Fasting 2

We have looked at some key verses on fasting and before we post those, we will make a few comments.

First, fasting is a serious act. The believer needs to remember that fasting is communicating an attitude and it is not made to be part of a fad; a game or some taken for granted manner.

Second, fasting is done from a specific heart attitude. The person fasting has a burdened heart whether it is for prayer requests, redemption or seeking God’s will in certain matters.

Third, fasting is an expression of humility. People who fast have seen the error of their ways or specific actions and they humble themselves before God.

Fourth, when a person fasts, they should not always expect a positive answer to their purpose for fasting. God’s choice of answers is not always influenced because a person takes to fasting.

Fifth, fasting is not a public spectator sport. It is not done to gain points with others or to look spiritual. Nor is it to be done to show people you are obeying God. You need the right attitude when you fast or you are probably wasting your time.

sixth, fasting should be done without sin or sinful acts accompanying it.

seventh, fasting can be done when one truly repents from their sinful ways and want to receive mercy from God.

Fasting is not to be taken lightly and it should be a subject that is taught correctly in the church. When you read the following verses, look to the heart attitude behind the act of fasting. In simple terms, fasting should be genuine:

Jonah 3:5-9

5 The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.

6 When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust.
7 This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh: “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink.
8 But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence.
9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”

Isaiah 58: 3-7

‘Why have we fasted and You do not see?
Why have we humbled ourselves and You do not [a]notice?’
Behold, on the day of your fast you find your desire,
And drive hard all your workers.
“Behold, you fast for contention and strife and to strike with a wicked fist.
You do not fast like you do today to make your voice heard on high.
“Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it for bowing [b]one’s head like a reed
And for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed?
Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the Lord?
“Is this not the fast which I choose,
To loosen the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the bands of the yoke,
And to let the oppressed go free
And break every yoke?
“Is it not to divide your bread [c]with the hungry
And bring the homeless poor into the house;
When you see the naked, to cover him;
And not to hide yourself from your own flesh?

Matthew 6: 16- 18

16 “Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they [j]neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face 18 so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

Ezra 8: 21-23

21 Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God to seek from Him a [h]safe journey for us, our little ones, and all our possessions. 22 For I was ashamed to request from the king troops and horsemen to [i]protect us from the enemy on the way, because we had said to the king, “The hand of our God is [j]favorably disposed to all those who seek Him, but His power and His anger are against all those who forsake Him.” 23 So we fasted and sought our God concerning this matter, and He [k]listened to our entreaty.

2 Samuel 12: 15-17

Then the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s [i]widow bore to David, so that he was very sick. 16 David therefore inquired of God for the child; and David fasted and went and lay all night on the ground. 17 The elders of his household stood beside him in order to raise him up from the ground, but he was unwilling and would not eat food with them.

Daniel 9: 3-6

So I [a]gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed and said, “Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances. Moreover, we have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers and all the people of the land.

Acts 13: 2-3

While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

Joel 2: 12-13

12 “Yet even now,” declares the Lord,
“Return to Me with all your heart,
And with fasting, weeping and mourning;
13 And rend your heart and not your garments.”
Now return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and compassionate,
Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness
And relenting of evil.

Psalms 35: 13-14

13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth;
I humbled my soul with fasting,
And my prayer kept returning to my bosom.
14 I went about as though it were my friend or brother;
I bowed down [e]mourning, as one who sorrows for a mother.

Nehemiah 1: 4

When I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.

Luke 2: 36-37

36 And there was a prophetess, [n]Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in [o]years and had lived with her husband seven years after her [p]marriage, 37 and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers.

Esther 4: 15-16

15 Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, 16 “Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens also will fast in the same way. And thus I will go in to the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish.”

Acts 14: 23

When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

2 Samuel 1: 11-12

11 Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them, and so also did all the men who were with him. 12 They mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and his son Jonathan and for the people of the Lord and the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.

These verses should show the seriousness that is part of fasting. You will notice that there is no frivolity no novelty, no careless attitude involved. Fasting is done by serious believers who truly want to please God and live according to his ways. Just because other religions have their members fast and pray does not make either act wrong, sinful or those religions Christian. The attitude and the faith behind the acts is what sets the Christian fasting apart from other religions.

It is done in spirit and truth.

Fasting

We found a topic that we have not addressed yet. We will take a few days to try to study the biblical approaches to fasting but for this post, we are going to rely on works from other sites to get the topic rolling. we are not going to quote long passages, just enough to give people the idea. The final quoted work is something we wrote for a secular website

#1. https://www.gotquestions.org/fasting-Christian.html

Christian fasting – what does the Bible say?

Scripture does not command Christians to fast. God does not require or demand it of Christians. At the same time, the Bible presents fasting as something that is good, profitable, and beneficial

#2. http://www.inplainsite.org/html/fasting.html

What Biblical Fasting is Not

(1) A Physical or Psychological Discipline

(2) A Manipulative Tool

(3) A Hypocritical Religious Exercise

#3. The Facts About Fasting

Hearing the word ‘fasting’

Sends many people running screaming in terror. To them fasting means not eating for a long time and they do not like that thought. But fasting is a lot more than just missing but on some food for a few days.

What is fasting

Basically, a fast is where you go without food and sometimes water for an extended period of time. Fasts are done for a variety of reasons and the most common ones are spiritual health, medical benefits, as well as trying to lose a few pounds.

Before you go on a fast, you should talk to your doctor. You may have some hidden medical issues that may interfere with your fasting plans.

Types of fasts

It really doesn’t matter which type of fast you chose to follow. They all give the same health benefits. Plus, you do not need to use a fast that has the word cleanse or detox in them. All fasts cleanse and detox your body.

  • Dry fasts- this is the one most people hate. You avoid both food and liquids during this type of fast
  • Liquid fast- here at east you get to drink some healthy liquids as you cleanse your body. You can go with water only or use juice and have a little nutrition as you fast
  • Partial fast- here you eat a little food, but the key is what foods you do eat and which ones you exclude
  • Intermittent fast- in this fast you alternate between eating and fasting periods. You can design your intermittent schedule.

When you do a fast, make sure you prepare for it first. That will protect you from some negative side effects that can take place when you deprive your body of food and liquids.

The health benefits of fasting

To protect yourself from certain brain diseases a regularly scheduled fast can help protect you from the effects of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Just 2 days a week can keep your brain healthy and disease protected.

Other health benefits include

  • Keeps blood pressure and other fluids balanced
  • Helps moderate blood sugar levels
  • Strengthen immune system
  • Burns fat
  • Protects brain from stress related damage

This is just food for thought and we will try to get back later in the week with more information

Two Articles

One we liked and one we didn’t. We will go with the one we liked first.

#1. Academic Papershttps://www.christianpost.com/voice/fake-papers-reveal-academic-rot.html

The joke was played on academic journals, but the politically-correct corruption of higher learning is no laughing matter.

Twenty years ago, mathematician Alan Sokal set out to prove that postmodernism in academia was “fashionable nonsense.” So, he wrote a gibberish paper combining post-structuralist lingo with physics terms, and submitted it to the journal, “Social Text.” Not only was his deliberate drivel accepted, but over 1,500 papers have cited it as source material.

As you know we do not like scientific or academic papers. They are more about unnecessary things than finding any real problem or solution. We find them a waste of time on the part of the researcher and those who actually take the time to read them. The article is a great read and provides a lot of reasons why we cannot trust the academic world.

We never liked the peer review process either. It is far too easy to manipulate and get support for wrong ideas.

Whole swathes of higher learning are captive to left-wing ideology. Schools and journals are run as searches for oppression and power dynamics instead of truth. But this whole saga reveals more than the nakedness of the academic emperor. It also reveals how ripe the moment is for Christians to offer the education world an alternative.

We would like to see honest, valid, legitimate, Christian alternatives but we do not trust the Christian world that much either. Too many academics or professional archaeologists follow the secular academic rules and not God’s rules. We know some of these people. There are a lot of Christians who do not want the truth either and use their platforms to preach their alternatives.

My point is, we’ve done this sort of thing before. Let’s do it again. With mainstream academic journals going to the dogs, now’s not the time for Christians to lose our educational souls to fashionable nonsense. Now’s the time to recommit to truth.

We would contribute legitimate papers to such a venture if certain conditions were met.  We like the truth.

#2. We do not need theatrics in the Church https://www.christianpost.com/news/david-platt-prays-inside-tunnel-north-korea-asks-gates-of-hell-not-to-prevail-against-church-228190/

Pastor David Platt recently visited the border between North and South Korea, praying for persecuted believers outside a demolished church and inside a secret tunnel.

Platt, who leads McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. and serves as president of the International Mission Board, a position from which he has said he will be resigning from, posted several video clips on Thursday of him praying for Christians in the world’s most oppressive regime.

In one video posted online at the Demilitarized Zone on the Korean Peninsula, Platt revealed that he was standing outside a church building that was destroyed by Communists, leading to “all kinds of torturing and killing” happening inside

The Bible does not say use theatrics for prayer. It tells us to go into our closets and pray. Why does God tell us to go in to private quarters to pray? One reason is that our prayers will be honest and not influenced by outside factors, like theatrics. observer’s opinions and more. God wants honest prayers, not those that only fuel emotion or makes one feel good.

We tried to watch that video as we wanted to see this church. We have been to basically every point on the DMZ where tourists are allowed to go and we did not see that structure he is standing by. We know of another church that was used for the purposes he stated but it is outside the DMZ and very few people visit it. But the point is, if we are burdened for people, any group of people or an individual, we need to follow biblical instruction.

You will notice that Jesus went away from the group to pray. He found secluded spots to talk to his father. We should not let emotion or popular ideas influence our praying habits.

When Japan was ruling here, and the pastor of this church refused to participate in shrine worship, the pastor was martyred.

In the video, he said communists. The Japanese were never communists.

Right behind me is a picture of faithful saints who in the last century worshiped Christ here and paid for it with their lives. It’s a reminder of church buildings like this all across North Korea,” he said, noting that all have been destroyed, or converted to be used for other purposes.

This is normal in atheistic countries and a lot of non-atheistic countries. There was an article recently asking the question why was Kim Jong-il afraid of Christianity? We didn’t get a chance to read it but the answer is, if he let Christianity be worshipped, he would no longer be seen as the Supreme leader of North Korea. The people would see the truth and he would not only lose face but he would lose all power and control over his people.

Let’s leave the theatrics to Hollywood and the church practice true Christianity through obedience to God’s instructions.

 

Stick to the Truth

In Walsh’s video published by The Daily Wire on YouTube last week, he argued that although he doesn’t “question the sincerity or the faithfulness of six-day Creationist folks,” he positioned that when the belief is preached, it can “inadvertently do some harm” and “put obstacles in the way, especially for non-believers.”

https://www.christianpost.com/news/ken-ham-hits-back-after-matt-walsh-claims-creationists-make-reaching-others-with-christianity-harder-228119/

When talking about the Bible it is best to stick to the truth. Paul told us that the unbeliever cannot do anything against the truth.  The truth does not do any harm to evangelism. Misrepresenting what the Bible says does the harm. If you tell the truth, the only person putting obstacles in the way of unbelievers converting is evil.

Faith and love means that you believe God. If God said he created in 6 24 hour days then our faith and our love have us siding with God over sinful man and his words.

If you state something about the Bible that the Bible does not say, then you are not stating what God said but what you want to believe. You are not evangelizing someone to God’s faith but your own version of it. You are communicating that God cannot even get his own act of creation correct. Who would want to believe in a God like that and who would want to adopt a faith where the adherents do not even believe their own God?

The truth is, God created in 6 24 hour days just like he said. There was no failure by God to communicate his creative act to his biblical writers and their was no altering the creative act because the biblical writers did not understand any alternatives. They wrote what God told them he did and since God cannot lie, there are no alternatives to the creation accounts found in Genesis.

The people who are doing harm and creating obstacles are those who adopt and promote alternatives to the truth.

Marital Happiness

The following is an interesting article to read

https://www.christianpost.com/news/fewer-sexual-partners-before-marriage-yield-greater-happiness-marriage-study-228128/

Fewer Sexual Partners Before Marriage Yield Greater Happiness in Marriage: Study

We take scholarly studies with a grain of salt. Peer review, scientific papers, etc., say a whole lot about nothing and they rarely provide any real answers for anyone.

New research reveals that marriages are quantifiably happier if the couple had fewer sexual partners prior to their wedding day.

We really did not need a scientific or academic study to tell us that. But we will further say that when people are unhappy in a marriage, they can commit adultery no matter how many previous sexual partners they had before they got married. Our question is this- why is this article posted on a Christian newspaper website? It certainly doesn’t talk about God’s views about sin, marriage and sex.

It doesn’t talk about how sex before marriage is adultery and it isn’t really news, so why is it there? We think that it is because many believers have had sex before marriage and not just before they were Christians. The trend is that sex is more important than obeying God. We know it takes place and that a lot of Christians do not want to wait till marriage to enjoy one of life’s simplest and best pleasures.

It saddens us to think this but we know it is the reality. So we will just make a blunt statement- sex before marriage is sin and adultery. There is no altering that fact. The good news is for those Christians who have participated in sex before marriage that adultery is not the unforgivable sin. It would be wise of the believer to truly repent of those sins and the attitude that got them involved in adultery if they want to make an impact for God.

Love is patient and if the man or woman truly love their partner they will not rob them of the beauty that comes with sex after marriage. They will not rob them of that happiness marriage is supposed to bring. Having sex before marriage is not progressive, it is not cool and it is not wise. It is selfish though. Both towards your future partner in life and to God. You are saying to him that his instructions do not matter and your personal pleasure is more important than obedience to him.

We would advise you all to rethink your views on this issue if you agree that sex before marriage is okay. Obeying God is more important than anything else.