. . . the fear of God, a fear that encompasseth all things, and reigneth over all things.
. . . the fear of God, a fear that encompasseth all things, and reigneth over all things.
Admonish men to fear God. By God! This fear is the chief commander of the army of thy Lord. Its hosts are a praiseworthy character and goodly deeds. Through it have the cities of men's hearts been opened throughout the ages and centuries, and the standards of ascendancy and triumph raised above all other standards.
Adorn ye the temple of dominion with the ornament of justice and of the fear of God, and its head with the crown of the remembrance of your Lord, the Creator of the heavens. Thus counselleth you He Who is the Dayspring of Names, as bidden by Him Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.
Adorn your heads with the garlands of trustworthiness and fidelity, your hearts with the attire of the Fear of God, your tongues with absolute truthfulness, your bodies with the vesture of courtesy. These are in truth seemly adornings unto the temple of the cord of servitude unto God, the True One, for thereby your stations shall be made manifest, your names written and preserved, your ranks raised and your memory exalted in the Preserved Tablet. Beware lest the dwellers on earth hinder you from this glorious and exalted station. Thus have We exhorted you in most of our Epistles and now in this, Our Holy Tablet, above which hath beamed the Day-star of the Laws of the Lord, your God, the Powerful, the All-Wise.
And if he feareth not God, God will make him to fear all things; whereas all things fear him who feareth God.
And if, confirmed by the Creator, the lover escapes from the claws of the eagle of love, he will enter THE VALLEY OF KNOWLEDGE and come out of doubt into certitude, and turn from the darkness of illusion to the guiding light of the fear of God. His inner eyes will open and he will privily converse with his Beloved; he will set ajar the gate of truth and piety, and shut the doors of vain imaginings.
And it was this peerless Source of wisdom that at the beginning of the foundation of the world ascended the stair of inner meaning and when enthroned upon the pulpit of utterance, through the operation of the divine Will, proclaimed two words. The first heralded the promise of reward, while the second voiced the ominous warning of punishment. The promise gave rise to hope and the warning begat fear. Thus the basis of world order hath been firmly established upon these twin principles.
Fear God and God will give you knowledge.
Fear God, and be not of those who are shut out as by a veil. Burn ye away the veils with the fire of My love, and dispel ye the mists of vain imaginings by the power of this Name through which We have subdued the entire creation.
Fear God, and follow not your desires which have altered the face of creation.
Fear God, and follow not your idle fancies. Nay, rather follow the bidding of your Lord, the Almighty, the All-Wise.
Fear God, O followers of the Spirit, and walk not in the footsteps of every divine that hath gone far astray.
Fear ye God and abandon vain imaginings to the begetters thereof and leave superstitions to the devisers thereof and misgivings to the breeders thereof. Advance ye then with radiant faces and stainless hearts towards the horizon above which the Day-Star of certitude shineth resplendent at the bidding of God, the Lord of Revelations.
Fear ye God and commit not such deeds as would cause My loved ones on earth to lament.
Fear ye God and follow not your idle fancies and corrupt imaginings, but rather follow Him Who is come unto you invested with undeniable knowledge and unshakeable certitude.
Fear ye not God Who hath created you, and fashioned you, and caused you to attain your strength, and joined you with them that have resigned themselves to Him?
Fear ye the merciful Lord.
God verily will test them and sift them.
Hold fast to the fear of God and firmly adhere to what is right.
Hold fast to the fear of God and firmly adhere to what is right. (Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 219-220
In formulating the principles and laws a part hath been devoted to penalties which form an effective instrument for the security and protection of men. However, dread of the penalties maketh people desist only outwardly from committing vile and contemptible deeds, while that which guardeth and restraineth man both outwardly and inwardly hath been and still is the fear of God. It is man's true protector and his spiritual guardian.
In the treasuries of the knowledge of God there lieth concealed a knowledge which, when applied, will largely, though not wholly, eliminate fear. This knowledge, however, should be taught from childhood, as it will greatly aid in its elimination.
In truth, religion is a radiant light and an impregnable stronghold for the protection and welfare of the peoples of the world, for the fear of God impelleth man to hold fast to that which is good, and shun all evil.
It is clear and evident that all men shall, after their physical death, estimate the worth of their deeds, and realize all that their hands have wrought. I swear by the Day Star that shineth above the horizon of Divine power! They that are the followers of the one true God shall, the moment they depart out of this life, experience such joy and gladness as would be impossible to describe, while they that live in error shall be seized with such fear and trembling, and shall be filled with such consternation, as nothing can exceed.
Know ye that true wisdom is to fear God, to know Him, and to recognize His Manifestations. This wisdom, however, can be attained only by those who detach themselves from the world, and who walk in the ways of the good pleasure of their Lord.
Let thine heart be afraid of none except God.
The days of your life shall roll away, and all the things with which ye are occupied and of which ye boast yourselves shall perish, and ye shall, most certainly, be summoned by a company of His angels to appear at the spot where the limbs of the entire creation shall be made to tremble, and the flesh of every oppressor to creep. Ye shall be asked of the things your hands have wrought in this, your vain life, and shall be repaid for your doings. This is the day that shall inevitably come upon you, the hour that none can put back. To this the Tongue of Him that speaketh the truth and is the Knower of all things hath testified.
The essence of wisdom is the fear of God, the dread of His scourge and punishment, and the apprehension of His justice and decree.
The fear of God hath ever been a sure defence and a safe stronghold for all the peoples of the world. It is the chief cause of the protection of mankind, and the supreme instrument for its preservation.
The fear of God hath ever been the prime factor in the education of His creatures.
The fears and agitation which the revelation of this law provokes in men's hearts should indeed be likened to the cries of the suckling babe weaned from his mother's milk, if ye be of them that perceive.
The one is guided by the principle: "Fear ye God; God will teach you”.
This station conferreth the true standard of knowledge, and freeth man from tests. In this realm, to search after knowledge is irrelevant, for He hath said concerning the guidance of travelers on this plane, "Fear God, and God will instruct thee." And again: "Knowledge is a light which God casteth into the heart of whomsoever He willeth."
Those who follow their corrupt desires and lay aside the fear of God are indeed in grievous error.
Thou art He, O my God, Who hath commanded them in Thy great Book, and said: "Fear ye the Most Merciful, O people of the Bayan, and deny not Him for Whom I have ordained the Bayan to be one of the leaves of His Paradise.
To all that dwell on earth I cry aloud and say: "Fear ye God, O ye servants of God, and suffer not yourselves to be kept back from this pure Wine that hath flowed from the right hand of the throne of the mercy of your Lord, the Most Merciful. I swear by God! Better for you is what He possesseth than the things ye yourselves possess and the things ye have sought and are now seeking in this vain and empty life. Forsake the world, and set your faces towards the all-glorious Horizon. Whoso hath partaken of the wine of His remembrance will forget every other remembrance, and whoso hath recognized Him will rid himself of all attachment to this life and to all that pertaineth unto it.
Verily I say, fear of God is the greatest commander that can render the Cause of God victorious, and the hosts which best befit this commander have ever been and are an upright character and pure and goodly deeds.
Walk ye in the fear of God, and be ye of them that lead a godly life.
We have admonished Our loved ones to fear God, a fear which is the fountainhead of all goodly deeds and virtues. It is the commander of the hosts of justice in the city of Bahá. Happy the man that hath entered the shadow of its luminous standard, and laid fast hold thereon. He, verily, is of the Companions of the Crimson Ark, which hath been mentioned in the Qayyum-i-Asma.
Were men to discover the motivating purpose of God's Revelation, they would assuredly cast away their fears, and, with hearts filled with gratitude, rejoice with exceeding gladness.
Whoso hath known God shall know none but Him, and he that feareth God shall be afraid of no one except Him, though the powers of the whole earth rise up and be arrayed against him.
Me alone, therefore, should ye fear.
I give you my advice, and it is this: Train these children with divine exhortations. From their childhood instill in their hearts the love of God so they may manifest in their lives the fear of God and have confidence in the bestowals of God.
The fear of God will withhold him from committing forbidden and culpable action.
The heart must be sanctified from every form of selfishness and lust, for the weapons of the unitarians and the saints were and are the fear of God.
They must manifest the fear of God by their conduct, their manners, their deeds and their words.
In explaining the fear of God to children, there is no objection to teaching it as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá so often taught everything, in the form of parables. Also the child should be made to understand that we don't fear God because He is cruel, but we fear Him because He is Just, and, if we do wrong and deserve to be punished, then in His Justice He may see fit to punish us. We must both love God and fear Him.
It is my firm conviction which I now express with all sincerity and candor, that the dignity and unity of the Cause urgently demands -- particularly throughout the American continent -- that the friends should in their words and conduct emphasize and give absolute prominence to the constructive dynamic principles of Bahá’u’lláh, rather than attach undue importance to His negative Teachings. With hearts cleansed from the least trace of suspicion and filled with hope and faith in what the spirit of love can achieve, we must one and all endeavor at this moment to forget past impressions, and with absolute good-will and genuine cooperation unite in deepening and diffusing the spirit of love and service that the Cause has thus far so remarkably shown to the world.
You ask him about the fear of God: perhaps the friends do not realize that the majority of human beings need the element of fear in order to discipline their conduct? Only a relatively very highly evolved soul would always be disciplined by love alone. Fear of punishment, fear of the anger of God if we do evil, are needed to keep people's feet on the right path. Of course we should love God - but we must fear Him in the sense of a child fearing the righteous anger and chastisement of a parent; not cringe before Him as before a tyrant, but know His Mercy exceeds His Justice!
You have asked the exact meaning of the term 'Fear of God' mentioned in Bahá’í Sacred Writings; it often means awe, but has also other connotations such as reverence, terror and fear.
Every Man is guided both by the Love of God and by the Fear of God.
It is a vital and urgent duty of the Assemblies, both National and Local, not only to apply the Laws of Bahá’u’lláh with justice and firmness, but to increase the believers' understanding of and devotion to these Laws. In this way they will obey them not through fear of punishment but out of love for Bahá’u’lláh and because their whole lives have been transformed and re-oriented in the Way of God.
Those believers who are adorned with the fear of God may be shielded from the dire consequences foreshadowed in His ominous warnings, may become the recipients of His assured blessings and be enabled to partake of the outpourings of His infallible spiritual grace.
In several Tablets Bahá’u’lláh has described the fear of God as the cause of nearness to Him. This statement may be difficult for some to appreciate. For why should a loving God be feared? Fear is engendered in man when he feels inadequate to deal with a situation, and confidence is generated when he finds himself completely in control. For example, a man who has been given a responsibility but has failed to fulfil his obligations will be filled with fear when he meets his superiors, because he knows that they will deal with him with justice. Man, in this life, fails to carry out the commandments of God. He commits sins and violates the laws of God. In such a case how can he feel at ease when he knows that one day he will be called on to account for his deeds? If man does not fear God, it is a sign either that he is without shortcomings or that he has no faith in the next life when he will have to answer for his wrong-doings.
Shouldst thou worship Him because of fear, this would be unseemly in the sanctified Court of His presence, and could not be regarded as an act by thee dedicated to the Oneness of His Being.
That which is of paramount importance for the children, that which must precede all else, is to teach them the oneness of God and the Laws of God. For lacking this the fear of God cannot be inculcated, and lacking the fear of God and infinity of odious and abominable actions will spring up, and sentiments will be uttered that transgress all bounds.
Thou wilt be blamed for My sake; people will attribute to thee infidelity for My sake; thou wilt bear trouble for My sake. Be encouraged, and do not fear. It happened like this also in the time of Jesus Christ.
Verily I say: The fear of God hath ever been a sure defence and a safe stronghold for all the peoples of the world. It is the chief cause of the protection of mankind, and the supreme instrument for its preservation.