We Will Not Fear

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.”
—Psalm 46:1,2, New International Version

THE PEOPLE OF THE United States of America were startled and shocked by the terrorist hijackers who drove two jet planes into the New York World Trade Center twin towers, and set them on fire, causing them to collapse in less than two hours time. There were almost three thousand fatalities. Following this event on September 11, 2001, several deaths occurred caused by Anthrax virus being mailed to media and senators’ offices. Post Offices handling the mailed virus were contaminated and an undercurrent of fear started to affect the people of the United States.

On October 22, 2001, the “Time Magazine” had as its front cover feature, “The Fear Factor.” In explanation of this feature it also listed on the front page:

Anthrax Letters
FBI Warnings
Bin Laden’s Videotapes

Bombarded by threats, real and imagined, a nation on edge asks, What’s next?


We publish here some excerpts from that article:

“We can argue over when the enemy decided to wage war against us—was it the moment the Ottoman Empire fell or when U.S. troops arrived in Saudi Arabia? But we know exactly when we went to war with them: 12:30 p.m. E.T. on Sunday, October 7. Now our pilots are shredding Afghanistan, and the waiting is over, and you didn’t need to be in New York or Washington or Kabul to feel like a soldier—or a target. The clock becomes a time bomb: we were warned that retaliation is now certain; we wait, move to higher alert; time passes tick, tick; see anything suspicious? And we come to realize that something sinister has been planted in our midst, not just the threat but also the fear of the threat.

“By the time President Bush appeared in prime time to invite the country officially both to buck up and freak out, the war at home was already well under way. Haz-mat teams from coast to coast were being called out two and three times a day to decontaminate buildings because someone worried about powder in a package. The Governor of Tennessee put a $10,000 bounty on the head of anyone calling in a bomb hoax because the schools were having to be evacuated so often. A pilot returned to the gate because a passenger switched seats too many times. Donald Trump was reported to be shopping for parachutes.

“The President’s dilemma—like the country’s—was plain. We are at war now, called to fight unseen enemies on multiple fronts. Report anything unusual or alarming, Bush said, in the hope that 280 million investigators have a better chance of foiling the next plot. But we are not trained for this, and an unmarked catering truck on a quiet street prompts three different neighbors to call the cops. ‘Be on the lookout for mysterious health symptoms,’ said health czar Tommy Thompson, but who doesn’t have those? We were told last week not to panic but to be prepared; to get on with our lives, even though we barely recognize them now that there are F-16s overhead and National Guardsmen at the train station.

“People who by last week felt they had regained their footing, who found it liberating to get on an airplane and luxurious to go to a football game on a gorgeous fall day, also found that the path out of our private caves is not a straight and steady one. You can feel cold again just by turning on the news. Or opening the mail.

“Once the first cases of anthrax exposure appeared in Florida and the envelope became a potential weapon of mass destruction, we got to see what panic looks like. … The Nashville, Tenn., haz-mat team was called out five times in 48 hours, all for hoaxes. A woman phoned in a report that her computer keyboard was covered with a powdery substance. The FBI discovered that she had been eating cookies. The State Department was evacuated because somebody spilled some talcum powder.

“That did not seem like sheer hysteria by Friday, when we learned that Tom Brokaw’s assistant at NBC had tested positive for anthrax after opening a threatening letter with powder inside. At that moment the “New York Times” was being evacuated after another letter rained powder in the newsroom; this one was addressed to bioterrorism expert Judith Miller. Initial testing showed no sign of anthrax, but the threat still seemed real and cunning. You didn’t need to shoot the messengers; you just needed to scare them to death, because fear is bacterial as well. It can spread in the air and over the wires, infect the marketplace, lay waste to whole industries and leave its victims at home in bed with the covers pulled up. And the worst part was that since there were so many scares, so many hoaxes, we were in some ways doing this to ourselves.

“A thousand false alarms from an anxious nation are an exquisite diversion for those intent on mayhem; the police cannot be everywhere at once, and there is only so much they can do to button down the cities. Overworked cops who had already been on high alert worked even harder as the frightened calls poured in. ‘We are at risk of being overwhelmed,’ says a spokesman for the Kentucky division of emergency management. There are metal detectors at the Liberty Bell; Denver canceled its New Year’s Eve celebrations; Ohio called off a corn-husking festival. In Washington, where lawmakers are quietly terrified that the terrorists mean to finish what they started on September 11, officials closed 40 blocks around the Capitol to trucks and taped plastic over Senate office windows. There are enough gas masks in a room off the House chamber for each member and the floor staff, so members are told, leaving five for people in the press gallery, who number in the hundreds.

“Fear conscripts its own armies, takes its own prisoners. Even people who appear to be calm will privately confess: I won’t go to the mall anymore. I ask for a low floor at the hotel, near a staircase, I throw up every morning before I get on the train. I thought I heard a crop duster in the middle of the night. The strain of these weeks, the psychiatrists say, is especially hard on people who are already on the edge, and so, day by day, people began to snap. Last week it was the man on an American Airlines flight to Chicago who stormed the cockpit screaming, ‘Save the towers! Save the towers!’ A Delta plane made an emergency landing in Shreveport, La., escorted by fighter jets, after a passenger passed a threatening note to a flight attendant. Washington’s Reagan National Airport finally reopened, but if you so much as get out of your seat to go to the bathroom, you risk having the plane diverted to Dulles.”


As we read of the fear generated by the events since September 11 in our nation, Bible Students are reminded of our Lord’s words spoken to his disciples in answer to their question: “When shall these things be?” (Luke 21:7) Jesus had commented on the destruction of the Temple where they were at the time, and he mentioned—among other signs—“Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.”—Luke 21:26

We are living in a time when the ‘powers of heaven’ are to be shaken. Satan, as “the prince of the power of the air,” (Eph. 2:2) continues to rule in the heavens, but soon he is to be displaced completely. God prophesied through the prophet Haggai, “In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and the desired of all nations will come.” (Hag. 2:6,7, NIV) As men witness the terror that can be released and contemplate the various evils that can descend upon them, great fear arises. This, in essence, has occurred to our nation.


For centuries, ever since the continents of the Americas were discovered by European civilization, the people who settled the land have lived in isolation from the entanglement of the world. For 55 centuries after God created man, the American continents lay dormant. The people that came to live on these continents migrated from the Asiatic continent by crossing the Bering Straits in the far north, and worked their way southward. God had placed man in the region of Mesopotamia and from there man spread to the continents of Asia, Europe, and Africa.

When Christopher Columbus made his courageous journey five centuries ago sponsored by Spain, and discovered the Americas, he claimed the land for his sponsors. Spain, however, was only interested in the wealth they could find in the new land. And it was not until religious persecution caused some Englishmen to start a new life in the new world that the American continent became colonized, and England had a dominant role in settling the new land.

The English colonists rebelled against the English government and gave birth to the new nation known as the United States of America. They were isolated from the rest of the world by two vast oceans—the Atlantic and the Pacific—and sought to maintain their isolation by enforcing the Monroe Doctrine passed by the new Congress of that nation.

This nation tried to stay out of two major worldwide conflicts, but was not able to succeed. Midway through World War I, and World War II, they entered the conflicts. Their young men died on the battlefields of these wars, but the ravages of war did not touch the elderly, families, and children of the nation. Recent events have emphasized the changing nature of wars and that isolation no longer exists, causing many to fear the use of biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons by terrorists against the people of this nation. Widespread fear has gripped the people as never before.

The turmoil in the world has not ceased since the Divine Right of Royalty ended in 1914. Various symbols have been employed in biblical prophecy to illustrate the events we have been witnessing since that time. The Prophet Haggai uses the illustration of shaking. This reminds us of earthquakes which, by the tremors of the earth, cause the earth to shake and structures to fall. The Apostle Paul quotes Haggai’s prophecy (Hag. 2:6,7) speaking for God, “Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made [made by man], that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.”—Heb. 12:26,27

Paul identifies what cannot be shaken when he says, “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.” (vs. 28) The kingdom that God will establish upon earth cannot be shaken. It will stand forever. Meanwhile, all of man’s structures must be removed to make way for that kingdom. Knowing about this kingdom should inspire us to serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear.


Another picture of the cataclysmic events of our time is given to us in the forty-sixth Psalm. There the mountains are seen falling into restless seas. The mountains picture the kingdoms of this world, and the seas picture restless humanity. In this picture, the mountains fall into the sea and are pounded to pieces by the waves. They seem to dissolve into the waters. Likewise, the earth—a picture of the present social order upon our planet—is removed, or gives way to the new kingdom. (Ps. 46:2) The psalm interprets its own symbols saying, “The heathen [nations] raged, the kingdoms [mountains] were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted [the social order dissolved away].”—vs. 6

If we were to witness literal mountains being carried into raging seas, we would be terrified by the scene. Instead, we are carried as if by eagle wings to a high tower in the midst of this raging torrent. As we read in this psalm, “Yahweh of hosts is with us. A high tower for us is the God of Jacob.” (Ps. 46:7,11, Rotherham Translation) This psalm, which was written to be sung in the synagogues of Israel, and dedicated to the Chief Musician for the sons of Korah, has been an inspiration for a well-known hymn from the “Hymns of Dawn.” The chorus is sung:

“My strong tower is He!
To Him will I flee:
In Him confide, in Him abide;
My strong tower is He!”

The second verse of this hymn says:

“Wild waves are round me swelling,
Dark clouds above I see;
Yet, in my fortress dwelling,
More safe I cannot be.”

As we view the collapsing of the present social order upon earth, and the destructive forces of the ‘Lord’s great army’ (Joel 2:11), we will not fear because we are safe in our Father’s care, in the knowledge of his plan and of his kingdom to come.

The Apostle John says, “Fear hath torment.” This is so true, and our love for God and his plan should enable us to cast out all fear. (I John 4:18) Whatever happens in the world today, or whatever we can see coming upon the earth in these climactic times, our confidence in God and his plan should carry us forward to seeing the wonderful vision of his glorious kingdom. May the vision of that kingdom enthuse and inspire us to be faithful in fulfilling our consecration vows. Let us heed the words of our beloved Lord and Master, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”—Luke 12:32

As our neighbors and friends show evidence of fear, we can help console them with the explanation of how Haggai’s prophecy is being fulfilled. The shaking of heaven (religious concepts and dogmas that cause terrorists to do what damage they do), and the shaking of the earth, are preludes to the “desire of all nations” coming! This is the promised blessing of God’s kingdom, which will be inaugurated when “the marriage of the Lamb” takes place. (Rev. 19:7) It will be then that the Lord [Jehovah] shall “fill this house [temple] with glory.”—Hag. 2:7

Dawn Bible Students Association
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