Searching for the Truth in the King James Bible;
Finding it, and passing it on to you.




EDITOR:
Steve Van Nattan

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FASTING-
THE BIBLICAL TEACHING

 

Much false piety and silliness needs exposing,
and the true virtue of fasting taught



You have all heard this at work or with friends who are not Bible believers-

"What are you giving up for Lent?"

Fasting is totally twisted in modern Christendom. Most Christians never fast for any reason. They are taught by large bellied preachers that fasting was for long ago. Or, they are told fasting is a good thing, but it is not essential.

So, what does fasting do for us? Does it help us wipe out bad points with God, sort of like Dharma and Kharma for Hindus? Maybe it helps us get over some bad habit or some sin we hate in ourselves.

Well, Jesus fasted quite a lot, and he never sinned. Hmmmm Maybe we ought to look into this from a strictly Bible perspective. That way, we may shuck off the superstition and find the blessing of fasting as God intended it.

 

Things Fasting is not

Fasting is not a way to salvation

Luke 18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

No religious duty or work of righteousness will earn, or keep secure, your salvation.

Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Romans 4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

If you believe that you can do good works, such as fasting, and in this way you have put God into debt to you, you are not a Christian. You are a pagan. If you are a "Charismatic Christian" who believes that you can give to God and put him into debt to you, you are a Hindu, not a pagan. Call your mongrel doctrine what it is..... Karma and Dharma.

 

Fasting is not to be a show of piety

Matthew 6:16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

God hates hypocrites. A man humbles himself before God, and to show God his zeal he suspends eating for several meals or a couple of days. And then, when he tells his friends he is fasting, God sees that the real reason for fasting was to impress other Christians. And, God stands afar off from this person.

This is also true when a pastor calls on the local church to fast for some reason. It is just another program to make sluggish saints feel spiritual because they jumped on the band wagon with the mob and did something allegedly holy. It is also a cheap trick when the pastor calls for fasting because there is a financial need.

The Pharisees fasted frequently back in the day of Jesus on earth. And, they were very proud of their piety and fasting. They even had a man with a horn walk along before them and toot the horn and announce that a very righteous man was coming along. Jesus told a parable about a self-righteous Pharisee, and this fellow is now pastoring a church somewhere in Tennessee I do believe.

When a pastor makes the statement, "I thank God pants have never touched my wife's legs," you are listening to a modern day Pharisee. The irony is, his wife was probably one of those girls going home for vacation from Pensacola Christian Collage who got off at the first rest area and changed into Levis.

God said "when you fast" not "if you fast." Jesus expected the disciples to WANT to fast to please him.

 

Fasting is not a religious ritual

Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

The Pharisees fasted twice a week, on Monday and on Thursday. It was a ritual which made them very proud of their piety. Ritual fasting is also a way of reminding all the peasants around you that you are holier than they are because they know that you fast on the official days.

The Catholic Church, not to be left out of the holiness racket, made Friday a day of fasting. The Pope, later, told Catholics they could eat fish on Friday. In recent times, in Boston, the Catholics ate baked beans and coleslaw on Friday, and THAT proves Bostonian Catholics are very holy indeed. It seems the price they pay to be holy is a bad case of flatulence.

The Bible does not say how often we should fast, thus it is not meant to be ritualistic. The Reformed and Catholic Church calendar event called Lent is a classic example of scheduled fasting. This is just as stupid as a Fundamental Baptist Church scheduling "revival meetings" on the calendar. Revival is on the calendar of the Holy Spirit when some saint gets the message and repents.

Catholic priests who man the mission at Capistrano, California have a hymn they always sing after they end a fast: "When the swallows come back to Capistrano."

Fasting is not a pious gesture to be imposed by the organized church to observe another high and holy day. Fasting is called from the soul which is hearing from the Holy Spirit, or because of some other saint who needs prayer. It may be a cry for God to move the heart of a loved one toward the Gospel. Fasting is me setting aside an appetite of mine so that I can give God my full attention, and it happens when the need arises on God's schedule.

Israel was called to fast as a nation. It may be that some issue arises in the local church which affects all the members, like persecution or sin in the camp. The pastor may then call on the members to fast and pray, but again, he must not do this under duress or threat. And a pastor who exalts those who fast is a creep and should be flogged. Ultimately, a biblical fast must come from YOUR zeal to please God, not from your sinful lust to impress men.

If you are having a church fight, pastor, or a rebellion by the members against you, do not use fasting to try to break the will of those you think are wrong. Study your Bible, repent of anything YOU did to exacerbate the problem, say so publicly, and then teach, teach, teach. Fasting can come later after peace is restored. No one ever fasted their way out of Hell. If you allowed all Hell to break loose in the church, clean up the mess you made before you fast.

Psalms 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

There is no indication in the New Testament that fasting, as found in the Old Testament, has been made obsolete, as is the case with the ceremonial and social Laws of Moses which Paul teaches we need not observe. We no longer carry a feces paddle as Moses did (Deut. 23:13), and we do not have spiritual leaders who must give a verdict on unclean sicknesses. These laws, and hundreds of others, are not part of the Church's life.

Fasting was still the experience of Jesus, and the Early Church fasted. So, we must ask ourselves a question..... why has the modern End Times Church nearly abandoned fasting? Fasting is not only not practiced, it is not encouraged by Bible teachers and pastors. One is tempted to suspect, after seeing the bellies on many of these preachers, that fasting has been abandoned in favor of Kirspy Keams and Big Macs. Like the Spirit filled (according to him) preacher who had a huge belly and told me he had a "metabolism problem." He did indeed, for I found him one day at MacDonald's at a table with two Big Macs sitting in front of him.

 

Fasting is not just stomach cramps for God's sake

1 Kings 18:25 And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under.
26 And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.
27 And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.
28 And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.
29 And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.

There is an ascetic notion that self-inflicted pain pleases God. Like the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, people have been cutting themselves and giving themselves pain for thousands of years. This ungodly practice is common with Roman Catholics. They have been known to crawl from one place to another, even bloodying their knees, in order to impress God with their devotion.

But, Fundamental Bible believers, and some others, do similar things with fasting. They fast until they have severe hunger pangs, and they then feel that they have arrived at a point where God is really pleased with their show of zeal. The truth is, these poor idiots are all about themselves, not about hearing from God or giving their whole attention to the Holy Spirit regarding some issue of life they need to deal with.

The object of fasting is not pain..... it is God.

 

Fasting is unacceptable without a right relationship with God

Isaiah 58:3 Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.
4 Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?
6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.
9 Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;

There is much to learn here.

Verse 4 is very up to date with the modern church. The whole church sinks into civil war, and business meeting after business meeting ends in hate and rage. So, the pastor calls for a fast, not to humble himself and encourage the people to do the same. But, the fast is a psychological trick to shame the people into deciding the debate in his favor. God hates you church politics, preacher.

Verse 5 tells us what is supposed to happen during a fast. A God honoring fast is in humbling of oneself until the soul is chastened along with the stomach. People bow down and stop strutting around the church announcing their wisdom. The rich in earthly wealth bow lower than the poor.

Verses 6-7 tells us the objective of the fast. To loose the bands that hold people in sin. To lift heavy burdens off of other saints. To free anyone who is in debt or obligation to you. To destroy every yoke, that is, contract or legal bondage.

It is to feed the hungry, such as some widow who has not been out to dinner to a nice restaurant in years. Fasting is to go grocery shopping for the guy who had to fire recently. Fasting is to buy a new coat for the daughter of the poor family in your church because she is only wearing a sweater in the middle of February in Michigan (Seen in a Baptist church in Michigan by me. "Bring your little girl around to my house tomorrow morning, and we will go buy her a new coat. She is too cold in just that sweater"). Fasting is to stop hiding from your own family. Now, THAT one has to be killing some lecherous husband reading this. Are you hiding at work, claiming you have to work late because of some serious issue at work? Your fasting, your church attendance, and you tithing all stink to God until you "bring it on home" to Mamma and the kids, mister.

And, fasting is not led from the pulpit by the preacher. Fasting is lead by the wallet of the pastor taking the actions above and inviting the sheep to follow him. There is nothing more wretched than a pastor preaching on tithing who does not tithe, or a pastor talking about feeding the poor who assumes he is one of the poor himself and is exempt from feeding anyone. Get your butt out of your office chair, preacher, and go buy some groceries for the poor family in your church. And, if there are no poor folks in your church, sir, you have totally failed as a pastor.

You have not caught up with Jesus until you have fed 9000. (Matthew 14 and Mark 8)

Biblical fasting  is not for health. If you fast for some health reason, you are a fool if you think you will become more spiritual by doing so. Biblical fasting includes the things in Verse 6-7 above.

If fasting includes all or most of the list in Verses 6-7 above, then Verses 8-9 are the results. God is pleased, and he causes your "light to break forth as the morning," and your health may even improve. Best of all, God gets your back, and you are defended by him.

Verse 9 mentions the putting forth of the finger. This is not the use of the middle finger as is seen in vulgar people in modern culture. It is the finger of accusation. If you fast, but you keep putting up memes and posts on Facebook accusing all sorts of people of wickedness, your fast will be as worthless as yesterday's left over toast . You, preacher, who spend most of your preaching time accusing people of sin and wickedness, your fast is going to end in Covid-19. The Good Shepherd did not beat the sheep. He comforted them and led them through the hard places.

Hey, God talked pretty rough to Israel in the above text. I am just putting it into modern context. So, stop whining, humble yourself, and go on a fast of all pleasant food, and see what God will do with you. And, donuts ARE pleasant food.

 

Fasting is not for punishment of the body or the sin nature

Colossians 2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;
22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

When fasting is imposed from above by pastors, Popes, or some alleged expert on TBN, or when you read a book from some Christian author who tells you that you will never amount to anything for God if you don't fast, you are hearing or reading the message of will worshippers. These creeps tell you what to eat or not eat, and they promise you will become deeply spiritual and be an amazing blessing to everyone around you.

Lie. When fasting becomes an ordinance, like baptism or the Lord's Supper, by which you earn points with God, that fasting is blasphemy. There is virtually no difference, in such ritual fasting, than there is in the superstitious eating of the cookie in the Roman Catholic Mass. The same devil of superstition is moving, and you could end up being possessed with a devil if you try to use such fasting to pass yourself off as a special Christian.

There is no one more wretched, hanging out in the local church foyer, than some saint who has been fasting and is chattering about how much of a blessing it was to them. They are behaving like a two year old brat, and they need to be slapped.

HERE IS THE RELIGION OF WORKS SALVATION

 

Fasting does not guarantee that your sin will be forgiven

2 Samuel 12:1 And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor.
2 The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds:
3 But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.
4 And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him.
5 And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die:
6 And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.
7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;
8 And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.
9 Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.
10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.
11 Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.
12 For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.
13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.
14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.
15 And Nathan departed unto his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and it was very sick.
16 David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth.
17 And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them.
18 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead?

David fasted and prayed that the child would be spared, but the child died. You cannot fast your way out of wickedness. When there is sin in your life, or in your church, the only thing to do is to repent, confess the sin, and turn from your wicked ways.

Ezekiel 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

Your fasting to try to cover up your sin could end in a funeral home.

Sooner of later God will cut you down....

If that one didn't get your attention, this one will

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Again, fasting does not cover sin. Only the Blood of Jesus covers sin, and you need to go to him in sincere repentance and confession to have your sin covered and forgiven. And, if you are allowing the possibility that you will do the same sin on down the road, you will not be forgiven at all. You are a fake Christian or a Hindu.

Joel 2:12 Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:
13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
14 Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God?
15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly:
16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.
17 Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?
18 Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people.

Verse 12: God calls for a fast for sure. But, he also calls for weeping and mourning. The motive for this fasting, weeping, and mourning is because of your sin which you now want to abandon and leave behind. If you want to see the pity of God (Verse 18), God needs to see that your heart and mind are repenting of the sin that has defeated you..... the sin you enjoyed and refused to turn away from.

CLASSIC EXAMPLE OF FAKE CONFESSION OF SIN BY POPE JOHN PAUL II

 

The Importance of Fasting According to the Bible

There are over thirty positive examples of fasting in the New Testament of the Bible

Jesus fasted when tempted, or tempted while fasting

Matthew 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Jesus was starving by the fortieth day, and the devil hoped to get to him through his belly. Satan got to Eve through her belly. The fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasant to look at.

Jesus would not break his fast to please the devil. Jesus would not use his power for his own comfort. He walked down the mountain, and he went and found food to eat later like any other man.

When you are dealing with temptation of some sort, perhaps a period of fasting would be in order. Maybe you are having temptations with porn online. How about a fast from cyberspace for a week? Could you turn off the computer and the smart phone long enough to get you mind under the control of God the Holy Spirit?

Maybe you are fifty pounds overweight, and your health is poor because of it. How about a fast from pleasant food?

A man in a church went to the pastor and asked him to pray for him. He said that every day, as he walked past the adult bookstore on his way to work, he had horrible temptations to go into the store. The pastor told him he should walk another way to work. The man said, "Oh, I couldn't do that."

Fasting is a bit of trouble and inconvenient. But, if it is the only way you can get your mind under control and set your affection again on your Father in Heaven, would you do what it takes?

 

Jesus promised the Father would bless us for fasting if we did so biblically

Matthew 6:17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

When you fast, don't go around groaning and talking about how much you are suffering. That will result in nothing but chastening from God. Dress and behave normally, be friendly to others, and find ways to disappear when people are eating so that your fasting will not be noticed. No one should know you are fasting..... NO ONE but God and you.

Do not tell your pastor you are fasting please. Pastors, all too often, exalt anyone who is fasting and use them as some sort of model for Christian zeal. If you let your pastor make a fuss over your fasting, you will get NOTHING in the way of blessing from God for your trouble.

 

Fasting was part of Anna's service to God

Luke 2:36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;
37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

A Black lady in Michigan lived a frugal life on a very limited income. She also raised a family on that income. Her kids said that she would often tell them to go ahead and eat their supper. She would not be eating with them because she was fasting. Her kids learned, years later, that she fasted because there was often not enough food to go around.

That kind of fasting, I suspect, God loves. The lady lived into her 90s and was active in the local church to the end of her days. People got in line to pick her up and bring her to church because of her sweet spirit.

 

Fasting was part of the ministry of the saints at Antioch

Acts 13:1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

When you want to know what God wants of you, or what work you need to do for the Lord, go to fasting and prayer, and God will meet you there and show you his will.

Whatever you do, do not appoint a committee to look for God's will.

 

Fasting accompanied ordination

Acts 14:21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,
22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

How many ordinations of modern pastors were accompanied by fasting? Usually, they are accompanied by a church dinner feast, or afterward, by a visit to an all-you-can-eat restaurant. If you want to know what the spirit is that moves most Fundamental Baptist preachers, look at their belly. The title "Reverend" is bestowed on a newly ordained man, but is he holy and reverend in the model of the Bible?

Psalms 111:9 He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.

 

Fasting and prayer are the only reasons given to abstain from martial relationships.

Here it comes..... waist high, and straight across the plate.

1 Corinthians 7:1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.
5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

Verse 1-2 There is NEVER a reason for a man to touch a woman other than his wife. The only exception might be a doctor. Even then, the husband should be present. When a preacher or leading man in the local church squeezes the elbow of a young woman whose husband will not come to church with her, and when he says, "We are praying for you and your husband, sister," what that man is doing is groping the woman. There are NO exceptions to this rule.

I retract that. Daddy, please do kiss your little girl good night. I would suggest, though, that you stop being physical with your daughter when she goes into puberty, at least in public. Hugs are always to be judged by the conscience in older kids. If your conscience condemns you in any way, you are damned if you ignore it. Donald Trump is photographed holding his teen age daughter in some very suspect ways. Trump was abused by his father, and we must wonder if he has the virus himself. There was a Hispanic brother in a church I pastored who told me it was wicked for a father to kiss his daughter on the lips. That was his law, and it is not necessarily a universal law, but he sure was avoiding an occasion for offense. Make limits for you and your kids, and never break them.

When that charming outgoing, fashionable and trendy, 40s gal squeezes your elbow, pastor, and tells you, "I want you to know that your messages have really helped me deal with some personal problems," what she is doing is inviting you to bed her down. You need to let her know bluntly and politely that your wife is the only one you allow to squeeze your elbow. If you let her go on doing that, you WILL bed her down by and by.

If, "let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband" were observed with NO exceptions, there would be no adultery in the Lord's Church. Sexual intercourse starts with flirting and subtle touching, so Paul was spot on with his standard. If you don't want a fire, don't strike the match. Touchy feely Christianity is nothing but whore house Christianity, and it is fake Christianity.

Verse 3-4 "Due benevolence" is chivalrous language for "give her all the sex she wants," and, "give him all the sex he wants." If this command were also observed in all Christian families, there would be little or no sexual frustration in the home.

There is an account of the Puritans in old New England. A woman come before the church/community elders and complained that her husband was not satisfying her with sex. The elders called in the husband, and he admitted it was true. They put the man in the stocks and tarred and feathered him and, as usual, his offense was announced to the whole community. There are men and women in many churches that could benefit from being tarred and feathered so they stop finding excuses to deny sex to one another in the marriage chamber.

Verse 5 "Defraud ye not one the other" means to not withhold sexual satisfaction from one another. I have heard, way too many times, of a couple getting a divorce, and one of the reasons was because one party stopped giving sexual satisfaction. That is no reason for divorce, but it IS a good reason for the offending party to be brought before the church leaders (or, in the case of a wife offending, before the aged women) and read the brat the riot act. The only reason Paul allows for withholding sex in marriage is for the purpose of prayer and fasting. And then, Paul says only "for a time," which means, not for long.

Orthodox Jews will not have sex on the Sabbath. Some Christians do not have sex on the Lord's Day. But, there is NO Bible teaching on this, so it must NOT be made a law, or even exalted as spiritual by Bible teachers, that is, to fast from sex on Sunday. It is, of course, and option if both the husband and wife agree.

As I have mentioned in other articles in this journal, there are vocations that result in the couple being deprived of sexual satisfaction. It is a gross offense for a man to climb into a Peterbuilt and haul his Peter off down the road for six weeks and leave Momma with no satisfaction. Don't tell me God lead you to be an over the road truck driver. My Daddy drove a truck..... a cement mixer. He would have made better money driving over the road, but my Daddy came home to my Momma every night because her needs came before his career.

And, I know the facts, sir. Don't shine me on. You will one day buy your own truck and become an "owner operator." Then, you will end up all over the nation trying to get back hauls to get home, and six weeks later you will finally come limping home.

Caveat: After the kids have all been married off, if you want to get Momma a commercial driver's license, and both of you climb into that Peterbilt, and wander the world hauling freight, go for it. Team driving is an option. We have friends who did this. Just keep in mind that the grand babies will not see much of you. As always, count the cost.

One more suggestion: To see if you can handle team truck driving, the two of you lock yourself in the bathroom for a weekend. If you are not stir crazy when you open the door, you might do well as team drivers.

Jesus did not call any camel caravan drivers to be his disciples. He called ONLY men who went home every night after fishing or collecting taxes. Please read that sentence again. Mohammed was a caravan driver who left his wife for months at a time. Hmmmm

THIS IS THE NATIONAL ANTHEM OF HELL The only happy ending in this song is if Daddy is home to stay and plans to only drive gravel trucks locally from now on.

WHEN YOU PILE IT UP "OVER THE EDGE" Mamma and the kids will have no Daddy anymore. Their fast will be forever. You are called to better things than to go over the edge in the Outback.

THIS IS NOT JUST FICTION There is a widow back home who wanted a husband to keep her warm at night, not a legend. And, a portrait of Daddy and his truck will never take that boy fishing or attend his graduation.

I know I am messing with some truck driver's mind. And, that is exactly what I wanted to do. Y'all get home to yo lady, sir.

CAVEAT: When hard times come, and the only job left is going to take you away from home for a period of time, I do not want to be the judge who decides if that is right or wrong. God knows you heart and whether you really cannot do anything else. During the Great Depression, my great uncle, Harry Castle, left the ranch near Grand Junction, Colorado, and he followed the rodeos all the way to Canada. He was a champion bull dogger, and he made very good money because of his skill. That was all he could do, so he had to leave home to support the family. The ranch was not making money worth anything. Just be sure you really do not have any other choice that will keep you home with your wife before you leave home.

This Scripture text also applies to going into business. If the career position, which you think you just have to take to the glory of God, will take you away from your wife for weeks at a time, you are a lying creep to tell us that God is calling you to this career. The same applies to running for political office. If you cannot include your wife in the mix ALL THE TIME, it is NOT God's will. No political office is so urgent to save the nation that you must leave your wife to take it.

Beware of technology jobs that demand that you travel. If your job takes you away from home for weeks while you rescue the WIFI network of Mumbai, India, I don't care how much you tithe, buster, you are wicked. You get home, and hammer the web for a 9 to 5 position near home. You will deal with a pay cut a lot easier than you will deal with a session in divorce court. Indeed, you may have to pack up and move to Austin, Texas where technology jobs are going untaken these days.

Do not send E-mail and whine at me over your "special situation." Obey the Word of God.

Pastor, if you want to keep your assembly, AND YOURSELF, under control in sexual issues, PREACH IT. Do not skip over the above Bible text. If you openly set the standard as high as the Word of God sets it, gold digging whores in the community will know you are not a brothel church, and you will never see them visiting your church.

If the only way some sweet dolly can get saved is by receiving personal attention from you, preacher, let her go to Hell. Read that sentence again please. God could not possibly elect a woman to salvation and provide that the only way she can finally get saved is by being bedded down by you.

 

Fasting is one of the ways a minister approves himself

2 Corinthians 6:4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,
5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;
6 By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,
7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
8 By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true;
9 As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;
10 As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

So, you think you will become more spiritual if you fast, right? You may be right, that is, if your spirit is right before God as you fast. But, there is a lot more to godliness than fasting. Read the list in the text above. How many of the exercises, which you can initiate yourself, have you gone after? Have you done any "watching" lately on behalf of a saint? How are your "kindness" and "knowledge" departments doing? Been "chastened" lately? Have you shared the burden of "sorrow" for some bereaved saint lately?

There are many ways to become mature and complete in your sanctification before God. The Catholic Church, and some other slop hog denominations, promote fasting as the premier way to become holy before God. Meanwhile, those boys in the pretty purple smocks in the Vatican use little boys sexually and drink like pub trollers.

Go ahead and fast. I pray you grow much closer to God in it, but I also hope you will add to fasting all of the ways above which the Apostle Paul practiced to be approved by God.

 

Jesus made a promise about fasting

Matthew 6:17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

Jesus is not giving a formula for how to get the praise of men. What he is telling you is that, if you do not make a spectacle of yourself, letting the world know that you are fasting, that God WILL reward you. By "openly" Jesus means that the results of your fast will show in some way. It may simply be that you will become a lot more of a blessing to other believers, and they will love you for it, never knowing that you fast and pray in order to get your nasty temper and bad manners under control.

That last paragraph did not end very sweetly, did it? Why should I waste my life making everything sweet and cuddly? The truth is what you imagine you want to find. Maybe you found it.

 

Jesus said His disciples Would fast

Matthew 9:14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?
15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.

The Church Age is the age of mourning. We see the state of the Church in Revelation 3:16-17.

Revelation 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

We groan and weep for all the blessed idiots in the modern mega churches as they suck up the pabulum and swill of the hog slopping platform and preacher. Some of us have family that have gone over to the Laodicean church and stripped spiritually naked before the golden calf of la la land Christianity.

Cheer up, saint. The Bridegroom cometh. Trim your lamp. Let your light so shine, that some poor starving mega church saint will see your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.

Be thankful that you mourn today, for a day is coming when they will mourn and wail in supreme agony as they realize they have been LEFT BEHIND.

Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

There will be no fasting in Heaven. All things will be made new. There will be no sin, no appetite, no distraction, and no conscience from which we need to fast in order to be totally fixed on the person of The Lord Jesus Christ. Good days are coming, saint.

 

Fasting aids in breaking down demonic strongholds

Matthew 17:13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.
14 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,
15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

The emphasis is always for prayer and increased communion with God. Fasting to win points from God, and be perceived by others as more holy, is wicked. If you cannot fast secretly and not tell your friends you are fasting, you are fasting to gain glory in the Church, and you are a spiritual dead beat. If you go to a church dinner and sit at the table with no plate, even if you do not explain, you are grandstanding and wicked. Find something else to do, and leave before the dinner. If you are fasting, and you get hooked by circumstances into a dinner venue while you are fasting, BREAK THE FAST AND EAT. God is not impressed with people who allow anyone to find a way to exalt them for their zeal for Christ. If you receive open praise from men for fasting, you will not receive any reward from God because your secret with him got out.

Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

I say the above, as always, in all good Christian charity. If you disagree, prove from the Bible that I am wrong. How you FEEL about it means nothing to me.

 

Fasting may be the withholding of food which would cause an offense

Daniel 1:3 And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes;
4 Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.
5 And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.
6 Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:
7 Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.
8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
9 Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.
10 And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.
11 Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.
13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king's meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.

The point here is not WHAT Daniel ate, but why Daniel ate this vegetable diet. The king's food was ceremonially contaminated in some way which was known to Daniel. It may have been dedicated to pagan gods. There is a time to fast from food that is associated with wickedness or spiritual evil practices. I buy chicken at the supermarket which is Halal. The reason is that it is the cheapest chicken without additives and hormones. Now, if a Muslim came along and commended me for eating Halal, I would put the chicken back. Here is the Bible text covering this issue:

1 Corinthians 8:4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.
5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)
6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.
8 But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.
9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.

The issue comes when a brother who was a Muslim, and is now born again, is present, and he has renounced Halal as pagan, and he does not eat Halal meat. I will not serve it to him, nor will I buy it if he knows I am buying it. But, if I am certain he will not learn that I buy Halal meat, I will buy it because I know the idol is nothing. By the way, the same applies to vodka I buy to make my own vanilla extract, capcesin drops, and to make a melatonin solution to spray under my tongue at night to help me sleep. To me it is not a beverage, but to a former alcoholic, it may be evil. So, he will never know about it.

Just do not let your liberty off the leash in this world. When you go about announcing your "Christian Liberty" to everyone, It is like turning a pit bull loose in a school yard.

1 Corinthians 8:13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

This issue is not about fasting. It is about not being an offense to my brother. But, I also will not eat anything that the giver informs me is offered to idols.

1 Corinthians 10:27 If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.
28 But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof:

This also applies to poached deer and snagged salmon. If someone brings you venison, and they don't tell you anything about its origin, eat it. If they tell you they shot it out of deer hunting season, feed it to the dog, or hand it back to them.

We had a teen age boy in a church I pastored who liked to club salmon when they ran in the river every year. This way of "fishing," aside from being very unsportsman like, was illegal. The boy brought us a salmon that he had clubbed. He wanted to tithe fish to the preacher. I don't believe he was intentionally trying to dirty us, but his generosity was polluted by his lawless ethics. So, we refused the fish, and a lesson was learned. The boy's father was delighted that we did not take the fish. I love salmon, salmon is very healthy food, but I could not risk giving my approval to the kid's lawlessness.

A warning is in order here: DO NOT ask questions about the origin of food if you are a guest of another Christian unless they volunteer information that is troubling. It is none of your business, and you are not appointed to enforce the Bob Jones University rule book everywhere you go. Also, if you are the guest of a non believer, and if there is no existing tension for any reason, eat the cake. Right, it tastes like it has rum in it, and it probably does. There is less rum in your piece of cake than in the Nyquil you take for a cough. Now, if they ask if you can eat rum cake, decline politely without a dissertation on the evils of alcohol.

Daniel 10:1 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.
2 In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks.
3 I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.
4 And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel;
5 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz:

This time, Daniel is fasting from pleasant bread, meat, and wine. These are the choice treats of a Middle Eastern diet. As a civil servant of King Cyrus, Daniel would have eaten the best of the best food of the kingdom. This bread, which he gave up, was the raised bread instead of the common flat bread similar to a tortilla, and Daniel's fast probably excluded pastries. Daniel was not on a total no-food diet, but he was denying himself the luxuries and treats. Because of this, and because of his zeal in prayer, God sent an angel to explain the meaning of a vision Daniel had seen earlier.

So, we learned that, if it will offend our brother, we must fast from any food that is corrupted by sin, lawlessness, and pagan rituals.

We also learned that we may not receive the light from God that we crave unless we give up the special treats and choice food we love. Would you give up meat for a time in order to hear from God about something that is worrying you?

We also see something here that some blessed idiots never get. A fast must have an object. What is it you wish to accomplish with the Lord by fasting? Fasting simply to impress God with your piety will get you nothing from God. Engage your mind and soul with an objective before you give up the pleasant food. And, tell God about it, and keep reminding him about it as you fast.

 

God may lead us to observe fasting in different ways at different times

Darius Fasted For the Safety of Daniel

King Darius was tricked into signing a law that put his friend Daniel in grave danger. A law was proposed that for 30 days no one could pray to, or ask help from, any deity or power except the king. The men who wrote the law knew that Daniel prayed three times a day to God. They had the king sign the law so that they could trap Daniel and get rid of him from the kingdom (Daniel 6:4-9). The punishment for this crime was to be cast into a den of lions.

Of course Daniel was caught praying to God. He was brought before the king who had no ability to back out of the law even though Daniel was his friend. King Darius said that he hoped Danielís God would be powerful enough to save Daniel from being eaten.

Daniel 6:18 Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him.
19 Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions.
20 And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?
21 Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.
22 My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.
23 Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.

So, Darius went to his home and fasted (Daniel 6:18). The Bible does not say what this fast included but it seems to indicate it was more than just food. We are told that the king did not allow music to be played that night. He also did not sleep. The king forfeited more than food for his fast. King Darius was relieved to find that Daniel survived the night. Darius then proclaimed that Danielís God was the true God. The king even declared that Godís power was greater than all the kingdoms of the earth. He proclaimed that Godís kingdom would be established forever (Daniel 6:25-28).

Would you fast music, social media, and your beauty sleep to prevail on God to have mercy on someone you care about?

 

Prayer and Fasting and Confession of sins

Daniel 9:1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;
2 In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
4 And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;
5 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:
6 Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.

Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:

Daniel repented on behalf of the Hebrew people who were in captivity. God honored his prayer, and in the days of Nehemiah later, God arranged for his people to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and set up a republic under the king of Persia.

Paul, writing to the Christians in Colossians, encouraged them to put to death a list of sins in their lives. If sin rules the life, a fast is a worthless gesture to God. He first wants to hear your confession of sin to Christ. Only then will he meet with you as you fast and pray. It is a Roman Catholic teaching that fasting, or any other act of our zeal, will cancel sin. Our sin account was paid down to zero on the Cross where Jesus shed his Blood to wash away our sin. When you fast with a view to deal with your sin, you are slapping the face of Jesus.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Once you have been to 1 John 1:9 and confessed your sin, THAN you can fast and pray, and God wants to hear from you.

 

Biblical fasting is often connected with times of repentance

The key to pleasing God with repentance is with fasting, yes, but it must be in he spirit of humility.

Ezekiel 18:30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.

Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

Isaiah 58:4 Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?

If you or your church fast in order to be trendy, or as a conclusion to some high powered conference with a "keynote speaker" who is an expert on fasting, God will not be impressed. Repentance is not something you put on the church calendar to do next August. It comes from the heart when the Word of God and the Holy Spirit have done their work in your soul.

 

Fasting before Entering Service for God and to his Church

Jesus fasted and prayed before he started his ministry in the world, as we saw above. Paul followed this pattern when he appointed elders in the early Church.

Acts 14:21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,
22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

When elders or deacons are chosen to serve the Lord's Church, there should be prayer and fasting. When is the last time you ever saw this happen before an election of leaders in a church business meeting? This is why democracy is the most wretched way leaders can be chosen in the Lord's Church. Leaders must be chosen by existing leaders who have spent time in prayer and fasting. This is the ONLY biblical model we have, and we totally reject it. Democracy is one of the most destructive fixtures in the modern Church. It turns a biblical need into a beauty contest, and often, wicked men are raised to authority in the local church.

These men who are chosen by democracy are all too often the very ones who start an insurrection against the pastor, or they square off against other deacons or elders over and over, making chaos of church board meetings. Their wives are almost always gossip mongers who stir up the women of the local church. Prayer and fasting would go a long way toward destroying the political mindset in the church.

 

"Fasting helps express, deepens, confirms the resolution that we are ready to sacrifice anything, even ourselves, to attain what we seek for the kingdom of God."
Andrew Murray,
Missionary to South Africa

The Guidelines for Fasting

What is a Biblical Fast?

Fast: Abstinence from food and normal physical pleasure.

Daniel 10:3 I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.

In the next text, Paul is telling married couples not to withhold sexual pleasure from one another.

Corinthians 7:5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

Any long term vow, or effort to become spiritual, by giving up sex in marriage is wicked. Sex is given for both reproduction and for pleasure. If you have a problem with that, read the Song of Solomon. It is rich with sexual imagery in marriage. So, a short fast from sex in order to be closer to the Lord might be in order, but only "for a time," that is, limited.

It is well known that the first couple of days of a fast are the worst. After that, the pain of the stomach goes away, and the mind becomes much sharper. Friends of mine used to fast once a year every summer for their mental health. During that time, the father told me that his kids would get out algebra that had totally confused them during the school year, and in no time at all they had those algebra problems solved.

The same applies to the spiritual life. During a total fast (except for water or liquids) the mind becomes more alert, and the Word of God is easier to understand and memorize. A fast which is not preceded by a seriously thought out objective will probably go nowhere for your soul's health. What do you want to accomplish with a fast? Answer that, or forget about fasting completely. No one climbs a mountain without the goal of reaching the top. Even if your goal is based on a confused mind, or you want God to show you anything that is unholy in your life, tell God that is your reason to fast, and ask him to help you answer your questions.

Giving up smoking, booze, or some food that is ruining your health, is not a fast. When you give up something that is bad for your health, you are simply giving up sin. You are getting you lusts and appetites under control, and that sort of action must be permanent to please God.

2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

When you give up something that is defeating you or ruining your health or peace of mind, you have no business setting a date when you will take that evil thing back up. You need to clear all vestiges of the thing out of you home and life. If you give up pot, throw away your "carburetor" pot pipe. If you give up booze because it defeated you, do not keep wine around for cooking or for a health drink.

Romans 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

So, you know someone who makes his own cough medicine out of vodka and herbs. He can, you cannot. What is no temptation to him will lead YOU to defeat again.

1 Corinthians 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

 

Fasting must be done under the leadership of the Holy Ghost

Psalms 32:8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.

The Holy Spirit guides us in ALL things in life. If you feel it is time to fast, ask the Holy Spirit if there is a reason not to fast right now..... maybe later. Fasting at a time when you need to be very active physically is a very bad idea. Your physical stamina will be down, and you will have problems. Also, fasting while you have to go to work is going to cause you to do poor work.

Andy, a college friend of mine, was a star on the track team. He was also a genius and blew the top off of all the IQ tests. This also resulted in Andy being a bit eccentric. Andy had heard of the benefits of fasting, and he decided to try it the week before a big cross country event. He came up to the race, and he suddenly realized he had a pretty low energy level. So, he drank three cans of grape juice concentrate, and he ran in the race. He nearly had to drop clear out along the way, and came in almost last. He also set his bowels free and had some serious times with that. When the coach heard about it, he was furious.

 

We are not told how much to withhold

Medical conditions should be considered. While a total fast from food may get you the best results as to your mind and soul being totally focused on God and his Word, if a total fast will adversely affect your health, limit your fast to eat less or to eat only plain food with nothing "pleasant" included.

Daniel fasted 21 days without total abstinence -

Daniel 10:3 I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.

A pregnant woman, or a mother nursing a baby, must NEVER fast. Any act of piety you feel you must make to please God must NEVER deprive your children of good health and safety. A child who is breast fed will gain immunities from his mother and thrive better than a child given cow's or goat's milk. Fast from some other nonfood related luxury in your life instead.

How about a fast from Facebook or the computer for a week? Could you live without "Like" if it resulted in your mind being on Jesus more?

 

Fasting is a private matter with the Lord

Fasting can be for one meal or many meals, depending on God's leadership.

It may be the withholding of food, but it is wrong to abstain from drinking water. Muslims do this, and I cannot think of a more insane religious ritual for people living in the Middle East. This is required by Mohammed during the fast of Ramadan. In Sudan, the Muslim men go and sit in the Nile to cool off and hydrate, and they spit all day to avoid swallowing their own saliva. Then at night, they gorge themselves and feast late into the night.

Matthew 6:1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

This teaching of Jesus applies to all good works. Your works are not good if you announce them to the world, or the church. That includes if your pastor exalts you publicly for doing anything for the local church or for the Lord. If you want a reward in Heaven, ask your pastor to keep his mouth shut. Tell him you do not even want a thank you in public. A person to person thank you is always appropriate, but if it includes any praise or flattery of you, then the rule kicks in..... you lost your reward in Heaven.

Now, if God arranges for something to happen openly, that is, before the eyes and ears of your friends and family, that is his business. But, God will NOT lead your pastor to praise you from the pulpit for your works. God will cause your works to end up going before you because of the fruit that comes from your works. Let the spiritual fruit speak of you, not men.

Proverbs 27:2 Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.

In the context of our subject in this article, be very sure your fasting is unknown to man. It is worthy to even hide your fasting from your family if possible. The fewer people know about it, the more God likes your zeal.

 

From What Should we Fast?

From pleasant bread

Daniel 10:2 In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks.
3 I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.

I do not know if they had canolis in Persia, but this is what Daniel was talking about. In fact, he may have eaten nothing but bread and water. The point is, Daniel was removing himself from the things that pleased him so that he could set his mind on the things that pleased God.

Also, Daniel may be raised suspicion in the King of Persia if he had gone on a 100% food fast. Daniel was a very high official in the Persian court, and eating at the king's table was undoubtedly required. So, Daniel fasted from all food which he would choose to eat which gave him pleasure.

Again, fasting is not about convincing God you are pious. Fasting is about getting your mind off of some, or all, of the things in your experience which may be distracting you from prayer and from hearing God.

 

From all food

I have heard many Catholics groaning about giving up some luxury for Lent. They show NO zeal to be closer to Christ, and they love people around them to notice their alleged fasting. What a joke.

If you are fasting for better health, then giving up donuts and Krispy Kreams is a great idea, but if you are fasting to become more zealous for Christ, then give up all food so that you FEEL the thing. Or, as we said above, if your health cannot deal with a total fast, give up pleasant food to the glory of God.

 

Never from water

Moses fasted from water, but this is something you should not do. Dehydration is a deadly thing and can cause the blood to thicken and a blood clot and stroke. There is nothing spiritual and holy about destroying your health. A fast from food is enough to free up your mind and soul to hear from God and to think and reason about the issues of life that you want to conquer.

If you decide that Moses is your model of piety, and you decide to do a water fast like he did, you need to consider the possibility that God miraculously preserved him through that fast. You may not be free to presume that God will miraculously preserve you the same way. Don't do pious acts that force God to rescue you because you did not think straight up front.

 

Lent

When a Catholic or Reformation Church member decides to give up something for Lent, it is sometimes the "pleasant food" which Daniel eliminated. But, many people who observe Lent fast from alcoholic drinks or from smoking. This is a farce. They have no business giving way to these things in the first place. So, to fast from a vice and return to that vice 40 days later is wicked. God is not impressed, and you did not put God in debt to you in some morbid way.

The same applies for any demented soul who abstains from illicit sex during Lent. What a joke. I suppose you would be very impressed by some murderer who gave up killing people during Lent.

James 4:16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.
17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

 

From sexual relations in marriage

See the above discussion of sex in marriage and fasting.

 

Who should fast?

All disciples of Jesus Christ Fasted

Mark 2:18 And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not?
19 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.
20 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.

The Church Age was obviously the era Jesus was talking about, but he could not call it that before his crucifixion because he was offering the Kingdom to Israel. So, our day is the day of fasting. The Bridegroom has not returned yet, so we fast with eager spirits to show we are ready to see him.

 

Christian Workers Fasted

Acts 13:1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

Have you ever heard of the local church leaders, or the leaders of a missionary sending organization, having a time of fasting and prayer before commissioning new missionaries? I have not heard of this myself, and I grew up in the missions world.

Acts 14:23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

The same was done when appointing elders in the local church.

2 Corinthians 6:4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,
5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;
6 By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,

Verse 5 adds fasting. Some of their spiritual and physical struggles were caused by persecution, but some were the result of their own zeal and choices. Have we CHOSEN to inconvenience ourselves in any way in order to get our full attention on Christ and the preaching of the Gospel? You want a revival in your church, right? Well, have you fasted and prayed for one? If not, why should God take you seriously?

 

Widows Fasted

Luke 2:36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;
37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.

Anna had been a widow for 84 years after being married for seven years. This would make her 103 years old when she saw Jesus as a child. She was known to be a prophetess, and in all those years we must assume that she had plenty of occasions to exalt the promise of the coming Messiah.

Luke 2:38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

Anna had the joy of being able to say, "I told you so." There were prophets in the Bible who spoke prophecies that were to be fulfilled long after the prophet died, and they did not get to see the fulfillment. Anna's joy was tremendous that day in the temple.

We must wonder how much her zeal for fasting caused God to reward her with seeing the Messiah. She probably died before Jesus started his ministry at age thirty. This shows that Anna's faith was great also, for she was ready to believe a baby was the Messiah. Nowhere in the Old Testament is the Messiah introduced as a baby coming to earth. Most Jews imagined the Messiah would come to Israel as an adult.

The point is this..... fasting is a very good spiritual work to put you in the way of knowledge from God.

 

When do we fast?

Fast when sorely tempted

Matthew 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Lesson One- When you fast, you are hungry and possibly somewhat weakened. Satan is the ultimate bully, and he often attacks when we are weak. So, get this straight before you fast..... Satan will soon be on hand tempting you.

Lesson Two- Satan gets a lot of traction in tempting God's people through their belly. There are a lot of totally defeated Christians in the Church who are crippled by their big belly. They are also living a life of lust and appetite as they keep that belly growing.

Lesson Three- Jesus had fasted as a man like us. He was tempted in all points like as we are. So, he could not take a short cut to end his fast. He had to walk down the mountain and drop in on someone who cared about him and finally hear, "Are you hungry Jesus, I am cooking some lentils?" If you set a period of fasting, keep the fast to the end unless you have health issues develop.

And, remember, there are no short cuts to victory.

Mark 14:38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.

 

Fast when wisdom is earnestly desired

James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

Fasting is not mentioned by James here, but we can see from the context of all of the Bible that fasting with prayer for wisdom would please God.

Daniel is the great example as he prayed and fasted over the plight of Jerusalem.

Daniel 9:3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:

 

Fast when help and protection are needed

2 Chronicles 20:1 It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle.
2 Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they be in Hazazontamar, which is Engedi.
3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
4 And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the LORD: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.

When the enemy, whether human or Satanic, gather to do harm to the Lord's Church, this is a time to fast and seek the help of God. We have a great promise that should send us straight to the Lord instead of to a lawyer.

1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

The context here is the spirit of error. The most deadly attacks on the Church are not by Caesar or by Antifa. They are from wolves in sheep's clothing. We need wisdom to A) Identify them, and B) confront them and run them off. Satan almost always causes division in the assembly to sustain the spirit of error, and this is done by his subtle work on weak minded and badly taught members. They invariably will whine that you are being much too harsh on the wolf. This is why fasting and prayer is needed to preserve the peace and integrity of the local church.

Ezra 8:21 Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.
22 For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him.
23 So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was intreated of us.

 

Fast when victory is needed over strong demonic powers

Matthew 17:14 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,
15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

Fasting and prayer are not some mystic magical force that, if you do them, you will become the mightiest devil chaser on the block. The battle is for the deliverance of the victims of Satan, not to show the world how mighty you are. This is the MO of Bob Larson who makes a virtual circus of his alleged deliverance events. Serving Christ is not a big show..... it is simply taking his Gospel and power of God to those who are oppressed and victimized by Satan.

Here is a fool heretic violating the order of God through the Apostle Paul:

Context verse to read: 1 Corinthians 7:1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

Here is Bob Larson totally violating the instruction of the Word of God in the above text. He has his hands all over this woman, and THAT IS JUST WHAT SATAN WANTS HIM TO DO. Larson is a fraud and a fake. I assume he gets a rush out of handling women in the name of deliverance. You will also notice they did not stop to pray, let alone fast, before trying to deliver this woman. She was not delivered, I don't care what they claim. Also, neither Jesus nor the Apostles carried a crucifix around flashing it at devils. They spoke to the devils, and that was all they needed to do. They also did not wave scrolls of the Old Testament around in the air to allegedly intimidate Satan. This whole scene is a damned circus, and I use the word "damned" advisedly.

We have to also wonder if this deliverance was a fake, and the woman had been coached how to fake devil possession.

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

When Bob Larson blasts a woman who needs deliverance. What a fraud this man is.

This heretic does not speak the Word, HE USES THE BIBLE LIKE A BILLY CLUB. There is NO such thing like this in the life of Jesus Christ or the Apostles. Can you imagine Jesus, in Gaderra, beating the demoniac over the head with the Torah?

One more fact you need if you want to avoid being deceived by blessed idiots like Bob Larson..... only God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit are omnipresent, that is, present everywhere. Satan is limited to be present at only one place at any time. So, when Larson, or one of his victims, claims they are possessed by Lucifer or Satan himself, Larson is grandstanding. He wants you to imagine he finds the real Lucifer or Satan in people. It is virtually impossible to believe this. Satan is much more likely to be holed up at the Vatican, or the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, than in one of Larson's victims in Albuquerque. Please start to think critically, reasoning from the Bible, instead of believing the myths of these Mother Goose frauds.

 

Fast when victory is needed over seemingly impossible situations

Esther 4:10 Again Esther spake unto Hatach, and gave him commandment unto Mordecai;
11 All the king's servants, and the people of the king's provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days.
12 And they told to Mordecai Esther's words.
13 Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews.
14 For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
15 Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer,
16 Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.
17 So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.

Esther 9:29 Then Esther the queen, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew, wrote with all authority, to confirm this second letter of Purim.
30 And he sent the letters unto all the Jews, to the hundred twenty and seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, with words of peace and truth,
31 To confirm these days of Purim in their times appointed, according as Mordecai the Jew and Esther the queen had enjoined them, and as they had decreed for themselves and for their seed, the matters of the fastings and their cry.
32 And the decree of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim; and it was written in the book.

God made sure his name was not in the book of Esther. Why? It may well be because Mordecai behaved in a way God did not appreciate when he insulted Hamen publicly. It may also be that God was not impressed with Esther for allowing her uncle to arrange for her to become a concubine of a pagan king. The only place we see praying along with the fasting is at the end of Verse 31 where the Jews cried. It is not reasonable to assume they cried to anyone but God.

The reason I included this text is to show that fasting is appropriate when severe persecution is ongoing. When you or your church are attacked by wicked men, as the US Government may do one day soon, will you hire a lawyer, or will you fast and pray?

Nehemiah 1:1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,
2 That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.
3 And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.
4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,

When another Bible believer, or a whole assembly of the local church, is greatly troubled in any way, believers who care about them will want to have a time of fasting and prayer to ask God to have mercy on them. Also, as with Nehemiah, the fast may end in the caring Christians being part of the answer to prayer.

 

Fast when desperately desiring an answer to prayer from God

1 Samuel 1:1 Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite:
2 And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.
3 And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the LORD of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the LORD, were there.
4 And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions:
5 But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb.
6 And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her womb.
7 And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat.

Whether Hannah's not eating was a fast per se, or if it was an emotional response, God noticed, and this story ended with God giving Hannah a message that she would have a son after all. That son was Samuel, and the Bible says that none of his words fell to the ground all his days.

God hears the cry for mercy from his children.

Psalms 103:13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.

So, when you feel like the Lord is not paying attention to your sorrows, think again. He sees it all, and he has something good waiting down the road for you. If you want to restore your confidence in the future God has for you, try fasting and prayer.

 

Fast when mourning a loved one or a defeat of God's people

2 Samuel 1:11 Then David took hold on his clothes, and rent them; and likewise all the men that were with him:
12 And they mourned, and wept, and fasted until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of the LORD, and for the house of Israel; because they were fallen by the sword.

Even though King Saul was he enemy of David, David mourned the death of Saul and his son Jonathan in the battle against the Amalakites. It is an honor to the dead, especially a true believer in Jesus Christ, that we would fast and pray in memory of them. This would especially be true if they were in warfare with Satanists when they died, or if they were killed by Muslims or pagans.

 

Fast when entering into spiritual warfare

2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

There are things that need to be settled before spiritual warfare:

THE FIRST OBJECTIVE OF FASTING: Is this my war? A woman in Michigan confronted me one night on the highway. I saw a pick up truck stopped in the road ahead, and I stopped, rolled down the window, and asked if everything was OK. What happened next at once told me that Satan was moving against me, and I immediately knew that this was not my war. READ THE STORY HERE. There is a lot of humor in the story as I told it in my Yarns section of this journal, but when it happened, it was terrifying. I never once felt I should confront the devil in this woman. If I had, I might not be writing this now.

2 Chronicles 20:1 It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle.
2 Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they be in Hazazontamar, which is Engedi.
3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.

Jehoshaphat feared. If you do not fear Satan, you will soon be thrashed by him. Satan is much more powerful than you are. So, you pop your little Baptist chest out and tell me that you are mighty because you are a Bible believer, and God will always help you win any battle you take on.

I am reminded of the story about a preacher in the southern USA who thought he was mighty in the extreme. He heard about someone who was devil possessed and making trouble for people. So, he went to find this person and cast the devil out, and the last anyone heard from him he was running through the woods naked screaming his head off.

Before you go to war with our adversary the devil, make a time of prayer and fasting to see if that is really your war.

THE SECOND OBJECTIVE OF FASTING: The second thing you need to learn as you fast and pray is, who is the real enemy? Someone may be manifesting all sorts of devilish power and causing much trouble and fear in people. Is that person really the one behind the battle, or is someone else in command?

Acts 16:16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
19 And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers,
20 And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,
21 And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.
22 And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.
23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:

There is no way I would assume that Paul did the wrong thing here. But, this story does show that spiritual warfare can result in a Satanic stronghold being destroyed. And, what follows could be much bigger than how the thing started. Be sure, by prayer and fasting, to learn what God's will is. And, the way God may reveal his will in the thing is for you to do your intelligence work. Is there a way you can learn who all will be in the battle fighting for Satan, and do they have a strategy for destroying you? Is the thing in front of you a trap which you need to avoid by using asymmetrical tactics? Instead of a frontal attack, can you blow up a bridge and cut off the enemy's supplies?

THE THIRD OBJECTIVE OF FASTING: Are you, and everyone on the side of Christ, cleansed of sin in your life? There is no way you can expect God to give you a victory if you have unconfessed sin, AND YOU KNOW IT. Is there an Achan in the camp who will prevent God from giving you the victory? By fasting and prayer, you may expect God to show you if this is a problem. Read about the Achan effect in Joshua 7.

 

Fast to show God our Earnestness

Jeremiah 23:9 Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake: I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the Lord, and because of the words of his holiness.

Although God knows our heart, he desires an open show of earnestness

Joel 2:12 Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:

God knew Abraham would offer his son but he desired the show of Faith.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

A good way to diligently seek God is in prayer and fasting.

 

Fast to keep the body in subjection to the Holy Spirit

I Corinthians 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye  may obtain.   
25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 
26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 
27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Fasting is a great way to remind yourself that your appetites, from self-love to sex to food to Fords, must be under the control of Jesus Christ if you expect to have any victory in your life. There is no blue ribbon given to anyone who cheats. And, with God, there are rules in the game of life that he expects you to keep.

2 Timothy 2:5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

When I was in boarding school for missionaries kids in Kenya, we kids used to combine the money from two Monopoly games. We also allowed players to go into debt to the bank and get loans instead of getting dumped out of the game when they were broke. This allowed the game to go on for days or weeks without running out of money. But, we had one strict law which we borrowed from Moses. If anyone was caught stealing from the bank, he had to pay back four times what he stole.

God has rules he expects you to obey as he blesses you and gives you victory. Break them, without repenting of your sins, and he will let you fail and set you aside and stop using you. If you are not sure where you stand with God in this discussion, it is time for prayer and fasting and self-examination.

Psalms 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

 

Fasting is needed when confronting a wicked ruler

As I write this article, millions of alleged born again Christians are cheering for President Donald Trump and claiming God sent him to save America. Trump is a raging fornicator and adulterer who threw away his first two wives and married a porn queen. This is called adultery by Jesus, but most of you preachers reading here have not got the testosterone to call it what it is because of the divorced and remarried adulterers in your church who tithe well.

Every time Trump calls in a mob of preachers to keep you suckered into believing he is a Christian, none of those preachers tell Trump the truth about his sin. These preachers are the kind who believe that the way to treat woman is to, "Grab them by the p___y," as Trump suggested to some young men.

Well, Jeremiah and Baruch did not wimp out on God when the leader needed to hear the truth:

Jeremiah 36:1 And it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that this word came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
2 Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day.
3 It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.
4 Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah: and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the LORD, which he had spoken unto him, upon a roll of a book.
5 And Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying, I am shut up; I cannot go into the house of the LORD:
6 Therefore go thou, and read in the roll, which thou hast written from my mouth, the words of the LORD in the ears of the people in the LORD'S house upon the fasting day: and also thou shalt read them in the ears of all Judah that come out of their cities.
7 It may be they will present their supplication before the LORD, and will return every one from his evil way: for great is the anger and the fury that the LORD hath pronounced against this people.
8 And Baruch the son of Neriah did according to all that Jeremiah the prophet commanded him, reading in the book the words of the LORD in the LORD'S house.
9 And it came to pass in the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, in the ninth month, that they proclaimed a fast before the LORD to all the people in Jerusalem, and to all the people that came from the cities of Judah unto Jerusalem.
10 Then read Baruch in the book the words of Jeremiah in the house of the LORD, in the chamber of Gemariah the son of Shaphan the scribe, in the higher court, at the entry of the new gate of the LORD'S house, in the ears of all the people.
11 When Michaiah the son of Gemariah, the son of Shaphan, had heard out of the book all the words of the LORD,
12 Then he went down into the king's house, into the scribe's chamber: and, lo, all the princes sat there, even Elishama the scribe, and Delaiah the son of Shemaiah, and Elnathan the son of Achbor, and Gemariah the son of Shaphan, and Zedekiah the son of Hananiah, and all the princes.
13 Then Michaiah declared unto them all the words that he had heard, when Baruch read the book in the ears of the people.
14 Therefore all the princes sent Jehudi the son of Nethaniah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Cushi, unto Baruch, saying, Take in thine hand the roll wherein thou hast read in the ears of the people, and come. So Baruch the son of Neriah took the roll in his hand, and came unto them.
15 And they said unto him, Sit down now, and read it in our ears. So Baruch read it in their ears.
16 Now it came to pass, when they had heard all the words, they were afraid both one and other, and said unto Baruch, We will surely tell the king of all these words.
17 And they asked Baruch, saying, Tell us now, How didst thou write all these words at his mouth?
18 Then Baruch answered them, He pronounced all these words unto me with his mouth, and I wrote them with ink in the book.
19 Then said the princes unto Baruch, Go, hide thee, thou and Jeremiah; and let no man know where ye be.
20 And they went in to the king into the court, but they laid up the roll in the chamber of Elishama the scribe, and told all the words in the ears of the king.
21 So the king sent Jehudi to fetch the roll: and he took it out of Elishama the scribe's chamber. And Jehudi read it in the ears of the king, and in the ears of all the princes which stood beside the king.
22 Now the king sat in the winterhouse in the ninth month: and there was a fire on the hearth burning before him.
23 And it came to pass, that when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, he cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth.
24 Yet they were not afraid, nor rent their garments, neither the king, nor any of his servants that heard all these words.
25 Nevertheless Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah had made intercession to the king that he would not burn the roll: but he would not hear them.
26 But the king commanded Jerahmeel the son of Hammelech, and Seraiah the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel, to take Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet: but the LORD hid them.

The people all fasted in Jerusalem according to verse 9. The king did not fast, and when given the message from God, he burned it. There is nothing more pathetic than to see the members of the local church come under convection of the Holy Spirit, and the pastor laughs it off or ignores their zeal. It does happen.

In the 1970s I was on deputation from the missionfield and speaking in California. I was booked into my old alma mater Biola University for the missions conference. When I got there to look the school over and get those good vibes and emotions that one gets from visiting the old school, I saw groups of students sitting around on the lawn during lunch time praying. I was startled. Nothing like that happened during the five years I was at the college. I asked some faculty members what was happening, and they told me a revival had broken out among the students. They said students would take their lunch hour and go to taco stands and eating places and witness to people. I asked if the faculty were having a revival also, and I was told they were not against it, but there was no revival in the faculty. They seemed to think they did not need it. I cried, for I knew that if the leaders did not lead in the revival, like Baruch and Jeremiah did, and like King Hezekiah did, the revival would die. And, it did die, and Biola soon was letting the students have pagan rock concerts on the week ends.

When revival breaks out in the local church, and the pastor does not step forward and lead, and humble himself, and bend his big belly over and kneel in prayer with the people, that church will soon die or become a Slough of Despond. That is the time when a godly man needs to confront the pastor and leaders about their cold hearts and accuse them before God. "Thou art the man."

When the pastor of the church you attend goes cold hearted, and starts preaching stale sermons that are "in the pot nine days old," YOU confront him, and read the Bible to him. Find Bible texts on cold heartedness, and accuse him, even before all the leaders, for those leaders are not dealing with him. So, they may attack you and run you off. A lady my daughter is dealing with right now confronted a patriarchal church that was going heretic, and she has been horribly attacked. She even got a death threat from a church member.

My son helped friends of his to leave a church where sexual and moral evil was rampant, and the pastor and his ex-Marine assistant came looking for my son to beat him up. My son locked all the doors and hid in the basement of the house and got his gun loaded and ready. When such things happen, it is too late to fast and pray. Fast and pray BEFORE you engage the enemy.

Before you wade into such a battle, take time for prayer and fasting to make sure you have the mind of Christ in everything you do. Your zeal must not be to set everyone straight. You must have only one objective, that is, do the will of God. I say this because, like with Jeremiah and Baruch, there may not be a happy ending to what you do for the Lord, at least not humanly speaking.

 

Fasting From People

Jesus went alone into the wilderness to fast and pray.

Matthew 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.

Jesus did not fast because there was sin in his life or because he lacked faith. Fasting was how he got his mind off of physical earthly issues and totally on his Father in Heaven. When you are busy for the Lord, it is possible to be distracted by people and lose your concentration on God. In a time like that, you may need to get away from people in order to hear from God. As we mentioned above, fasting is not the solution for sin in your life. The best thing to do about sin in your life is confess it at once, and get up and move on.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

So, there is a time to get away from people. This may be for an hour, or it may be for a number of days. If getting away from people would take you away from your responsibilities to keep the home, raise your kids, or go to work to sustain your family, you CANNOT fast from those people.

But, consider Facebook. Are you so obsessed with Facebook and Twitter that God seldom hears from you anymore? Your family and spouse cannot find time with you. You are parked in cyberspace in an addiction that is destroying your relationships. Do what it takes to fix that mess you have made of your life and your home. Shut down Facebook, Google, and Twitter, or just shut down the computer completely. Take a fast from those voices. They are NOT as important as your relationship with the Lord and with your spouse and kids. In fact, your neighbor next door is more important than those alleged friends on Facebook. Most of them do not care that much about you, and you are not nearly as much in need of them as you imagine.

Then again, there is the time to kiss your wife and kids one morning, and go to the ocean, walk out on to the end of the pier, and throw your bait in the water. You need to sit there for a half day or longer to clear your mind and think and commune with your soul and with God. Let your wife do the same thing once in a while. If you both trust one another and are totally faithful, no one needs to worry about what you are doing. A man who has his mind totally on Christ can be trusted on the steps of Hell.

If Jesus needed to get away from the people he came to save, and get away from his own disciples, he did so. He was not getting away from them because they got on his nerves. The Bible tells us he loved them to the end. He simply wanted to spend some time with his Father without any distractions. You don't need any other reason to fast from the masses..... God alone can be the reason. Just do not turn an hour alone into a week alone.

This is not a vacation, buster. A vacation is for you AND your family together. Husbands and wives who go on vacation alone are playing a selfish game, and one day it will end up in the wrong bed. When you married people go on vacation alone, you are going on vacation with the devil. In fact, I don't have much patience for women's and men's retreats. A wife who "needs to get alone with the girls" is in a very compromised situation. The same applies to the husband. I don't care if it is a missions trip to Mexico..... Paul told you not to part from one another except for fasting and prayer. Obey that command, and a lot of sin will be avoided.

 

How long do we fast?

No set time, but under the leadership of God.

Nowhere in the New Testament are we told any date on the calendar, or any day of the week or year, when we are to fast. Anyone who sets dates for fasting, or makes a ritual of fasting, is a heretic. Fasting, in the Church Age, is an individual affair, and only God is to be consulted for the right time to fast.

Obviously, as the rest of this article shows, there are circumstances in the Christian life which call for fasting and prayer in order to hear from God or to learn from God about issues of sin. These things are what suggest we need to fast.

So, if a fast is scheduled for a particular day of the year, in the local church or by church leaders, this sort of thing is highly suspect. Fasting in the Bible is almost always done when the crisis or need arises, not later when it is convenient. Beware of famous Amos evangelists or leaders who import a fast into your church in their brief case.

 

Jesus fasted for 40 days

Luke 4:1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.

Forty days of fasting is a long time. This should not be done lightly. And, if your physical condition is limited by any health issue, never try this. If you do try such a fast, why are you doing it? There better be a good reason. And, if your health becomes significantly compromised, such as extreme weakness, STOP THAT FAST. God does not give you any points in Heaven for putting yourself in Intensive Care in the hospital.

In the case of Jesus, he was doing this fast in his humanity, so he was not using his divine power to survive the fast. But, Jesus was in peak physical condition. He did not suffer the effects of sin in his body, and he walked everywhere he went in Galilee. If you are not in that condition, forget this marathon fasting.

 

Moses had a total fast for 40 days

Exodus 34:28 And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.

Moses was in Mount Sinai for forty days with God. He did not eat food nor drink water. This is physically impossible, so we must assume that God miraculously sustained him. You must never fast from water. You can virtually kill yourself doing that. Only fast from food, or fast from "pleasant food," that is, special food.

When we were missionaries in Ethiopia, the mission we were with designated the last Friday of every month as "Prayer Friday." On that day, we missionaries gathered together, sang a hymn, and we spent the day in prayer. At the noon hour, we had a bowl of soup, but nothing else. Children were fed a normal meal because children should not fast for any reason. These were special days to all of us, and the plan give us much more attention to detail and to one another's needs. It was a scheduled fast I suppose, but we really did not think of it as fasting. The point was to get our minds completely off of our physical needs and onto the Lord and the needs of his church.

 

Daniel fasted 21 days

Daniel 10:1 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.
2 In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks.
3 I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.

The number of days you fast is not what pleases God. It is the intent and condition of your heart before him. Another issue is that you may not have time to fast for many days because of your work or duties of your employment. A brief fast, with a right spirit, will please God just fine.

 

Esther and Mordecai fasted two days

Esther 9:26 Wherefore they called these days Purim after the name of Pur. Therefore for all the words of this letter, and of that which they had seen concerning this matter, and which had come unto them,
27 The Jews ordained, and took upon them, and upon their seed, and upon all such as joined themselves unto them, so as it should not fail, that they would keep these two days according to their writing, and according to their appointed time every year;
28 And that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city; and that these days of Purim should not fail from among the Jews, nor the memorial of them perish from their seed.
29 Then Esther the queen, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew, wrote with all authority, to confirm this second letter of Purim.
30 And he sent the letters unto all the Jews, to the hundred twenty and seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, with words of peace and truth,
31 To confirm these days of Purim in their times appointed, according as Mordecai the Jew and Esther the queen had enjoined them, and as they had decreed for themselves and for their seed, the matters of the fastings and their cry.
32 And the decree of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim; and it was written in the book.

As we said before, God kept his name out of the book of Esther, and there has to be a reason for that. The Bible does not tell us the reason, but both Mordecai and Esther behaved in some suspect ways. The issue of bowing to Hamen by Mordicai had nothing to do with worship. It was a custom in the Middle East, and still is, and Mordecai was out of line in refusing to bow. His rebellion reminds me of American Christians who refuse to wear masks during the Covid-19 epidemic claiming their rights. Mordecai was a rebel. Also, Esther let her uncle convince her to present herself to be the wife of the pagan king, and she became one of many wives. God gave us the book of Esther to show us how he preserved the Jews. The Jews are today in rebellion, but God still keeps them for the day they finally bow to their Messiah, Jesus Christ.

So, Purim is still observed by Jews today, but even Jewish religious leaders admit it was not God's idea. So, this is a case of a fast which very likely was not particularly pleasing to God. The point of this Book is that God preserved his people, even when they were not operating in his perfect will. Meditate on that the next time you claim God blessed your church business meeting where you used democracy to raise leaders to office. If God blesses your church, it is IN SPITE OF some of your behavior, not because of it.

 

Ezra fasted for an unspecified period of time

Ezra 8:21 Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.
22 For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him.
23 So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was intreated of us.

If God meant to give special spirituality points for a long fast, he would have inspired the writer of Ezekiel to tell us how many days they fasted.

It is not superior spirituality to fast until you pass out and have to be rushed to the hospital. That is just plain stupid. God is not impressed, and you basically get what is coming to you..... a big fat co-pay for the ambulance ride.

Furthermore, what are you going to tell the doctor in the Emergency Room?

"Oh doctor, you see, I am a Christian, and I wanted to impress God with how zealous I was for him.. So, I nearly killed myself so God would give me some big jewels in my crown."

The doctor will not be impressed with your Christian testimony. He will think your are a nut case, and he will prescribe a visit to a shrink for you..

God is not looking for self-inflicted pain. He is looking for YOU. He simply invites you to take some time to put your full attention on him.

 

WHY NO REVIVAL

There are a couple of reasons we no longer hear about revival breaking forth in areas of the nation or the world.

1. First, God will not give you a revival based on preaching from a Bible that has deleted one of the names of Jesus Christ over 1200 time. I mean the New International Version. You probably laugh at the "King James only" people, right? There are over 200 new English translations and versions of the Bible today, and all but the King James Bible and the Geneva Bible are based on a Greek text that was produced by two English theologians who prayed to Mary, were drunks, and were personal friends of Madam Blavatski, a medium of Spiritualism. You will never have a revival as long as you preach from a corrupted Bible. If you do not like this bit of reality from me, so what? I am giving it to you waist high and straight across the plate.

2. But, in the context of our discussion here, you will also never have a revival until the Lord's Church turns from their wicked ways. I notice Vice President Pence loves to quote II Chronicles 7:14, but he always leaves out the phrase, "and turn from their wicked ways." That, right there, is why you have no revival. When a preacher weighs 400 pound and cannot see his shoes because his belly is so huge, he cannot have a revival in his church. He needs to repent of his lust for food. So, what is your problem you will not own up to before God?

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

"Fasting, if we conceive of it truly, must not be confined to the question of food and drink; fasting should really be made to include abstinence from anything which is legitimate in and of itself for the sake of some special spiritual purpose.

There are many bodily functions which are right and normal and perfectly legitimate, but which for special peculiar reasons in certain circumstances should be controlled. That is fasting."
Martin Lloyd-Jones, Westminster Chapel, London

ďThe flesh resists this daily humiliation, first by a frontal attack, and later by hiding itself under the words of the spirit (i.e. in the name of 'Christian liberty'). We claim liberty from all legal compulsion, from self-martyrdom and mortification, and play this off against the proper evangelical use of discipline and asceticism; we thus excuse our self-indulgence and irregularity in prayer, in meditation and in our bodily life.

"But the contrast between our behavior and the word of Jesus is all too painfully evident. We forget that discipleship means estrangement from the world, and we forget the real joy and freedom which are the outcome of a devout rule of life. As soon as a Christian recognizes that he has failed in his service, that his readiness has become feeble, and that he has sinned against another's life and become guilty of another's guilt, that all his joy in God has vanished and that his capacity for prayer has quite gone, it is high time for him to launch an assault upon the flesh, and prepare for better service by fasting and prayer (Luke 2:37; 4:2: Mark 9:29;
1 Cor. 7:5).Ē
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

Nehemiah 1:4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,
5 And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:
6 Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned.

These are Nehemiah's words, after hearing of the way Jerusalem had been trodden down and the walls fallen into rubble.

Moses Fasted because he feared God would destroy the Hebrews for their sin:

Deuteronomy 9:18 And I fell down before the LORD, as at the first, forty days and forty nights: I did neither eat bread, nor drink water, because of all your sins which ye sinned, in doing wickedly in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.

This is a rare case of a water fast. It must not be carelessly done because dehydration could result in a physical crisis. As I said above, God is not impressed if your zeal for him sends you to the Emergency Room.

So, if you really long for revival in your church, stop worrying yourself about national sins and the sins of the Baptists across town, or of the folly of Benny Hinn and Joel Osteen. Get YOUR life right before God, and give yourself to prayer and fasting for your church and pastor. See if God will send that revival you long for.

The great revival that swept all of Wales long ago, and emptied every bar in Wales, was started when a 12 year old girl stood in a regular church service and said, "I thank thee Lord Jesus for dying for me."


 

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I edited this article over and over to try to make it clear what is happening. So, if you have questions, or need clarification of something, please send mail. I will answer it the best I can.

 

 

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