"Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness." (1 Thessalonians 5:3-5)

I traveled across country in a VW van when I was 32 years old. Off the beaten trail in Arizona is a border town called Bisbee. It is a wealthy town, having been the seat of the most lucrative copper mine in American history, the Queen Mine. The mine closed after a hundred years in 1975 but almost immediately re-opened as a tour attraction. Retired miners give the tours, which start in the changing room. You must don a hard hat, a raincoat and a miner's light.

The miner's light is key.

The tour guide seats you on a train and chug-chug off you go, 1500 feet down into the earth. He talks along the way, which is lit with each tour member's hat, the guide's hat, and lamps on the walls. You see veins of metals and precious things in the walls of the very earth. You look ahead to dark tunnels descending deep. You admire the courage of the miners who extracted material from the earth day after day, living without sunlight as a trade for their pay.

It is pretty exciting and you feel exotic for having chosen this tour. Then the coup de grace comes. At the deep point, the miner tells you about collapses and bad things that happen. He isn't ghoulish about it, nor does he dwell for long on this unfortunate but practical aspect of life under the earth. But he gives a warning, and he says, "I am going to turn off the lights and I ask you to do the same on the count of three." We do and then ... total darkness.

I never forgot the moment the lights went out. We know the dark, it comes once a day. But there is always some light. Even if you work third shift and sleep in the day, there is always a sliver of light coming in, annoying you. The darkness isn't really dark, only dim, even at night, because there are stars. There is always light, somewhere.

Not in a mine. The darkness took me quite by surprise. You would not expect "darkness" to have so many qualities, but it does. First, its totality. The total absence of light was just that, total. There was no difference in opening or closing your eyes, it was the same. You could not see your hand in front of your face. Second, it was oppressive in the sense that it weighed heavily. You felt cloaked in it. It more than surrounded you, it permeated you. You did not know where your 'self' ended and the darkness began. Last, it felt alive. Yes, alive. No, it was not evil or ghostly down there and it didn't feel supernatural. The darkness simply felt more than part of the air, it felt like a thing unto its own.

All that in ten seconds.

The miner did not leave the lights off for long. It is dangerous and it is scary to be in a mine without light, and he just wanted to give us a momentary sense of what it was like for trapped miners.

When John says that "the darkness comprehended it not" he means that Satan is total darkness. So is sin. Satan's dark retreats from God's light. Paltry as the lamps were against the imminent absence of light, the dark retreated from it. As long as the Church exists on earth in her present form, the light will shine because it shines through men directly from the Holy Throne of God, and darkness will retreat.

There will come a time when the darkness will have sway: after the Rapture. God's light will still be present on earth, of course, in the form of the Holy Spirit, though He will not indwell. It will be present in the form of the 144,000 witnesses. But those lights will be like the lights on the miner's lamps in the deep earth, lit, but the darkness encroaching, waiting to pounce.

Then the end will come. Those who have refused the light will be forever plunged into that palpable, total, and horrifying darkness. There will be no light!! Do you understand what that means? The light bulb will be withdrawn for all eternity. Eternity is long to live without the light so many now take for granted.

In the cartoon, the girl complains that it is dark but the light is there, right next to her. She is blind but could see. I pray that you become a child of the light, not of darkness. You, right now, are benefiting from the Light of God on the earth even if you have not chosen to take him inside you through asking forgiveness of your dark sins. Yet, on that Day, comprehension will come too late. And you will have an eternity to comprehend the reasons why you did not reach out for what you now realize could have sustained you: His Light.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Drumbeat Warning of Divine Judgment on the USA

I've been warning of coming judgment for a while. When believers look out over soft pastures, busy and productive streets, viable farms, and thriving factories, they have a hard time seeing a nation under judgment. They think everything is OK if brimstone and 100 lb hailstones aren't falling. But it's not all right. We are crumbling from the inside and rot has set in, permanently.

There are different kinds of judgments. Judgment can be eschatological and very visible, as the coming prophecies and past histories show us. Judgment can be invisible, secret, and deadly, as God said in Hosea 5:12, I am like a moth to Ephraim, like rot to the people of Judah. Judgment can be an abandonment, as when God simply releases a nation to itself to pursue its sin. (Romans 1:24).

The discerners have been warning, and warning, and warning. We warned judgment would come, we warned it was about to come, and we warn that it is here.

Monergism Books said last week,
It does not take an inspired prophet of God to know that the USA is now under Divine judgment. How so? Well, just look around. - fallen humans have always sinned and there was a time when people understood, even if they sinned, that they had done wrong and felt guilty for it. But no longer - that is being cast off... it is obvious now that not only do we not feel guilt about evil but openly celebrate it, calling good evil, and evil good ... and even give hearty approval of others who do evil (see Rom 1:18 +). According to this passage of Romans, the worst judgement of God takes place (at least in this life) when God gives people over to their sinful "free will" and when onlookers give approval to the evil of others. 
There is little doubt we are already there. But as we consider this it is critical to remember that the problem is not just OUT THERE. Repentance must begin with us, the church. We must repent of the sin and false teaching that permeates our own thinking. We must pray and, by the grace of God, align our thoughts with God and get our own house in order before we remotely expect to have any influence on the world.

My friend Pastor Phil Andrukaitis of South Portland First Baptist Church said last week,

Good evening my family and friends,
Some of you may recall that I began preaching through the Epistle of 1st Peter on January 10 of this year. Peter's basic theme throughout his letter is, The Christian's Proper Response to Suffering. And the reason why Christians can respond to suffering in a godly manner is this: Christ is our steadfast hope in the midst of painful times. 
As I preached from 1st Peter 4:12-19 this morning, I believe with all my heart that today's sermon was the most important sermon I have ever preached in my 27-years of ministry. Why? I believe our nation is under divine judgment and that persecution of the church is closer than we think 
PRAYER: Oh Heavenly Father, my heart aches for the body of Christ as its wounds have weakened her in many different ways. Local churches and saints lay wounded on the battlefield with so few compassionate saints to help them. Lord, only You can heal and restore Your church. Please bring healing to every wounded saint. Please reconcile Your sons and daughters to one another. Please encourage the members within struggling local churches not to lose heart. Please conform each saint with Your Word and Spirit before all hell breaks out against the body of Christ. After all, there are multitudes of  unbelievers within our nation who will wake up one morning and realize that the "perilous times" are upon them. Father, help us to be strong in the Lord and ready to give them Jesus and His gospel. Christ is their only hope and the church is the means by which hope comes. Amen.

Pastor-Teacher John MacArthur said recently, Calling the Church to repent
Christ spoke to His church. He spoke to seven churches, specific churches in specific cities in Asia Minor, which is modern Turkey. They were actual churches with actual conditions that He addressed. The uniqueness of His letters to these churches is that they all include an assessment that leads either to a commendation or a threat. I don’t know that we really think much about the Lord threatening the church. We do think a lot about the Lord threatening the world with judgment, threatening unbelievers with judgment. But here in the book of Revelation we have the Lord of the church threatening His church with severe judgment.
So that led me to ask the question, which I asked back at the conference, "Have you ever heard of a church that repented – ever - a church that repented?" Not individuals, but collectively a church that came together and repented. Have you ever been part of a church that repented, that looked at itself and recognized its collective and congregational transgressions, and openly, genuinely, with sadness and brokenness for its sins against its head, the Lord Jesus Christ, came together in a full act of repentance?

Essays about America under judgment through the years that I've written reflect my concern-

The End Time:

2010: Has America's point of no return been reached?
God has a limit, you know. God is love but He is no doormat. He doesn't overlook sin, patting you on the head, saying, Aww, that's all right. He does not accept rebellion lightly. He will not accept war against Him under any circumstance.
2011: God gave them America under judgment?
I think anyone with eyes can see that America is in a terrible moral decline, and not only is approving of it, accepting of homosexuality, but laughing at it with a reprobate mind. As MacArthur showed us in the verses from Romans, God gave us over. And we know what comes next: judgment.
2012: Is America Under Judgment?
One question Christians are asking frequently these days is whether America is under a judgment. We know we are at the end of the end of days. We know that God's wrath will pour down upon the rebellious world after the rapture (Rev 6:16). But with all that is going on, are we under a judgment of God now, before the rapture? The answer is yes.
2016: Is America Being Judged?
"America seems ripe for judgment"... The discerners of the church body have been saying 'judgment in America' for a while. I know I have since 2007-2008. In 2010 I'd written that America seemed to have passed the "point of no return. Before the Economic Crash of 2008, all had been going along like it had been in this country. America was strong and mighty and seemingly invincible. Warning that judgment was coming soon was met with strange looks and shaking of heads. No brimstone was falling, after all. Just because we don't see brimstone falling from the sky does not mean we as a nation are not experiencing judgment.
Now that we are cluing in that our section of the world, USA, is under judgment, what can we do? What should we do? First, please refer back to Pastor Andrukaitis' prayer. We pray for the things he wisely prayed himself. For reconciliation among the brethren in local churches. For joy instead of depression and hopelessness. For conforming of each saint to His Word and Spirit before all hell breaks out against the body of Christ.

Strength in churches begins with repentance, John MacArthur taught Revelation 2 and 3 shows us. And church repentance begins with individual repentance. We are strong when we are weak, confessing our sins to Jesus and asking forgiveness. We are strong when we are meek, humbly seeking Him for wisdom...patience...gentleness...self-control.

We should always be in the Bible, gaining wisdom and destroying fortresses by the power of His Word. The more that judgment grows out of the rot, the more the world needs the Light. A nation under judgment is an opportunity

Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. ... So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:1,16-18).

Do not lose heart: it is easy not to lose heart when your church is booming ... when everyone loves the pastor, when all ministries seem to be going well. It's hard not to lose heart when things are not going well. It's for when you have been maligned for speaking up about a false teacher. It's for when you have been slandered for urging someone to pursue holiness. It's for when your church is shrinking even though your pastor preaches faithfully and rightly. It's for when more people every week leave the pews for the glittering church down the road with the new playground and huge rock praise band. It's for when congregants fight and fuss and complain and rebel.

Friends, it is our duty to know what we believe and why. It is our duty to stay in the word so as to continually drink of the refreshing, Living Water which sustains us. It is our duty to pray continually in repentance of our sins to our Intercessor, and to petition for the burdens of others.

The Bible tells us to rejoice in all circumstances. (Philippians 4:4). I rejoice that America is under judgment, and I'll tell you why. I'm not happy about America collapsing, nor about the sin that permeates its bones and borders. But rejoicing is not happiness. These two words are not synonyms here.

I'm rejoicing because God is on His throne. I'm rejoicing because He promised to do such things ahead of time and when they come to pass, we can see His promises are true. I'm rejoicing because He still hates sin. He still is in control. He still is working in the world. His Word is true. All these things are worthy of rejoicing. Job knew that no matter the circumstances that our finite eyes can see and our finite brains can process,

And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. (Job 1:21 )

This nation that is being judged is transient. It rises, it falls. Before 1776 there was no USA. After a while there may not be a USA again. All nations are transient. All people are transient. All circumstances are transient. The Church is permanent, because Jesus is eternal. Hell is permanent, too, and the people within it. Job mourned his losses but He rejoiced in the Lord. Job died nearly 3000-4000 years ago, and do you know what? Do you think Job is mourning the loss of his nation? He is certainly rejoicing these past thousands of years in a better country with His King. America is a milkweed seed, here a while, blooming, then wafting away in the wind, gone. Meanwhile we look toward the permanence of New Jerusalem.

Therefore do not lose heart, and pray, witness, study, and live for Christ  while looking for our glorious permanent home.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

No, Target didn't stop selling Bibles. Why Christians should stop sharing hoaxes

4 Reasons Christians Need to Quit Sharing Hoaxes
"I’ve seen a trend that’s both interesting and troubling: If I find a hoax in my news feed, chances are it will have been shared by an evangelical Christian. I know that sounds like a terrible thing to say, but it’s true. In fact, it’s so typical and intriguing, that I’ve been keeping track of the phenomenon for quite a while." ... 
The Christian message to the world isn’t, “Hey, look how bad things are!” It’s “take heart, He has overcome the world!” We don’t have to share every sensational and scary story—especially when their truth is suspect.
The author above gives 4 good reasons to stop sharing those false stories, especially when checking them out to determine veracity takes only one second. One reason he didn't mention but Sunny Shell did, is that we should promote holiness. Holiness is marginalized to a great degree these days, yet is the primary function of Christians in the world. Our sanctification is the very pursuit of holiness, so that we can be more like Jesus every day.

Why should we be holy? Sunny Shell explains in this essay, The Way of Holiness
"Just as the honor of being assigned as an ambassador of an earthly country should not be taken lightly, so we also, who are in Christ, should not take our high calling as children of the Most High God lightly. An earthly ambassador is chosen to live in a foreign land to represent their country, while maintaining every attribute and character of their homeland. An ambassador does not lose or forget who he/she is merely because they live in another country for a time, rather, they honorably and proudly represent their country and their people."
People have been tricked since the beginning. Hoaxes, forgeries, and spoofs are part of life. Think early last century circuses. Think: archeology. Archeology hoaxes have been fooling people for a long time. The Petrified Man in 1862 and the Cardiff Man in 1869 were especially blush-inducing hoaxes many people fell for. There's the Piltdown Man, (1912) War of the Worlds, (1938), and Paul McCartney is Dead hoax, (1969). Hoaxes have tricked the best of us. In some ways, the Facebook Hoaxes are a bit of a let-down in their clumsy way they try to fool us, compared to the ingenious hoaxes of the past. The Turk Chess Game fooled people for over 100 years and the Surgeon's Photo of the Loch Ness Monster fooled people for 60. At least those lies hoaxes had some elegance to them. Facebook hoaxes are just inelegant and easily proven lies.

We're all gullible. Christians, however, have the Holy Spirit is us, and so should be wiser and more careful when sharing information. Gossip is a sin, it's impugning someone's reputation. It's the same with hoaxes. They turn out to be untrue but the Company, Organization, or person they focus on has been maligned by your act of hastily sharing unvetted information.

Christians, please do your diligence. If you're not sure if something is a hoax and can't verify it one way or another, please do not press Enter.

Group portrait of the Piltdown skull being examined.
Back row (from left): F. O. Barlow, 
G. Elliot SmithCharles Dawson,Arthur Smith Woodward. Front row: A S Underwood, Arthur KeithW. P. Pycraft,
Ray Lankester. Note the portrait ofCharles Darwin on the wall.
Painting by John Cooke, 1915. Wikipedia

Further Reading

Best Historical Hoaxes

15 Internet Hoaxes that Fooled All of Us

Why Hoaxes fool us, according to science

Monday, August 22, 2016

Prata Potpourri: The Oculus, Manhood, Closing the Bank of Mom & Dad, free class, more!

Though school has started and it's tiring herding kittens teaching kindergarteners all day, I am getting a steady infusion of sweetness, cuteness, knock knock jokes, and random offbeat kid comments to keep me in laughter all day long.

Gerry Brooks is a Principal of an elementary school in Lexington KY and he is hilarious. He is famous for putting up short clips remarking on the ins and outs of school life. He is always funny, but this short video had me literally doubled over and tears coming out of my eyes. Even if you have no clue what Kindergarten Lunch Duty entails, you will laugh along with the rest of us who agree, the first week of duty with the little ones presents certain, ahem, challenges.


There seems to be a cottage industry these days promoting a how-to series of lessons on how to hear God's voice. How to be SURE you're hearing God's voice. How to ignite/prompt/activate God's voice. And so on. A google search on "how to hear God's voice" yields the following-

It can be confusing to try and learn how to hear God's voice. This is because you can't. Therefore the 'teachings' on it contradict each other. Of course, these 'methods' also contradict the Bible. Here are two essays explaining the issues with trying to hear God's voice.

Spirit of Error asks, What could be wrong with learning to "hear God's voice?"

Tim Challies asks How Does God Speak to Me Today?


The economic crash of 2007-08 crushed the dreams of many parents, who in live, hope, and work for their children to exceed their own achievements. That and a host of other reasons, has birthed a generation that unfortunately has come to depend on mom and dad to survive. Here is some advice on how to close that bank, compassionately.

How to Close the Bank of Mom and Dad
The phone rings and you cringe. You feel guilty, but you almost don’t want to answer the call from your own kid. He or she probably isn’t calling just to say hello. Your adult child needs money again. Does your child even realize how much these constant requests upset you emotionally and financially?


I'm a sucker for anything about the sovereignty of God...

Summary and Outline of J. I. Packer’s “Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God”
Packer’s popular paperback is a succinct, non-technical explanation of how God’s sovereignty and human responsibility affect evangelism. It is not a blueprint for modern evangelistic action (7). The aim is to dispel the suspicion that belief in the absolute sovereignty of God hinders evangelism and to show that it actually strengthens evangelism (8, 10). The book divides logically into four chapters. (See the outline of the book below.)

Study the Gospel of John with Dallas Theological Seminary – for free.

It's a ten week non-credit course, but you do earn a certificate at the end. I was put off by the introductory video touting 'famous' "theologians" who have graduated from the Institution, including David Jeremiah, Tony Evans, Priscilla Shirer and Jennie Allen. The DTS can't help what students do or say after they graduate, but they can't help touting them when they are obviously in error. The Seminary should have more discernment than that. I took the first unit, it was solid. But my antennae are up.

If you're hankerin' for some learnin', there's always the free lectures on Youtube from The Master's Seminary. I know I'm biased but my own pastor teaches incredibly insightful and theologically packed sermons. He is like Spurgeon on steroids. Every week. We are going through Genesis chapter by chapter, and the sermons are on podcast. Pastor Mark just finished a Men's Conference today with three lectures on Jesus in the Old Testament, and they are all fantastic too. Find them here-

(1) Jesus In The Old Testament: Genesis
Here we are introduced to the idea that Jesus read the Old Testament and saw it as primarily being about Himself (John 5:39-40). What is it like to read the Old Testament with Jesus at the center? Here we get a sense of the whole story of the Bible starting with Genesis.

(2) Jesus In The Old Testament: Exodus & Leviticus
Here we discover how Jesus fulfills the roles of Moses, the Passover Lamb, Israel and the priesthood. Even Leviticus is about Jesus!

(3) Jesus In The Old Testament: The Prophets to Revelation
Here we look at the nation of Israel, Kings David and Solomon, along with the failures of the Old Testament people of God. The Old Testament ends as a cliff hanger. How does the story of Israel reach its climax in the person of Jesus? How does the whole Bible hold together?

To pastor's wives... you have special combat duty. It's often silent, unforgiving, constant, demanding, and here as Mrs Spurgeon explains, hugely important.

Three pieces of advice from Charles Spurgeon's Mother-in-Law
Charles Spurgeon abandoned his fiancĂ©e on a Sunday afternoon. After lunch, a carriage took the betrothed couple from Susannah’s house in St. Ann’s Terrace to Kennington where Charles would preach. Susannah recounted the event... Susannah left the service and fumed all the way home. Her mother gently "tried to soothe [her] ruffled spirit" and offered some motherly advice about marriage:

I love travel and all places odd and out of the way. Atlas Obscura is a website that offers lots of odd, quirky, and fun articles about our blue earth. Here are a few of their recent stories

Found: A 300-Year Old Shoe Meant To Ward Off Evil Spirits
It was a men's size 6, and they put it right back where they found it.

Found: Football-Sized Goldfish in an Australian River
Please stop putting pets in the river.

Nobuo Fujita's Sword
As a show of peace, a Japanese naval pilot gifted his 400-year-old Samurai sword to the Oregon town he bombed. 

The New York Public Library is Moving 1.5 Million Books to an Underground Lair
The books will live highly organized lives underneath Bryant Park.


Don't forget the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood! An oldie but a goodie. Here are a couple of articles to get you started-

Fatherhood and the worlds it creates

The New Household in Christ: How Wives and Husbands are to “Put on the New Self” in Colossians 3:18-19


And for fun, the always amusing Bad Real Estate Photos

For interest, Inside the Beautiful New Oculus at the World Trade Center Transportation Hub
It is beautiful. But it reminds me of the Contemporary Resort at Disney's EPCOT. Everything old is new again!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Saturday, August 20, 2016

What the devil cannot do

Here is Martyn Lloyd Jones with a few thoughts on something the devil cannot do.

Putting God first…herein lies the stifling of the passions that defeat us. Herein lies the quietness that calms our tumults. Herein lies the peace of knowing that our sins are forgiven and forgotten by God and so they can be forgotten by us. 
When men seek things before they seek God, they throw themselves into what has come to be known as the ‘rat race’. An earlier phrase described it as ‘the pace that kills’. But it was never the pace that killed, it was the fear of tomorrow that made the pace necessary.
The devil has never praised God. He can make people happy. But whisky can make people happy. The fact that a thing can make you happy doesn’t prove it’s right. There are drugs that can make you happy. You see, the devil can come, and he can counterfeit all these things. If a man says “I am happy”, it doesn’t prove he is a Christian. It can be counterfeited. There is only one thing I know of that the devil cannot counterfeit: 
praising God. The devil never does that. Never. The devil has made anybody praise God.
He can counterfeit a belief in God. But that’s a very different thing. The Apostle James tells us in his epistle, ‘the devils also believe, and tremble.’ The devil has never praised God. He can persuade people that they believe in God. If it suits his purpose he can transform himself into an angel of light, and encourage people to believe in God and to be religious. He is doing that to large numbers today. But there’s one thing he’s never done and he can’t do it, and that is to make people praise God. 
He can give you a counterfeit intellectual interest. He can give you a counterfeit interest in God’s people. A counterfeit interest in communion service. A counterfeit interest in prayer, a counterfeit joy and gladness. He has never made anybody praise God. Why? Because he hates God. 
But these people [in Acts 2] were praising God. That is why I say in many senses it is the ultimate test of the profession of the Christian faith - praising God! My friends, are you praising God? I’m not asking if you believe in Him, or if you try to worship Him. I’m not asking if you make requests of Him. I’m asking one thing only. Do you praise God?

It occurred to me that this would apply to a false teacher. Someone who teaches about God but is not saved, (2 Timothy 3:5) and who is the son of the devil will never praise God. Sons of the devil, those who are energized by satan and are in bondage to satan, cannot praise God because the devil cannot praise God. His minions can't either. Use it as a test, as MLJ noted. Not that a false teacher can't say the words, though oftentimes they can't, they choke on them. They might say off handedly, "Praise God that it rained!" but a life lived in praise to Him, sincere, thorough,  zealous praise, will never pass their lips. Look for it...or in this case, the absence of it.

MLJ Sermon: Praising God, Acts 2:46-47

Friday, August 19, 2016

Why fearing the Lord is a good thing; cultivate it

How would you react if you were suddenly face-to-face with God?
That is the question John MacArthur asked in his blog series adapted from his book Worship: The Ultimate Priority. If one relied solely on the anecdotes of the many false teachers who claim to have personally been in in His presence, one would think that coming face-to-face with God was either as normal an occurrence as running into your neighbor at the grocery store, or as casual as a backyard BBQ.

Whatever happened to the fear of God? is the title of MacArthur's blog essay and it is a great question. In the Bible, even those men who were in right standing with God were terrified, cowed, and humbled at meeting Him in person. For example, MacArthur wrote,
in Genesis 18 Abraham confessed in the presence of God that he was dust and ashes. Similarly, Job said after his pilgrimage, "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You; therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes" (Job 42:5–6). Ezra 9 records the high priest’s profound sense of shame as he came before the Lord to worship. Habakkuk had a vision of God’s power and majesty, and his knees began to knock: "I hear, and my body trembles; my lips quiver at the sound; rottenness enters into my bones; my legs tremble beneath me" (Habakkuk 3:16 ESV).
Isaiah said he was "undone", or "I am ruined". The Hebrew word in that verse is damah and it means to cease, cause to cease, cut off, destroy. The flesh of sinful man, even a justified man declared righteous, is immediately reduced to a metaphorical pile of ashes when contrasted in person to the august glory of the Ancient of Days. The Fear of God article gives many more examples of this contrast between man and God, and expands the verses to illustrate the spiritual importance of the fear of God.

Yet in our day, according to so many false teachers who claim direct revelation, we have the sweet and sensitive voice coming out of the celestial realms to envelop women with a warm, misty romance. Moore says He calls her "honey" and "babe", and they go on a play date together to the zoo. They "have a blast". Joanna Gaines said she talked with Jesus in a garden, and she recalls, "I remember hearing God say, 'Joanna, there’s going to come a time when I’m going to say for you to go, and I’m going to need for you to step out and go.'" Jesus has needs? In the Bible He commanded. Gaines' 21st century language is a giveaway the entity she walked and talked in a garden with was not the Jesus of the Bible. According to Kim Walker-Smith, she was personally visited by a Jesus that flailed His arms and ran yelling Woo-hoo! because He is so happy to be in HER presence. Smith said she fell into His lap, and she was so self-absorbed her two questions she asked the LORD OF THE UNIVERSE that were about herself.

Whatever happened to the fear of God? Let MacArthur's question echo in your ears, mind, and heart.

The book by Jerry Bridges called The Joy of Fearing God is a good one for people to read today. The book's synopsis says,
For most of us, fear is something we try to avoid. And fearing God hardly sounds like an occasion for joy. But Jerry Bridges shows how the fear of the Lord is actually the key that opens the door to a life of true knowledge, wisdom, blessing, and joy.
None of the visions of God presented in His own Word present a relaxed disciple sipping lattes at the zoo together or El Elyon running around yelling woo-hoo. Those visions and claims are irreverent in the extreme. The true visions in His word show the majesty, holiness, and power of a God who chooses to love us despite our depraved state. Bridges says,
There are more than 150 references to the fear of God in the Bible. While the majority of these occur in the Old Testament, there are a sufficient number in the New Testament to convince us that fearing God is indeed an attitude of heart we should cultivate today." ― Jerry Bridges, The Joy of Fearing God
That worshipful cultivation is urged in MacArthur's essay as well. He ended his essay by saying,
Peter "fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, ‘Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!'" (Luke 5:8). All he could see was his own sinfulness when confronted with the power and presence of our holy God. We need to cultivate that same attitude, remembering that we not only live our lives before the eyes of a holy God, but that His Holy Spirit dwells within us. Being ever mindful of God’s presence is vital if we’re going to live worshipful lives that glorify Him.
The life of the true disciple who worships in reverent fear is one that is drenched with joy. The irreverent false teachers' attitudes of being relaxed and unconcerned in His 'presence' is a dead giveaway that the personage they are 'meeting' is not our Holy God. MacArthur tells the story of a man who told him that Jesus comes into the bathroom while he is shaving and puts His arm around him, which helps the man's bursitis.
I thought, "Do you keep shaving? If you can keep shaving, then it isn't Jesus. If holy God came into the bathroom while you were shaving, you would fall to the floor so hard that you would kill yourself!" It is an awesome thing to confront an infinitely holy God! 
It is an awesome thing to be confronted by an infinitely holy God, even though we believers are His children! Live worshipful lives that glorify Him, and it begins with a reverential fear of who He is.