CASA CUVANTULUI

CASA CUVANTULUI

Category: Michael Bentley

PRAYER LETTER DECEMBER 2018. CHRISTMAS CHINCOTEQGUE, VA

Published / by lameh

Dear PRAYER PARTNERS,

The Messiah was born in Bethlehem according to Old Testament prophecies.

In Israel In 1969 I was riding in a big Mercedes taxi I think 8 or 9 people. My Hebrew was limited. We started from Bear Sheva going north to Jerusalem. It is 44 miles direct route. I found no grace to speak before we reached Bethlehem, which is 2 miles south of Jerusalem. As we reached Bethlehem I could keep silent no longer. I quoted Micah 5:2 in Hebrew. “But thou Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” The Messiah has always existed, “But when the fullness of the time was come, God brought forth his Son”. Galatians 4:4. “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14. May the Holy Spirit of God lead us into meditations of Jesus Christ’s birth.

Grace was given once again to make the 3-month summer tour from Paris to Romania-RO. I again had contact with the Jews in Budapest, Hungary-HU. I met an Israeli who has contact with an Israeli believer in Tel Aviv.

I renewed fellowship with 2 Independent Baptist churches in Romania-RO, in Beius & Hunadoara. It is helpful to hear of their blessings and needs. In Hunadoara a member of the church has prayed many years for his wife’s salvation. Florin’s wife was saved! Florin is a happy man. As usual in Bucharest, RO I spoke in Episcu Radu Church with Pishti Benedek translating. I met Pishti in 1988 as he invited me to teach in a week camp. That was before the change in government. And I spoke in the Maranatha Baptist church with Pastor Ioan Tone. He had in the last year a severe heart attack, but he is back preaching. I hurried on to Bulgaria-BG where I preached in Russe, Plovdiv and Sofia the capital. I was thankful for clothes Pastor Viorel Dumitru gave me in Giurgiu, RO for BG. Lit. was distributed. In Plovdiv Elisabeth Nicovi-Popov had a stroke on her spine and after a year and a half has made it to a wheel chair. Her father Dimitir Nicovi was pastor of the Baptist church and now her brother Stoico Nicovi is the pastor. In Katerini, Greece I visited Linda Callahan-Sinopidis who was a student in the Christian college TTS in Chattanooga when I was. Her husband has dementia and Linda is caring for him. I was blessed as I handed out Greek literature. Literature went out to truck drivers of many countries. I especially like to give out Turkish literature. I always meet them at the border between Germany-D & Austria-A.

Again we had our camp in Rucar, RO with the Mioveni church. There were about 30 young people mostly teen agers. We studied the Sermon on the Mount, Matt 5-7. I hurried back to France-FR by way of HU, Croatia-HR, Slovenia-SLO, Italy-IT, A, Switzerland-CH to leave for USA on Sept. 18. Jews were met in Budapest on the way back. I spoke in 2 Independent Baptist Churches in Biudapest at this time. Literature was distributed in Zagreb, HR and SLO and Trieste, IT, A & CH.

There was a meeting with 2 Pastors in CH: Bruno & Doris Scharer & Hans & Sylvie Rufenacht. I visited Donald & Violet Gyger in Tavanes, CH. Jesus helped me to arrange my affairs for my trip to USA.

In the USA I spoke in 2 supporting churches in my home town of Jacksonville, FL then I went to the 59thhigh school reunion in Bethesda, MD. I met 3 believing couples, a brother and 3 Jews and Toni Birch my roommate at University of Maryland in 1959. I met Glenn Fogle in Charlotte, NC who was a fellow student in Tennessee Temple Schools-TTS. He has a throat problem with difficulty speaking. In Chattanooga, TN I was with Richard Cohen. His Messiah has blessed him and he now is 70 and is receiving his social security check and has a part time job. I visited Casper Koning of Gospel Signs. He has turned the work over to 3 brothers. I have been distributing the coroplast Bible signs and metal ones. The Bible verse signs can be a silent witness in your front lawn. Casper will have open heart surgery December 5, 2018. I will be with my brother and sister for Christmas in Jax, FL. I will visit in FL in January. Jan. 27 I will be in Faith Baptist in Silver Springs, FL. I then head west to AL, LA, AR, OK & TX. I have 2 Baptist churches that support my ministry in Odessa, TX. I will visit Plains and Lubbock, TX where I have supporters. After TX then head toward Chicago. I plan to be in Davenport, IA with Sam Bolet & his church March 30-April 1, not confirmed. Then I will go to Chicago and from there I will fly to Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada then go to Thompson to be with Burntwood Baptist church, pastor Lee & Donna Picket. One of the members Joyce Trainor has been sick for a long time. I have prayed 4 years for Chrsitain singer Johnny Miles who is a back slidden Cree Indian. He posted no new song since 2013, In Nov. 2018 he posted a new song!!! You tube: johnnymilescreehymns

May15, 2019 I plan to return to France. The summer tour will be early in June. It is planned a 7-day meeting in the Mioveni church in RO in June. We will be studying the book of Revelation. I plan to go to UKRAINE-UA before the summer camp in Rucar, RO in early August.

Thanks for traveling with me with your prayers and interest,

MERRY CHRSITMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Michael Bentley. Rev 1:3

PRAYER UPDATE NOV 2018

Published / by lameh

PRAYER UPDATE NOVEMBER 7, 2018
SALAMANCA, NY NEAR BUFFALO
I came to USA Sept. 18 for an 8-month furlough. I spoke in 2 churches in Jacksonville, FL my home town. I went to my 59th high school reunion in Bethesda, MD. I was blessed to meet born again Christians there, 3 couples and a brother. I visited Glenn Fogle in Charlotte, NC, who was a student at TTS. Throat surgery of 5 years ago left his voice impaired. In GA I met Sally Lauderdale who is now 90 and living alone in Wrens, GA. Her husband George died and Intercession for Israel was closed. She is teaching Sunday school. I returned to Jacksonville to trade my car in on another and the new one is working all right.

I visited Richard Cohen in Chattanooga, TN who is now 70 years old. He was a student in Tenn. Temple schools in the 70’s. His father a Jew was saved and baptized in Highland Park Baptist Church in Chattanooga. I saw also Jeanne Allen & Curtis Stiltner who were students at TT Schools. I got gospel signs in Cross Plains, TN from Casper Koning of Gospel Text Mission. He has retired from the Mission and 3 other men are carrying on the ministry.

I visited Pastor Dwight Scott a supporter in Morrilton, AR. Br Floyd Stell was from this area. He died about a year ago, he was a student at TT Bible School. He would go with me to the Jews when we were Bible School students. I visited Pastor David Langley in Tulsa OK area for help on my computer. I spoke in his church Bethany Baptist in Tulsa.

I went to NY planning to meet supporters there. I am presently with David Kaus in Buffalo area in Salamanca where the Seneca Indians live. I will speak in East Pharsalia Baptist church Nov 11 a supporting church in NY. I will visit NJ, PA, VA, GA. In VA I will visit in Chincoteague at a supporting church in Horntown Baptist church. In GA I want to see May Suddeth and David & Barbara Beatty in Roswell, and Mary Evelyn Hernandes & her daughter’s family Leonel & Laura Valdez in LaGrange. There should be time to visit in AL in December. I plan to spend Christmas in Jacksonville, FL then visit in FL in January.

I am scheduled to teach the book of Revelations in a 7 or 8 day meeting in Mioveni, RO in June then in beginning of August we have an annual 1 week camp where I will continue The Life of Christ.

Michael Bentley Rev 3:20

PRAYER LETTER JUNE 2018

Published / by lameh

Frauenkirchen, Austria

Shalom Prayer Partners,

Thanks to your prayers God’s grace has kept me going. The summer tour has started. I was in Frauenkirchen, A this morning. The town’s name means The church of the Women. Jews were expelled from this small town. In 1876 there were 864 Jews here, in 1938 there were 400. The Nazis came to expel the 400 Jews, and all were expelled. Later that year Nov. 9-10 was Crystal Nacht in Germany when Jews were harassed, their shops broken, & their synagogues & homes or apartments burned. Some of the Jews of Frauenkirchen went to Hungary where the Nazis took them to Auschwitz Concentration Camp. The synagogue in Frauenkirhen was destroyed in 1938. I visited the old Jewish cemetery and area where the synagogue was. In the old Jewish cemetery there are 1200 graves. This is the 3rdconsecutive year I have stayed in Paula camping run by Helmut Hochedlinger in Frauenkirchen. He has helped me each year, especially this year. Today I came to Budapest, HU to be at the synagogue Shabbat morning.

May 1 I went to England with the De Rozier Drakotoarisoa family with their 4 children for 6 days. They are originally from Madagascar. We went by car and ferry. Some literature was given getting on the ferry going to GB. I visited Anthony & Jeanne Atwood whom I knew from my years in Israel. Anthony worked among the Arabs. I had 3 blessed days of distribution in Northampton. Many took. One woman stopped to share her experience. She was in the church in her teens and distributing as I was doing. She got pregnant and was rejected by church & parents and then fell into sin. She did not appear ready to return to Christ. If I would have had the 4thday I could have finished my literature. I got hit hard with lower stomach-bowel pain. It came and went for the next month. I met Patrick in distribution in Northampton and he has been visiting Anthony and his meeting since. He apparently is after abusive drug use with brain damage. June 20 I saw a specialist for internal medicine and his ultra sound test showed nothing alarming, but more tests may need to be done. The doctor received the tract and commented a little.

In mid-May I traveled in France on my annual France-Tour with a 1 night visit in Switzerland-CH. While putting up a Bible poster a man was right up next to my shoulder. He said he wanted to help me put the poster up. All was ready so I gave it to him. He did a good job but when he read “Do you believe on the Son of God” he realized he was into something he did not want to be a part of! He shouted to his buddies what he had just done! On another occasion a man came from the bar opposite where I was putting up the same poster about the Son of God. He came close and asked who is that for? I said “for you!”. He did not agree, but he said it was all right to poster it. I again visited retired pastor Kurt & Mireille Rugger. Kurt helped me find posters in Montelimare. Mireille called city hall and they told her where 12 posters where. That was a great help. Their church in Dieu le Fit must move but for perhaps 2 years they can not find another place to rent. During WW11 the Mayor of Dieu le Fit got false ID papers for Jews to get them out of FR into CH which is not far from their city. I was thankful to see François & Veronique Blum in Lyon. He is a Messianic Jew and works with Jews for Jesus. Their son Olivier is in full time ministry among students in Lyon area. I went to Bienne, CH to see Pastor Hans & Sylvie Rufenacht. His church supports my ministry. I stayed with Donald & Violet Gyger once again. It had been several years since I saw them. Donald is retired and is quite busy. They have always helped immigrants. I was able to get a good supply of French tracts in Bienne. Pastor Louis Marie Lemofac in Olivet near Orleans, FR was happy to get a good portion of these tracts as his church is very active and regular in distribution.

As the summer tour begins I meet truck drivers from various countries and literature is received in their languages. Each year I stop at the D-A border especially to give Turkish tracts. This time there was a good distribution to the Turkish drivers. In the camp sites often Dutch-NL is needed. It is a challenge to get out and distribute in the rest stops but once distributing Christ gives grace and blessing. I was in Germany ready to enter A. I had to stop to make a call. After the call I offered a man a tract. He said I had spoken to him before! I remember that meeting. He is Romanian born living in D. His work brings him to rest stops often. After getting my literature at GBV in Eschenberg, D, I went to visit Michael Gabi. Michael was born a Muslim in Jerusalem. He came to Christ while I was living in Jerusalem in 1982. I moved into his apartment to help disciple him, but his family did not allow it. The First Baptist Bible Church of East Jerusalem ministered and prayed for Michael. A sister in Christ witnessed to him earlier on a train in Europe. Michael settled in Germany and has 8 children. The youngest now is about 13. I went to Berg to Word of Life for the week end. As always they were helpful and gave me food and a place to park my van in which I slept. Sunday morning I attended the meeting in Wolfratshousen in which I shared about the Jew. Jn 4:22 I stayed in the evening with the Rainer & Valerie Nothoft family, 5 children. The oldest Benjamin who is 18 was a great help to me. Irmgard Krauter filled my van again on Sunday evening. Benjamin arranged so I did not have to sleep on the front seat as the back was full. Benjamin helped find a place to sleep in Salzburg, in an Evangelical Church. I was glad to meet Pastor Stefan & Claudia Huoniger, they have 5 children. They have an international church as there are members from several different countries. I did a distribution near the church. I met one man who had a friend who went to the Baptist church in Salzburg. He had had a serious heart operation, he showed me his scars. I pushed on to Paula Camp where Helmut gave me a cabin for free for 3 nights.

I will be in RO from June 26 to July 17: 26-27.6-Beius,Pastor Beltechi-Baptist; 28-29.6 Hunadoara-Mihai Czentye-Baptist; 30.6- 1-3.7 Cisnedia-Ovidiu Domnariu, 4-5.7 Medias, 6.7 Talmachiu; Hunadoara-Mihai C., 7-10.7; 11-14.7 Camp Birheni Don Forrester of Fredericksburg, VA teaching; 14-15.7 Bucahrest- Episcoradu church & Maranatha Baptist; 16.7 Giurgiu, Pastor Viorel Dumitru; Bulgaria-BG 17-30: 17-19.7 Russe, Baptist pastor Ivaylo Syarov, Darin Ivanov, Bishop Peter; 20-22.7, Plovdiv Baptist church Stoico Nicovi; 23-24.7 Baptist Pastor Mitco Podgorsky; 25-26.7 Katerini, Greece, 27.7 Sandansky, BG; 28-29.7 Sofia-Pastor Rassovsky; 30.7 Russe,BG; RO-July 31-Aug.16: 31.7-9.8 Mioveni, 1-3.8 Mioveni meeting The Jew, 4-10.8 Camp Rucar -Sermon on Mount; 11.8 Piatra Nametz wedding of Tibi & Emanuela; 12-16.8 RO; HU 17-20.8 Budapest; 21-22.8 Zagreb, Croatia-HR; 23-24.8 Slovenia-SLO; 25-27.8 Trieste, Italy-IT; 28-29.8 A; 30-31.8 D, Ludwigsburg, challenge Afghan converts, 1-3.9 back to FR.

I plan to come to the USA MID SEPTEMBER, 2018 to MID MAY 2019. I will need your prayers to meet these appointments. May our good works glorify our Father in heaven. Matt 5:16

April 13, 2018. ATHIS-MONS, FRANCE

Published / by lameh

April 13, 2018. ATHIS-MONS, FRANCE
Dear Prayer Partners,
I have enjoyed being home since I returned from Crete March 17. I had one day of postering. After a year of trouble with my laptop I finally ordered a new one. I enjoyed handing out tracts and Bible meditation calendars since I returned to FR. I supplied others with tracts and calendars. Two are waiting for me to send them Bible posters. One is in Cameroon, East Africa. There needs to be Bible posters printed in Africa.

April 14 to 20 I will be in Northampton, England. I will visit Antony & Jean Atwood who worked among Arabs in Jerusalem. I plan to give out tracts and join the Atwoods in their church and ministries. I recall giving out tracts-in NORTHAMPTON when a Christian stopped to talk. He had just come from the doctor who told him he had cancer. Jesus Christ has His purposes in His leading in our lives.

Mid-May I will have my annual trip in France putting up posters, visiting believers and visiting churches. I will speak in Saone, FR May 27 in Saone Assembly. I will be with Jean Paul Burgat, who has over 60 years of service for Christ in FR. May 29-30 I will visit Switzerland. I will visit Hans & Sylvia Rufenacht. Hans had an operation to help with pain in the neck he has had many years. When I return to my studio, I will go to Normandy, FR to Cabourg and I will visit the Independent Baptist church in Bayeux, pastored by Eric Hossack. I saw his father in the South Paris conference recently. He is 84 and still active. He is an American Independent Baptist Missionary.
Today I was able to witness to a Jew I have known many years. I used the current feats of Israël. Passover: Jesus was the Passover Lamb sacrificed for sin. 1 Cor 5:7, John 1:29; Bread without leaven: The sinless Jesus Christ, 11 Cor 5:21; Firstftuits: Jesus was the first fruits from the dead 1 Cor 15:23; feast of Weeks, Pentecost: Jesus from His Father’s throne sent the Holy Spirit on the first believers who were all Jews, Acts 2.
Holocaust Remembrance Day was April 12. Israel’s Armed Service’s Day is April 18, followed by the next day Independence Day.
The 3 month summer tour will begin in 2nd week of June , I pray. By mid-September I trust to be in USA for 8 months.
Thank you for the encouragement I receive from your prayers.
Traveling as Christ permits,
Michael Isaiah 53:1-6

HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY BIBLE

Published / by lameh

HAIFA TO TIBERIAS, ISRAEL
Jan. 2, 2018 I traveled by bus from HAIFA to TIBERIAS. This was my birthday and this trip was my birthday present from Jésus Christ. Many events from the Bible come to mind in the area of this trip. Tiberias is about 40 miles East of HAIFA.
HAIFA is on Mt Carmel. 1 Kings 18. Elijah’s contest with the worshippers of Baal. Elisha took Elijah’s place and he also lived on Mt Carmel as Elijah. 2Kgs 4:25 The Shunammite woman came to Elisha to his house on Mt Carmel. Naaman came here as well. 2 Kgs 5:8-9. NT Carmel is on the south west end of the Valley of Jezreel.
In the western end of the Valley of JEZREEL is Haroshet of the Gentiles. Here dwelt Sisera captain of Jabin’s Canaanite Army. He fought Deborah & Barak of ISRAEL. The brook Kishon flows west out of the Valley of Jezreel into the Mediterranean Sea. Sisera lined up his 900 chariots of iron along the Kishon in preparation for his attack on Israel’s army which had no weapons. Jdgs 4:13; 5:8 for no weapon. Elijah killed the prophets of Baal by the Kishon. 1Kgs 18:40. On Carmel Elijah prayed for rain. 1 Kgs 18:42-46. JEZREEL mentioned in verses 45-46 is the city of JEZREEL. It was in the Valley of JEZREEL. In the western part of the Valley of JEZREEL is the tribe of Asher. When you are near to Tiberias on the western shore of the Sea Of Galilee you are in Zebulon. Matt 4:13-16 in Capernaum Jesus lived after leaving NAZARETH. Zebulon goes south to the Jezreel Valley.
As you come to Tiberias you are in Galilee. Just before Tiberias the mound of the Horns Of Hitim is easily seen. Here was the last big battle of the Crusaders against the Muslims. The Muslim leader was Salacn Il Din. Din is judgement in Arabic and Hebrew. After this the Crusaders left ISRAEL. The Sea Of Galilee is also called the Sea Of Tiberias. Jn 6:1 Luke called it the Lake Of Gennesaret. Lk 5:1. It is also called Sea of Chinneroth which is plural for Chinnereth. Joshua 12:3. Modern ISRAEL calls it the Sea of Chinnereth. Which means violin as it is shaped like a violin. The Sea water level is the lowest my friend Benjamin Brenner has seen in 60 years. It rained on the day I came Jan. 2 and today the 4th it has rained, for which many are pleased, but much more rain is needed.
Jan. 2-5, 2018 Rain around the Sea of Galilee ! On Jan. 5 an amazing downpour! Yeshoua Hamashiac has abundantly answered our prayers. Elijah before praying for rain after 3 ½ years of no rain, told King Ahab “Get thee up, eat & drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain.” 1 Kgs 18:41. Elijah said to his servant after praying for rain on Mt Carmel “Go up, say unto Ahab, prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not.” 1Kgs 18:44 Missionary George Wald who knew the Jezreel Valley as a soldier in British Army in 1930s said When it rained the Jezreel Valley became a sea of mud. And that is what happened to the 900 chariots of Sisera when the banks of the Kishon overflowed. In Judges 4 is recorded the battle of Sisera against Barak. In v 15 Sisera leaves his chariot and flees on foot. I assume what happened is the chariots of Canaan were in the mud. The Kishon overflowed. Jdgs5:20-21. The stars fought against Sisera. It rained and the Kishon overflowed. “The river of Kishon swept them away, that ancient river, the river Kishon.”
Yeshoua Hamashiac has an abundance of spiritual blessings to pour out unto His believers.

Michael David Bentley

Christian friends

Published / by lameh

JERUSALEM December 7, 2017
Christian friends,
Interesting, exciting, historic and prophetic events are happening in Israel especially concerning JERUSALEM. On Dec. 6 President Donald Trump recognized Israel’s right to have their capital in Jerusalem and he wants the American Embassy moved from Tel Aviv to JERUSALEM. Before Trump’s speech commentator Jacob “Corbi” Barkai (?) compared Trump to President Truman who was the first president to recognize Israel as a nation in 1948. Trump mentioned Truman in his speech. I find it interesting that an Arab said Trump’s declaration was a second Balfour declaration. In 1917 Balfour of England promised England’s help to establish a Jewish homeland in Israel. Recently was the 100th year anniversary of British General Allenby taking ISRAEL from the Ottoman Turkish Empire. General Allenby was a born again Christian.
I was walking in JERUSALEM and offered a Hebrew tract, a man said he did not read Hebrew. He reads English. In my hand I had an English tract entitled JESUS. He did not want it. We were in between where Jesus was born and died. From Bethlehem to Jerusalem is about 4 miles and we were in the middle. People come so close to Jesus but many miss the purpose for which He came. “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Like 19:10. This was God’s plan from the beginning of time. Many this Christmas will not realize who Jésus Christ is. A few days later I was walking in JERUSALEM with books in my hand. I said hello to a religious couple. The man had side curls. It was the first evening of Hanukkah. John 10:22 Feast Of Dedication. We talked and the woman asked what I had in my hand. I hesitated but then said books. She wanted one. I gave the one on top which was in large format brochure but thin on the prophecy of Daniel. Now a book in Hebrew is visible. The man asked about the book titled “This Man”. The title is a an expression in Hebrew for Jesus. He asked who is he. I said he was born 2 kilometers south of here and died 2kilometers north of here. He said he would check it out. Micah 5:2 predicts that the Messiah will be born in Bethlehem. “But thou, BETHLEHEM Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” The Messiah, the Son of God has always existed. Jesus Christ is God In human flesh, Immanuel-God with is. “ But when the fullness of the time was come , God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law. To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” Gal 4:4-5. The Redeemer has come! After Jesus was circumcised on His 8th day, and Mary passed the time of her purification, Joseph & Mary brought Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord. Luke 2:21-24. It was revealed to Simeon that he would see the Lord’s Christ (Messiah) before his death. When he saw the baby Jesus, he said “For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation. Which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel.” Lk 2:25-32. Now is the first day of Hanukkah, the Feast of lights. Jesus is the Light of the world. John 8:12. Anna also knew at this time when Mary & Joseph brought Jesus to the Temple who the child Jesus was. “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.” Lk 2:38. Those who accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior “Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Rom 3:24.
I will leave Israel Jan. 14, 2018 for France. Feb. 7 I will fly to Romania for a month. My conference in Mioveni assembly is Feb. 11-18. We will study the miracles of Jesus in John. The first 2 weeks of March I will be in Crete, Greece before returning to FRANCE.
Let us make plans to serve the risen Christ in the NEW YEAR.
A BLESSED REMEMBRANCE OF CHRIST’S BIRTH and
A FRUITFUL NEW YEAR FOR THE GLORY OF GOD!
In Messiah’s love,
Michael David Bentley. Like 2:11

PRAYER LETTER NOV 2017

Published / by lameh

PEAYER LETTER NOVEMBER 2017. JERUSALEM, ISRAEL
Dear prayer partners,
My last prayer Letter was written as I began the 2017 summer tour. It was by Christ’s power & grace I accomplished the tour. Thank you for your prayers & finances. God miraculously provided the funds during the trip. Some of the churches I visited helped financially. It was 6500 miles. In Germany-D at GBV Literature supply a brother gave me extra lit. which I was thankful to have. Among the lit. were 750 Ukrainian calendars which I distributed some myself and some to other distributors. I am blessed when I distribute tracks in mail boxes in D & Austria (A). Irmgard near WOLD as each year loaded me up with gifs, some of which we used in MIOVENI-Rucar Camp. I was able to share to workers in Word of Life- WOLD-Germany Camp. I again was blessed to share in nearby to WOLD in WOLFRATSHAUSEN church. On the border between D & A there are always Turkish trucks as the border between Italy-IT & A. Camping in A,Croatia-HR,Slovenia-SLO,IT & D gave opportunities to distribute and witness. Jews were met in Budapest, Hungary-HU especially from Israël. A Russian Jew was open to receive a witness. WOLHU is a needed place to rest and organize, pray and reach Jews in nearby Budapest.
A message which I preached during the summer wasThe Progressive Revelation of the Lamb in the Bible. From Gen 4 Abel’s lamb to Rev 21 & 22. The Lamb is first an animal, Gn 22 Abraham & Isaac, Ex 12 Passover lamb, Lev 4:32 Lamb of sin offering, then in IS 53 a Person the Messiah and in NT it is Jesus The Lamb of God, Jn 1:29, Acts 8:29-35, 1 Ptr 1:18-21, and the Lamb of the New Jerusalem in Rev 21-22 where the Lamb is mentioned 7 times! I got this from J. Sidlow Baxter.
As I enter Romania I visit 2 Independent Baptist churches-IBC in BEIUS & Hunadoara. In Cisnedia I visit Ovidiu & Nelly Domnariu. They help in the Mioveni-Rucar Camp. I preached 4 times in RO before I entered Ukraine-UA on July 5. The new director at the Baptist camp outside of Chernovsy, UA Vitali, welcomed me on my first and last day in UA (20 days). I pushed on to ROVNO where I visit the IBC Pavlichenko. Saturday I spoke in the Messianic meeting in Rovno and retired pastor of Pavlichenko came as he would not be in ROVNO church on Sunday. He is over 90 and came by train by himself. His parents kept Jews during WW 11, as other believing families did. The visit with Stephen & Ina Yanchuk & their daughter was nice as usual. Ina got through cancer treatments. Stephen’s health has lessened. Domca, Stephen’s mother lives with them but she has Alzheimers. Then to Kiev to be with MYkhylo & Masha Mistecekiy. MYkhylo leads a Messianic Assembly meeting in IBC Pochovo on Sat. I spoke Sunday night in Pochovo IBC. Sura, Mykhylo’s Jewish Mom died earlier this year. Masha is now very sick. I gave out Literature on the streets of the capital. Eugene translated for me in the Messianic meeting and in Pochovo IBC. I went to Uman where is an Orthodox center to the Rebbe. I talked to a Jew but no witness and tried to give lit.to another but he refused. But many on The streets of Uman took lit. Then to Vinitza to retired Baptist pastor Vladimir Yukhomets who is the old age pastor for several years. We went outside of Vinitza to 2 old age homes. He had a team and they ministered, they sang, preached, gave presents and visited in rooms. We visited a newly formed Bapt. Church. Back in Chernivtsi I visited The First Baptist church near the large old Jewish Cemetry. I met a saved Jewish woman Larisa in the cemetery who is s member of this church. Her husband is not saved.
I returned to RO and visited Zenovia in Baia. I have visited her many years and her son that returned from work in IT is building a new house. At least her living conditions have improved. I pray for her salvation. While visiting Nelu Anton in IASI we went one night into Moldova-MD and I spoke in the camp for children where I was before. In RO I went to a camp with John Poenar in Bicaz district in the mountain with young people mainly from PIATRA NAMETS Church. Teebee Timofti was the organizer. In Bicaz district there are many Hungarian-Romanians. Again I got potatoes, 3 times this summer. We had the Mioveni-Rucar Camp and we were about 60. They were mostly teenagers. I taught the first lessons in The Life of Jesus Christ. I did not say much about the Sermon on the Mount Matt 5, 6 & 7. I will teach that next year. With Baptist pastor Ioan Tone of Bucharest we did an outreach in a Gypsy community where Ioan has ministered before. I am thankful to have visited several churches in RO. In HU in Budapest on way back to FRANCE-FR I met Yossi from Israël and we read Is 53 in Hebrew together. Passing through HR, SLO, IT & A lit. was distributed mainly in mail boxes. In SLO in camping I met the Orter family. They are believers and I stayed a night on their mountain farm in A. I taught Friday night in Brno, Czech-CZ and Sunday morning in PRAGUE, CZ. I met and witnessed to Jews in Brno & PRAGUE. In Brno I met a Jew from Boston at the Jewish cemetery. That morning I asked my host for Czech stamps for my friends that collect stamps. The Jew from Boston collects mint CZ stamps. I looked among the used stamps and I found mint stamps for him! Lit. was distributed to mainly Jews from ISRAEL in PRAGUE. One couple lingered to talk and asked several questions. In Annaberg-Bulholt, D I stayed with Gerhard Goetzel a believer. He sold his optician store to a believer that worked for him. The new owner fixed my glasses. I met the new owner in a church in Jerusalem.
Back in France I put up Biblical posters. It was a good time as not many others were postering. While distributing tracks in Paris one week before the Day od Atonement I spoke to an Orthodox Jew with his son about 13. We spoke in Hebrew. I quoted Lev 17:11 in Hebrew, it says the blood upon the altar makes atonement for the soul. He asked what does that mean? I said there must be a sacrifice. God sent His Son the Messiah to be a sacrifice. He asked, will Jews go to heaven? I said no because they have no sacrifice. I will go to heaven because I have a sacrifice. He was not angry as he left. On Oct. 18 I entered Israël . It is a joy to walk the streets, talking to some. Lit. mainly in Heb., Arabic, Russian & Eng. is given. I have visited Beit Hesda Assembly in Haifa, First Baptist Bible church an Arab church in East Jerusalem & Jerusalem Assembly. J.A. averages about 350 on Saturday. The dentist Dr. Said Fadi is working on my teeth. I will be in Israel until Jan. 14,2018.
As the year approaches it’s end, I pray blessings on Thanksgiving Day remembrances. “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thes 5:18. May our hearts be prepared to review the history of God the Son, the Messiah taking on human flesh to become our Savior. “But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law.” Gals 4:4
The trip to RO is planned in Feb.2018, The 7 day conference in Mioveni is scheduled Feb. 11-18. We will study the miracles in John. Then from RO I will go to Crete the first 2 weeks in March then back to FR.
In appreciation for what Jesus Christ and you have done, Michael Bentley. 1 Thes 5:28

PRAYER LETTER – UPDATE JUNE 2017. FRANCE

Published / by lameh

Dear prayer partners,

My last prayer letter was October 27, 2016 written in Israel. I am thankful for Christ’s protection since Oct. 2016, and for your prayers and financial support. Because of your gift I glorify God. 11 Cor 9:13

Nov. 2016 to Jan. 11, 2017 In ISRAEL.
I was concerned that Miguel Ponce would be able to enter a retirement home. As of June 10, 2017 he was not in a retirement home. He is very weak in body and wanting only to remain in his apartment. I was blessed to be in Eilat for a week. I rejoice that the ministry of John & Judy Pecs continues to be blessed. I stayed in the Shelter and I taught the11 AM Bible study twice. I stayed with Slomo & Karina in Jerusalem a few weeks with early morning readings in the Word with them. I was blessed to walk the streets of Jerusalem meeting people. I visited Shasha who helped me many times in Ukraine to find Jews. He has been about 20 years not living in a room in Jerusalem. Matt 8:20 An active Pastor in Jerusalem Br. Tony Simons was recently killed in Kurdistan, Iraq in an automobile accident. He was a bold witness in Israel. Of Saul & Jonathan’s death David said “The beauty of Israel is slain upon the high places: how are the mighty fallen.” 11 Sam 1:19 (25-27).

Jan. 11 to Feb. 2 in FRANCE-FR . Just enough time to prepare for ministry in Romania & Crete.

Feb. 2-Mar 14 I was a month in RO and spoke in 10 churches. We had the 7 day no food conference in the Miouveni church. One of the elders Adrian has a headache every night at 3 AM and never sleeps good at night. During the 7 day fast he had no headaches at night and he slept good each night. A 10 day conference is scheduled for Feb. 2018. I was asked to speak in a church in FOCSANI on fasting. There was a work of Christ there. Leaving RO at the airport I offered an Israeli a gospel of Matthew and spoke of my appreciation to the Jews for the Word of God. He said he would read Matthew. I was 2 weeks in CRETE. I spoke in 3 churches. A young Orthodox Christian had just gotten rid of all icons from his house. He wanted to separate himself from all that is Christian. During the next week each day since something caused him to think of his decision. Then I came and gave him a NT. The Holy Spirit leads those who witness for Jesus Christ. Ats 1:8

Mar. 14 to May 3 at home. I needed this time at home. I was glad to put up Bible posters in spite of the fact that the candidates for French president were constantly using the boards. The use of the free public boards by politicians is a sign to me many boards will remain. It is a great joy to me to distribute tracts on the streets of FR. I give tracts to some who distribute them. While distributing on June 9 in Juvisy sur Orge, the town next to mine a woman said she needed God’s blessing at this time. I find it quite encouraging to distribute in this town. At the Athis-Mons (where I live) noon meal I have contact with the Jew Richard. I visited Jean-Pierre the Roman Catholic Jew recently. Leva, Jeanne, Louis Marie & his church receive tracks from me. In 2016 I got about 500 lbs. of tracts in Switzerland-CH and by the end of April 2017 I had very little French tracts left.

May 3-June 5 I traveled in FR meeting churches and believing friends. It was a blessing and important to revisit these believers. I put up Bible posters. In camping I tried to witness to fellow travelers. I visited retired brothers and sisters. How we need to pray for each other. In Lourdes I met Serge & Maite Coffrini and the Jew from Israel who has a souvenir shop in Lourdes. Serge is 85 and his health is failing. I went to CH and visited pastor Hans Rufenacht and I got 250 pounds of French tracts. Over half already distributed 11 June. I finished the France tour in Normandy in Cabourg staying at Guy Brami’s vacation studio. Guy & I met 3 Jews on the board walk. One of the 2 women was a Jew from Romania who professes faith in Jesus Christ. June 6 was DDay memorial. It was interesting to see USA WW 11 vehicles circulating and soldiers dressed in uniforms

June12 to Sept. Summer Eastern European tour. In memory of Pierre Rhein of Valentigny, FR who used to make mission trips to UA. He gave me literature many times for my trips to Ukraine-UA & RO.
June14 Echenberg, Germany-D for literature at GBV.
15 Michael Gabi a Muslim saved in Jerusalem.
16-18 Word of Life WOLD, Church in Wolfratzhausen, Irmgard Krauter.
19-22 Austria-A Tract distribution. A country that needs the gospel. 23-26 Budapest-HU WOLHU 24 Jewish outreach. O Utsa church.
27- July 5 RO 27 Beius-pastor Peter Belteci, 29-30 Hunadora-pastor Michael Czentye,

July 1-2 Cisnedia-elder Ovidiu & Nelly Domnariu-camp coordinators, Nelly translate for me at camp,
3-4 Brasov area, 3 Ghimbav church John Dragushin,
5 Suceava- Br Potop, Ukraine-UA 6 Chernovsy-Baptist camp, Wally Vasylovitch
7 Dunaivisi-Baptist Church,
8-10 Vinitsa-Baptist Church, pastor Vladimir Yukhumets
11-13 Costopol-Stefan & Inna Yanchuk,
14-17 Kiev-Mykhaylo Mystetsky-Messianic Assembly -Valentina & Inna Podilchik, Pixova Baptist Church,
18-Uman-Jews,
19-20 Vinitsa-Pastor Vladimir Yukhumets
21-24 Chernovsy- Wally Vasyiovitch.
RO-25-30 Iasi, Nelu Aton, visit Moldova-MD,
31-Aug 3 Brasov-John Poenar,
4-14 Mioveni & Rucar camp, David Oprescu,
15-21 Bucharest, Pishti Benedek, Ioan Tone-Baptist church,
22 Hunadora,
23 Beius,
24 Ioan Fodor,
HU 25-28 Budapest,
29—30 Zagrev, HR, camping, Neda Alexi,
31-Sept 1 Slovenia,
2-4 Trieste, IT, David Borman,
5-7 A,
8-12 to arrive at home Athis-Mons, FR.

As Jesus Christ enables,

Michael Bentley
Gn 24:27 “The LORD led me”.

Teaching on Fasting – ISAIAH 58

Published / by lameh

http://www.to-the-jew-first.org

BREAK EVERY YOKE
Ellerslie, MD August 2006 last update: Feb. 2016

This is The Fasting Chapter of the Bible. I sense Isaiah speaks as one who knew the experience and power of fasting. This chapter is on one hand a plea against hypocrisy in religious acts and on the other hand it is a teaching on fasting. The study of this chapter gives ample opportunity for a professing believer to examine his faith. Is God’s righteousness our righteousness? Are we real or are we hypocrites? Are we trying to establish our own righteousness or are we truly submitting ourselves unto the righteousness of God? Are we operating in our own strength and wisdom or are we relying upon God through His Holy Spirit to lead us and empower us? Are we doing things in our own way according to our own pleasures or are we serving God according to His desires and His will? Is His will our will, are His choices our choices? Are we trying to impress man rather than humbly submitting to God? Is the fast to God? Are we accomplishing our work for Christ in our own strength or in His strength? John 15:5 Is our business, or anything else interfering with our faith in Jesus Christ?
Ps 139:23-24
“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.”
The end does not justify the means. There is a wrong way and a right way to do the right thing. I endeavor to search my heart & soul during fasting. In Dan 9 as Daniel began fasting and praying confession was first upon his heart and lips. “And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes. And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession…” Dan 9:3-4
What do I know about Biblical fasting? Do I fast? Is fasting for me?
Jesus: “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. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face. 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.” Matt 6:16-18 Fasting is not to impress
others or to prove to others you are spiritual but it is to be seen by God and for His glory. God sees the true fast and He rewards as He chooses. The fast is unto God. Zach 7:5 “…when ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, even unto me?”
In 1969 I worked in Israel in Karen Kyemit LeIsrael (Jewish National Fund) in a forest station in Yatir near the 1967 border between Jordan & Israel. It is mentioned in the Bible and is near Eshtemoa. 1 Sam 30:27-28 It is one of the cities to which David distributed spoil after the destruction of Ziklag. ( 1 Sam 30:31) The boss of my group showed up at work one day unshaven. I asked him if he did not have time to shave. He said that he did not shave because he is fasting.

v1 To help the Jews one must speak to them of their sins. A similar message is found in Is 40:1-2 and Micah 3:8. Sin must be recognized then dealt with. In Isaiah chapter 1 the prophet deals with the sins of the Jews, and Isaiah did that first thing in his long book of 66 chapters. These were practicing Jews who were faithful doing the required religious acts, even going beyond the required by fasting. “Come now and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Is 1:18 Sin today can only be forgiven through personal faith in Jesus The Messiah. The Gentiles have the same need, the forgiveness of their sins. Is 57 ends with “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” The Jews mentioned here in chapter 58 did not have the peace of God, because they did not have a spiritual fast, only a physical fast. Not only their fasting was rejected by Jehovah, but all their other spiritual activities were rejected because of their heart attitude.
Some thoughts here given came from the Keil & Delitzsch commentary on Isaiah. I will note it by (K&D).
Sin must be declared that it might be dealt with. Sin must be exposed so that the sinner can realize his sin and then repent. This is one of the purposes of the Law of Moses. Sin in the life of believers must also be exposed. Sin must first be pardoned, and then there is the possibility of acceptable service. “Lift up your voice like a trumpet”. In Hebrew trumpet is shofar (bugle). Loud and clear! with all the strength of the onviction & assurance the message must be proclaimed and then it can be heard and obeyed. Fasting is helpful to the backslider when he is in the process of returning to Christ. 1 Sam 7:6 Samuel led the Jews who wanted to return to Jehovah to fast in preparation for repentance.
A Christian minister helped his young relative. His parents first sent him to a secular psychological counselor. The young relative did not get the help he needed from the counseling. Then the minister gave him Biblical counseling from God’s word dealing with his sins and only then he was greatly helped. Sin must be dealt with. God wants His people to see their sins and to repent, then change their attitudes and actions. Here His people are the Jews. Today the Jews are still His chosen people and there has been added to God’s family those who have found salvation in Jesus Christ. Most of the Jewish people are not part of the remnant of Israel, who are those who are in a spiritual relation with Jehovah. Rom 11:5 God is concerned about the sins of born again believers. The born again believer in Jesus Christ must confess his sins. 1 Jn 1:9 The Jews are God’s chosen people but that does not include the salvation of their souls. They must be saved by personal faith in Jesus Christ the only Savoir and the true Messiah of Israel. He is the Kinsman Redeemer, Goel-גואל All people must come the same way, only through the LORD Jesus Christ. Jn 14:6

v2 After being expelled from Israel on May 1, 1988 I went to the island of Crete for a 30 day & night fast drinking only water, eating no food. I camped on a mountain in a tent that Billy Watson gave me. I was in the olive orchard of Elias Tubbeh who was born in Jerusalem. I went through this chapter during the fast. The negative points of vs 2-5 I turned into positive goals. The fasting Jews listed 6 spiritual acts in v. 2 that they were practicing and accomplishing. These were goals they believed they were accomplishing, or at least claimed they were accomplishing. God did not accept 1 of the 6.
1. “Yet they seek me daily.” These Jews who were fasting were hypocrites. They knew from the prophets, the priests, the Word and the scribes what was right for a believer to do. What they claimed they were accomplishing, they were not. The ‘Yet’ ties v2 in with v1. (K&D) Here are their sins. In spite of their sins they were practicing spiritual exercises. A backslidden Christian should make an effort to return to Jesus Christ. If his attitude is one of repentance, going to church can help him, as well as reading the Bible and praying. Do we seek Him daily with the right attitude? Are we earnest in our seeking His face. Solomon Ostrovsky of Israel had his devotions from 2 AM to 6 AM. He was a pastor in Jaffa, Israel from about 1930 to 1995. George Wald was a missionary in Egypt for 25 years and 25 years in Israel. He raised 4 children. He got up each morning at 5 AM for his devotions. When he was about 85 he told me he could not remember a day he did not get up at 5AM. Let us seek Him daily.
2. “And delight to know my ways.” The same Hebrew word for delight appears in the 2nd spiritual act and at end of this verse in the 6th act. יחפצון yechpatzun This is typical of Isaiah. (K&D) Are Christ’s ways our delight? May God search our hearts. From Ps 40:8 we understand that the Messiah delights to do the Father’s will. The same Hebrew word is used. חפץ – chafetz May Jesus Christ be our joy. JOY = Jesus Our Yearning. Irene Levy had Bible clubs for youth in NYC: Our J.O.Y. Hour. Jesus first, Others next, Yourself last in 1946. Irene’s biography is “From McComb to Jerusalem”. We desire to reach the spiritual state where God’s will for our lives becomes our will. I confess that has not always been my spiritual state. Many things I did in my life for Christ I did because I knew it was God’s will in spite of the fact I did not want to do it. I have been fasting at least since 1963 (now 2016). Many of my decisions about what to do were made during a fast. Once I knew God’s will I sought His grace to accomplish it. A saying which helped me is “Never doubt in the dark what God has shown you in the light.” For me a decision made during a fast is made in the light. Ezra 8:21-23 See my commentary of Is 58:11. Not all things related to my personal life decided in a fast came to pass. But many of them did happen. I am talking about decisions for events in my life.
3. “As a nation that did righteousness”. Isaiah was thinking of the nation of Israel but I want to bring it down to the personal level. Do we do right? Is that our aim in life? Do we want to do right in all areas of our lives? God forgive us and God help us! Is this the goal of our family, or our church? Bob Jones Sr said “Do right, though the stars fall, do right.” Are we familiar enough with the Bible to know what is right? If your attitude nd actions are just, it will help your fast. If you are a backslidden Christian, fasting will help you to return to Christ.
4. “And forsook not the ordinance of their God.” Do we forsake God’s ways and His commands? When the Messiah was stricken, the disciples fled.
Zechariah 13:7 “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.”
Matthew 26:31 “Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.”
Peter denied Christ. And what of us? Let us not forsake our Christ nor Biblical principles. Christ will not leave nor forsake His own. Heb 13:5
5. “They ask of me the ordinances of justice.” What are we asking of God? Are we asking according to the lust of our flesh or as the Holy Spirit leads? Is God’s Truth our Truth? His righteousness our righteousness? Are we in agreement with God’s decisions about our lives? Do we seek to live our lives according to His rules and principles and justice? according to His will? Is 57:15 tells us we need a contrite and holy spirit. In March 1988 I was before the Supreme Court of Israel. I was fighting for the right to remain in Israel. I was told to leave Israel May 1, 1988. On the wall of the courthouse I read Isaiah 1:27.
“Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.”
6. “They take delight in approaching God.” יחפצון – yechpatzun Same form as in the delight used in the 2nd spiritual act of this verse. Do we look forward to our moments with God? Do we enjoy our time in God’s
presence? How precious are our moments with Christ? What are we excited about? These hypocritical Jews did this in their own flesh and initiative, expecting much in return. Let the Holy Spirit lead you to approach often our God and Savoir Jesus Christ. Let God choose what you are to receive. They expected and desired God to come close to them to deliver them, save them, help them and give them what they wanted. (K&D) Reading the Bible can lead to worship & praise. Fasting will help you to approach God and His Son. Fasting will help your spirit to be contrite and holy. Fasting will humble your soul. Ps 35:13 David:
“I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into my own bosom.” We express our burdens in prayer and they are constantly upon our hearts. Not in the sense that we are not trusting God with the request but we are concerned about the gravity of the situation as it weighs upon our hearts. Paul had “… great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.” for the lost Jews. Rom 9:2 Paul prayed for them. See also Rom 10:1

v3 Here the work-righteous who hold up their fasting before God complain to God. (K&D) They have 2 questions to present to God. In v5 these 2 questions will be followed by 6 from God. “Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not?” They realize that He does not see their sacrifices, which is in the sense of accepting them. They should have had deep heart searching when they realized that God took no knowledge of their afflicting themselves by fasting. Wonderful they understood that God took no knowledge of their religious acts. There is no spiritual blessing in their fast. It is similar to the question in 1 Sam 4:3 after Israel lost 4000 soldiers in the battle at Aphek against the Philistines. “And when the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Wherefore hath the LORD smitten us to day before the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of Shiloh unto us, that, when it cometh among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies.” They did not take the time or effort to find out why God smote them, but tried a religious ‘trick’ or superstition hoping the holy ark of the covenant would bring God’s deliverance. It did not work, it did the opposite, it brought judgment from God don them. They were not looking to God, but to something physical from the Tabernacle. They treated it as a “good luck piece”. God seeks true repentance, followed by a desire to forsake the sin. “Wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge?” These fasters are hypocrites and liars. It is true that they fasted, but the affliction of the soul or its humbling did not occur. They made their bodies to suffer, but no work of grace was done in their soul. True fasting is designed to humble the soul. These Jews knew what fasting is because the prophets had told them and I assume showed them by fasting themselves.
The verb used in v3 ‘afflicted’ ענינו and v5 ‘afflict ענות , is the verb used with fasting in the O.T.. In Lev 16 are the instructions for the Day of Atonement, the sane verb is used in v 29 תענו & 31 ועניתם and are translated “ye shall afflict” in KJV even though the verb is in different cases in the 2 uses. It is the same verb. It is the soul that is to be afflicted. The Jews understand this to mean fast. The word fasting is not used in the descriptions about The Day of Atonement in Lev 16. The KJV translated the verb in Ps 35:13 with humbled עניתי. Aniti David: “I humbled my soul with fasting.” The verb is used in Ezra 8:21. “Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict להתענות lehitanot ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.” True fasting does humble the soul. The fasting of the hypocritical Jews in the time of Isaiah was a heartless, dead work which was worthless in God’s sight. Their false fasts did not produce true humility, nor impress Jehovah. It actually produced pride in the fact that they were able to fast. I imagine at this time there were Jews like Isaiah who fasted with the proper attitude. Soul is mentioned 5 times in this chapter. When a believer is in a true fast God can reach his soul. This is one of the main purposes of the fast, to afflict the soul. Fasting facilitates God’s desire & ability to deal with our souls. The hypocritical fasters were not careful with their fast days. “Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.” They were finding pleasure and were involved in their businesses. (K&D) A similar warning is given in v 13 about the Sabbath. “If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor
finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:”. There is record of coal miners during the Welch Revival 1904-1905 who fasted even though they went to work in the coal mines. As I recall, some fasted 40 days and nights. If the Christian faster has to work during the fast God understands. I have offended in doing my own pleasure in many fasts. I have been too occupied with correspondence and phone calls, and emails. But I feel so strongly that it is such an integral part of my ministry. May the Holy Spirit give me understanding in this. It has been a fight for many years. I wrote the first draft of this message during a 15 day fast in Ellerslie, MD in Sept 2006 and it was so true with that fast. I am not saying it is wrong to fast while one has to carry on his daily duties, as going to work or a house wife caring for her house and family. There are times when a believer is led to fast and he or she cannot stop their daily duties. In 1965 or 1966 I had a 28 days and nights fast when I had a full time job and was a full time student in Tenn. Temple Schools. When I am busy while fasting, I try to stop at meal time and read the Bible and pray. J. Harold Smith tells in his book on fasting that in a 40 day fast he continued his strenuous schedule of preaching and radio work. The name of his book is “Fast Your Way to Health”. It is available in amazon.com. I highly recommend it. I gave 2 messages on fasting in Bucharest, RO on the same Sunday in 2 churches. In each service I was told of a man who was saved under the preaching of J. Harold Smith. That is 2 different men. In the morning my translator was an American and he said his grandfather was saved when J. Harold Smith preached. In the evening meeting an American was in the audience and he said he was saved when J. H. S. was preaching.
Dr. Paul Freed founder of Trans World Radio in ‘Towers to Eternity’ spoke of the fasting and prayer of his parents when they were in the Middle East. “One of my happiest memories of childhood has to do with Mother and Father’s belief in prayer and fasting. Friday, late afternoon and evening, was set aside in their week for this purpose. But I suppose that the thing that impressed me most as a child was that Ruth (his sister) and I never felt that we had to fast with them. In fact, Mother would go out of her way on prayer and fast night to prepare for us the most wonderful meal of all. She often let us decide what we would like most for Friday supper. It must have been a real temptation for her as she prepared hot breads or cinnamon rice, and as the kitchen was filled with delicious smells on the evenings when she ate nothing. This evidence of love, plus their allowing us rather than forcing us to do as they did, stimulated our growth in grace, our desire to learn to walk with the One whom our parents followed closely. To this day I associate prayer and fasting with an unforgettable time of enjoyment.”
Once in Bulgaria in Russe a sister prepared a nice meal for me and her sister Valichka. She was in the midst of a 30 day fast but still made the meal
for us.
The ideal situation as I see it is to be quiet and alone before God, free from other responsibilities. That’s what Moses did on Mt. Horeb two times for 40 days and nights and what Jesus did in His 40 days & nights fast in the wilderness jut after being baptized by Joh the Baptist. Dt 9:8-20, Mt 4:1-11 I wonder if John the Baptist visited Jesus Christ when He was fasting in the wilderness? My situation of being in full time service for Christ enabled me to schedule as much as 2 months consecrated to a 30 or 40 days and nights fast. My being single also makes fasting easier. After a long fast it takes 2 weeks to regain strength and get the body used to normal eating habits. I tried in the long fasts after breaking the fast to remain 15 days where I was before I started traveling.
“And exact all your labours.” They deny themselves in fasting and they deny others who are worthy, as workers who work for them. In v7 “Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry…”. They do not give their workers their due wages. The word “labours” is found in Ps 127:2 and it is translated “the bread of sorrows” referring to his hard labour. The laborers were being denied their due.
K&D explain that the root word from which fast comes means to press, to tie up, constrain. God through fasting puts pressure on the faster, He ties up their time and constrains them to make things right between God and the faster and then to pray about special requests and calls the believer to have unique fasting fellowship with God and His Christ. K&D say that the ancient church called a fast statio, because he who fasted had to wait in prayer day and night like a soldier at his post. צום – Tzom is the Hebrew for fast. It has as primary idea the mouth being shut. That is a good time to be quiet!
K& D in their comments on vs 3&4 say that fasting is voluntary. Let us be volunteers for Jesus Christ.

v 4 These fasters ended up in strife and debate, instead of in a contrite and humble spirit. Obviously there was a bad spirit. They went so far as to clench their fists and strike out with their evil fists at others. This reminds me of Jezebel’s fast to kill Naboth. 1 Kgs 21 In vs 9 & 12 the fast is proclaimed. The godly, Law honoring Naboth was killed. Note Ahab’s fast after the announcement of judgment by Elijah. 1 Kg 21:27-29 Jezebel’s fast was a false fast but Ahab’s was a true fast recognized by God.
One of the purposes of fasting is here given: “to make your voice to be heard on high”. An improper fast will not accomplish this, but a chosen fast, an acceptable fast will cause your voice to be heard by God. Jehovah designed the human body in such a way that fasting would help the believer to reach
his soul. The end of v 5 says “an acceptable day of the Lord.” What price are we willing to pay to be heard on high? And to be accepted by God Almighty? Are we willing to fast if we are physically able? “Acceptable” in the positive sense is seen in Is 56:6-7 & 61:2. In Is 56 tells us of even strangers, none Jews, being accepted by Jehovah. God’s House shall be called an house of prayer for all people, and their sacrifices will be accepted. Is 56:7 Isaiah 61:1-2a Jesus quoted and said these 2 verses refer to Him. Lk 4:16-21 “To proclaim the acceptable year of the LRD.” Is 61:2a In Is 58:6 the chosen fast is acceptable.
When God begins to ask you questions, take it very seriously. It may be He is trying to point out to you your sin. And He may ask you more than you ask Him! I see 6 questions in verse 5 that God asked the Jews. The number of questions depends on how you divide them up.

v5 “Is it such a fast that I have chosen?” K& D translate chosen as pleasure. There is a fast which God chooses and takes pleasure in. The fast described here was not accepted. “a day for a man to afflict his soul?” Here is the verb that is often joined with fasting “to afflict” his soul. Fasting is difficult, and it weakens the body. This is part of the purpose of a fast. Though your body weakness, you have the possibility of becoming strong in spirit. 11 Cor 12:9 Jesus said: “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” If your heart attitude is not right, the fast is a waste of time for spiritual benefit. The purpose of the fast is not to suffer hunger but to arrive at a spiritual state that better enables you to communicate with God. Fasting facilitates the access of the believer to his soul and to Christ Himself. There is physical benefit to fasting. I would like to know more about this. J. Harold Smith talks about this in his book on fasting (Fasting Your Way to Health). As the body weakens the head goes down. “is it to bow down his head as a bulrush and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him?” Often in a fast I realize my head is down, then I try to walk straight to not appear as if I am weak. Believers do well to strive after a fast in which God is pleased. The use of sackcloth and ashes by fasters was for further recognition of their fasting and their consequent suffering because of denying themselves necessary food. Obviously sackcloth could be used to show their suffering rather than being an expression of their deep internal feelings. Sackcloth in its origin was an expression of their deep
internal suffering. God can use the suffering of fasting, with the weakness it creates to humble a soul. It all depends on the faster’s attitude. “Wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?” The Jewish fasters called it an acceptable fast, but not God. If a faster shares his fasting experience, he needs to do it in the attitude of giving glory to Christ and not to himself. One of the reasons I share my fasting is to encourage Christians
and churches to fast. In Feb. 2016 I led a 3 day fasting conference in a church in Romania. The church was blessed and a 7 day fasting conference is planned for Feb. 2017. There are 6 questions asked by God in this verse. God is definitely trying to drive home a point!!! Let us search our hearts as to our motivation for what we do in our service to Jesus Christ. May our service to our Messiah & Master be acceptable in His sight. Not just our fasting but all our service done unto Him. AMEN!

v6 This verse starts out with a question. “Is not this the fast that I have chosen?” The Hebrew word is הלוא – halo, meaning “is it not so? surely”. After the questions that led to rebukes, now there will follow a clear statement of what a true fast is and what it accomplishes. This fast is pleasing to God because of what it accomplishes. God tells us what He expects to be accomplished by a true fast. A false fast will not accomplish these goals. This verse is a jewel, a classic. It is a verse to be remembered, memorized, and practiced. This verse more than any other tells the power & purpose of fasting. A key that can unlock the unlimited resources of God is here given. Let us never forget it.
“To loose the bands of wickedness”. We note in Matt 17:21 “This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” The disciples could not cast out the devil from the lunatic son but Jesus did. Matt 17:20-21 20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grainof 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 fast is helpful in freeing others from addictions to sin and from demon possession. Fasting will help believers who are oppressed by demons and none believers who are possessed by demons. The ability of the non believers to help themselves is very limited, almost none existent. Fasting can help believers who are overcome by sin. Fasting can bring the backslider back to Christ. The disciples could not cast out the demon and they asked Jesus why they could not. This, v.21, is Jesus’ response to the disciples’ question. Elmer L. Towns calls this The Disciple’s Fast. Evil has taken hold of many. They are bound, they are slaves to sin. They are powerless to help themselves. We through our ministry have the possibility to deliver them. We have power through giving them the Word of God, and praying for them. All things being equal, to fast and pray is better, and more powerful than prayer alone. Persons involved in sexual sins need our fasting prayers. Do you know a prostitute? or a man who has sex with prostitutes? People involved in human trafficking? Fast and pray for them. K & D translate ‘bands’ as coils. The coils remind me of a rattle snake coiled to strike its victim. This same Hebrew word and in the same form for ‘bands’ is used in Ps 73:4. The wicked who prosper appear to have no ‘bands’ in their death and their strength is firm but in reality they are in chains (Ps 73v 6) because of their pride they are bound but can be freed as Is 58:6 says. In Nov. 2006 I was in Manitoba, Canada. I saw many drunken aborigines. The Word and prayer is their hope. I was in Thompson, Manitoba Nov. 2014 and I met Johnny Miles and his wife Jeanna. Johnny is on You Tube: Johnny Miles Cree Hymns. He sang Christian Hymns, but in Nov. 2014 he & Marie were drinking alcohol. Johnny & Marie need prayer, fasting prayer, and I am praying for them (March 1, 2016). I saw in Odessa, UA drunk men sleeping near the sidewalk of the street with the wild dogs. Sometimes in a restaurant in UA you can see a man passed out from alcohol at his table or on the floor.
“To undo the heavy burdens”. A literal translation of ‘burdens’ is yoke. The word ‘heavy’ can be related to the heavy piece of wood used in the yoke on the oxen. Fasting can help to solve problems, and to inviting the Holy Spirit’s aid in lifting loads and overcoming barriers that keep us and our
loved ones from walking joyfully with the Lord. (Elmer Towns) Let us be burden bearers for others. Gal 6:2 “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Your fasting and praying can lift burdens. If you are overburdened, fast for release. Are you fearful? Then fast for yourself in order to be free & fearless, wholly trusting Christ.
“To let the oppressed go free”. The word ‘oppressed’ can refer to those persons unjustly and forcibly oppressed even with cruelty. The human traffickers who oppress their victims. It can refer to those oppressed by sin, virtual prisoners of evil. The faster can become the key person in deliverance. Fasting for persecuted Christians is strategic. ISIS has been slaughtering Christians in the Syrian conflict since 2011to the present 2016. News in Jan. 2016 says 10,000 or more children who were registered in a country after fleeing the Middle East disappeared. By the end of March 2016 President Bashar Assad started to defeat ISIS. I try during my fasts to remember abortion.
And fasting for backslidden believers is strategic.
1 Sam 7:6 “And they gathered together to Mizpeh, and drew water, and poured it out before the LORD, and fasted on that day, and said there, We have sinned against the LORD. And Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpeh.” Samuel used fasting to help the repenting Jews to come back to Jehovah. In the book of Joel is recorded that the LORD called sinning Israel back to Himself, and He told them to fast. The fasting would help them to repent. Joel 2:12-17
Israel needed deliverance from their sins. Elmer L. Towns calls this the Samuel Fast. Israel had a good spiritual attitude at this time so they naturally began fasting and confessing, endeavoring to return to Jehovah.
There are so many who are oppressed and therefore are prisoners. Their suffering can be indescribable. How much better for them to be free! For this God has given fasting to the church of Jesus Christ. In Is 14:17 it is said of Satan “opened not the house of his prisoners.” Satan does not want his prisoners set free. Fasting will help believers to set free some of Satan’s prisoners. Will we take advantage of this spiritual tool of deliverance? this source of unlimited power? May Jesus Christ help us, He who fasted 40 days and nights. Matt 4:1-11 There are hindrances to a person being able to fast, diabetes is an example. Those who are on medicine also face a problem. A German born again Christian doctor I met around 2000 who has several patients of his who fast said I should take my medicine when I fast. I do not take my medicine when I fast. Fortunately I am on only 2 medicines, one for blood thinning and one for blood pressure.
“and that ye break every yoke.” From this statement I got the title of this message, Break Every Yoke. You can do it with fasting. We are encouraged by the word ‘every’. God is able to help anybody, no matter to what extent they have entered into sin. That is if they have not sinned away their day of grace. Rom 1:24 We are the link between them and Christ and their freedom. We can have a part in their deliverance. In Christian rehabilitation homes there is success because the work is based around the work of Christ in an individual’s life. I would encourage those working with drug addicts or alcoholics to use fasting in their ministry with the addicts. This is the fast that God has chosen, the fast in which He finds pleasure. The command to the faster: “BREAK EVERY YOKE!” “And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.” Isaih 10:27 There are believers who are given a unique anointing for the ministry of deliverance. But all believers who are spiritually right can help in deliverance. Deliverance is a delicate, dangerous ministry. My roommate Horatio Guy in Bible School was from the Philippines and he had experience in dealing with demons. He said when you deal with demons you should be fasting.
Here in v 6 we see one of the main purposes for fasting: to break the evil yoke that binds people. When a believer breaks the evil yoke from people God is pleased and this is one of the purposes of fasting and one of the purposes of believers and it is God’s pleasure to set prisoners free. It seems evident to me that I received a calling to fasting. I was saved in 1960 and by 1963 I was fasting. Lester Roloff came to my Bible School, TTS, and encouraged us to fast one day a week. I soon began to go beyond 1 day fasts, to 3 days, then a week, then 15 days. I I did. The call came from within me. As I recall in 1966 I did 24 to 28 days, I do not remember exactly the number of days. I was a full time student in TTS and I had a full time job. I returned to the long fasts in 1988 when I fasted 30 days and nights with only water. In Jan. 1990 I did the first of three 40 days and nights fasts with only water, no food. I did many fasts of 30 & 35 days & nights. In 2002 I tried 40 days but stopped after the 37th day as I recall. That was the only fast I had in which I had physical problems. In my long fasts to the best of my knowledge I never had a headache.
I have found in my life that fasting was necessary. Wickedness is in me and it comes out very easily. Remnants of the old nature seek to surface to tempt me. I believe fasting helps me to control my thoughts and actions. A
weekly one day fast is helpful for this problem. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die : but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live . Rom 8:13

v7 And this verse starts with a question. God’s questions are trying to get
the hypocrites to see the real purpose of a fast. Fasting is often for others. The faster is fasting for the needs of others. During the fast you do not need to buy food for yourself. But buy some and give it away! I suggest giving food to the needy as a life principle. I learned it from Mal Rabern (died 2014) & Glenn Fogel while in the Tennessee Temple Schools in the 1960’s. In Nov 1991 on the island of Crete I sought a secluded place where I could be alone to fast for 40 days and nights, drinking only water. I stayed near Lefkogia on PisoMoni Preveil Monastery land. I had agreed to speak in a church in Iraklio, about 75 kms. (50 miles) away for one meeting during the fast. That was my only scheduled event. Outside of that trip I did not want to see anybody during those 40 days. I was sleeping in a VW Passat station wagon. It was winter. The first morning a man came walking by about 7 AM. After seeing him 2 mornings or so I finally said hello. He stopped. He is Enzo from France. Many times Enzo stopped to talk. We drove together in the car more than once during the fast. He believed he had a demon, but since he was deep into yoga, and would not acknowledge the uniqueness of Jesus Christ, I did not try to deal with the demon. Enzo said he found peace when he sat in my car during the fast. Early in the fast came a woman to ask my help. She was living in a cave about 100 meters from me! She was living off the land. She said there were many living in the wild in this area and they are poor. We were on Greek Orthodox monastery land, PisoMoni Preveil Monastery. She had friends who have orange groves who offered her all the oranges she wanted. She did not have a car and because I did she came to me for help. I said I was on a 40 day and night fast and I did not want to see food. She begged me to help. I said I would pray about it and tomorrow I will give the answer. I read Is 58:7 “Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry?” I understood that I must help this woman. I met those living in the area and it was for the furtherance of the gospel. Phil 1:12 Later when I went into Iraklion to speak I bought food in the market and took it to some of them. I found myself going to another city Rethimno, which is closer than Iraklion to buy for them. I went there also to buy for breaking the fast. I drove during my long fasts though I do not recommend it. I believe the long fast is for praying and not traveling around. J. Harold Smith kept active during his fasts. He did a 40 day fast drinking only water before he started in evangelism. Br. Smith kept up his evangelistic meetings and his radio ministry during his fasts. He said his best meetings were when he fasted from the time he got on the plane to go to the meeting until he got back on the plane to return home. The faster is also taking risks by driving while on a long fast. I remember an Israeli believer Yoram originally from Libya was staying at my house on the Mount of Olives. It was probably
1973. He was fasting and we just climbed Tel Beit Shean in the Jezreel Valley. It is a steep climb. We went from there to a gas station. He collapsed in the station. During the long fasts when I slept at the house of
Sotiris Karalis in Iraklio, Crete I often drove out of the city to be alone in the hills of Crete in vineyards and olive groves. Precious times never to be forgotten by Jehovah. There are joys unspeakable and full of glory to be had
in fasting fellowship with Christ. Fasting is a heavy price to pay, but the blessings are worth it. Fasting is one of the means that God has to accomplish His work on earth. 8 “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” Ps 34:8 Once God’s grace, His presence and power is experienced, the believer has been charged-up and ready to serve.
I have noticed that some Christian missions that are involved in humanitarian efforts use the verses 7 to 11 as encouragement to distribute to the needy. That is what these verses teach. But I like to point out that these acts of compassion are a result of fasting done under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. I am not saying you have to fast in order to give, but I am trying to keep tract of the context in which verses 7 to 11 were given.
“And that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house?” Willie Mullan was from Ireland. I guess he was born in 1911, he died in 1980. Missionary Miss Olwen Jones (died 2011) from Wales knew him. I heard his testimony on a tape he made. He was the youngest of 17 children. By fifteen he was an alcoholic. He was his mother’s favorite. Every night she lined up all the children and prayed for them. Each night she prayed Willie would be a preacher. When Willie was 16 or 17 she died. The father was already dead. Not one of the 15 boys or the one girl would take him in. He never slept in a house from that night on for 3 ½ years. It does get cold in the winter in North Ireland! He said he never saw the inside of a house for 3 ½ years. He was saved in his early 20’s. Before he was saved a friend of his mother’s let him stay in a house. His drinking buddies came to live with him there. They were thieves. When Willie got saved he asked all his drinking buddies to leave the house. They respectfully left. One of the buddies on the way out of the house said to Willie that he had made the right decision. Another testimony is from USA. There was a black youth living underneath a bridge in Jacksonville, FL. A white Christian saw him and took him into his house. He raised him and sent him to university. He was sent to theological training. I heard the black brother speak by way of a tape. He gave a wonderful message on Jesus Christ. He became a successful pastor. A Christian should have an open house. I recall during Bible school days in 1960’s I was working and a man from work asked for money. I gave him some and soon he was back drunk! It was obvious he used the money to buy alcohol. We need Holy Spirit’s guidance as to whom we should help and how much, and for how long.
“When thou seest the naked, that thou cover him”. When fasting the hunger pains that many experience in this world are experienced by the faster. It helps the faster to better understand how a large portion of this world lives, going to bed hungry with hunger pains. A believer is to have compassion on others. I have been providing clothes for others for many years. During the 1990’s I took many clothes to Romania. I went to Romania the summer of 2012 and I bought many new clothes & shoes in France for RO & UA. Sometimes I was given clothes in RO and in BG to distribute. For many years I have bought potatoes mainly from a Christian famer in RO and distributed them to Christians in RO. I distributed 1000 kilograms (2500 pounds) in summer of 2015. In several winters I distributed more than 1000 kgs.
“And that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh.” The family of the Jew is found in Gn 29:14 ( Laban to Jacob) “Surely thou art my bone and my flesh.” & Neh 5:5 where Jewish children were in bondage as slaves. We are all sons of Adam. A believer is not better than other believers or than non-believers. Philippians 2:4 “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” A Christian is to have a genuine concern for others even for his enemies. That is a Christian characteristic. Fast for the needy. Who is your neighbor? Lk 10:27-37 Verse 27 
And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
v8 “Then ( עז-az ) shall thy light break forth as the morning,” This is the 1st promise. This follows the true fast and after the one who has fasted cares for the needy. The obedient Christian shines. I have slept many times in my car in the cold, sometimes in below freezing temperatures. I looked forward to the morning sun to warm me up. When the morning light breaks forth it is time to begin the day. I remember that sometimes Jesus arose before daylight. In Lk 1:35 we see Jesus up a great while before day to pray. The disciples followed Him. Shaving in the morning is difficult in freezing weather. An electric shaver will not work and the water is too cold. Once in Austria in the winter I was distributing tracts and I came to a building that was open. I found a rest room and there I was able to shave. Distributing tracts in cold weather is also difficult, especially for the hands. For a few years I flew from Paris, FR to Israel with Czech Air and it was permitted to stop in Prague for some days. I would stay 3 days in CZ. But when I did it on my way back to France that meant it would be in January and it was cold distributing tracts for my hands. I then started to visit CZ on my way to Israel in October.
Pbs 4:18 “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” Matt 5:16 “Let you light so shine before men, that they may see your good works , and glorify your father which is in heaven.” When a believer fasts, and afterwards he serves Christ, Christ works grace in his life. Heb 4:16 Let us shine for Jesus Christ. When others see our good works done by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit they give glory to God, especially fellow believers in Christ. God reaches out to those for whom we fast. Our fast and prayer is a means by which God administers grace to others and to the faster.
“And thine health shall spring forth speedily.” Here is the 2nd promise. I am convinced fasting is good for the health. It cleans out your body. One day is helpful, but more days are needed to clean it fully. As I write this sentence I have been 13 days and 14 nights without food, drinking only water. There is still a deep yellow in my urine. I assume by this that the body is still cleaning itself. There are toxic poisons stored by the body that need to be eliminated by the body. The body eliminates best when it does not have to digest food. I have heard from David Olsen that it takes 3 days of fasting to clean the blood. That is 72 hours without food. David lived some years in Israel having a fasting schedule of eating one day and fasting the next, and this was while he was working a job. He would fast 3 days a week. Fasting draws the believer closer to Christ. When we are close to Christ and we are serving Him, we are in His will, and we are blessed. K&D point out that in the origin of the word for health there is the idea of restoration. וארכתך-vearuchatcah The word is used in Jerem 8:22 “the health”. God is ready to restore the backslider to spiritual health. Those in bad health can look to Christ for healing. In Hebrew Beit Haaracah is the name for Guest House. It is taken from the same word used in this verse for health. In modern Hebrew the word used here for health is used for a meal of food. God can through His love bring a man from darkness and lead him into light and thereby give him spiritual health. Drug addicts or alcoholics who come to Christ stop using drugs and stop excessive drinking or many stop drinking alcohol altogether. This is good for their health. Two years after I got saved I quit drinking alcohol and smoking. From the verb for spring forth comes the noun for plant. תצמח-titzmach – tzemachצמח There can be a speedy
restoration to health or there may be a gradual caring for and improving of one’s health. All sickness in believers will not be healed. All believers must
die. Those believers left alive at the rapture of the body of Christ will be transformed into a heavenly body. They will be “caught up together” with the believers who have already died. 1 Thes 4:13-18 But faith in Jesus Christ gives hope, comfort, assurance, and can give healing. During a fast I pray for the sick. My list in April, 2016 was 8 & 1/2 typed pages long. I take their names off when they die. I believe our prayers for the sick will help them. God can give healing, He can give comfort and courage and grace. He can send help, and provide needed finances. The people of Israel in the wilderness wanderings mocking God asked: “can God furnish a table in the wilderness.” Ps 78:19 God can provide what we need in all circumstances. The fasting prayer helps to obtain that which God is willing to give.
“And thy righteousness shall go before thee.” The 3rd promise is now given. This is a result of conforming to the principles found in this chapter. You do not gain righteousness simply by doing what God asks. These Jews were following acts that Jehovah expected, but Jehovah rejected their religious exercises, not because He did not require them but because their heart attitude was wrong. Their body actions that were in conformance to accepted acts were rejected. Isaiah chapter 1 brings this out very clearly. The Jews were observing religious actions which Jehovah required, but all their services to Jehovah were rejected. He wanted none of their actions. See verses 1:12-15.
Your dedication, consecration and seriousness toward God and His work and ways will be seen. Matt 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Through the years 1988 to 2007 I have seen in Crete that the Greek Orthodox are deeply impressed when they realize a Christian is fasting. One said to me that I (me) hear from God during the fast and then I share what
He has given me to the people. For the good, for the grace and power and wisdom that the Holy Spirit produces in or lives, we must give the glory to Jesus Christ alone. God shares His glory with no man. Do not touch the glory of God. Is 42:8, Dan 4:30-37, 5:20. This phrase “And thy righteousness shall go before thee” I saw written in Hebrew on the walls of the synagogue at the large Jewish cemetery in Chernovtsy, UA. This cemetery is no longer normally used. I suspect what they were saying was that the good you have done will help you in the judgment. In the New Testament salvation is by faith not by works. A person is saved by the redemptive work of Jesus Christ not by his proper works of righteousness. The believer’s righteous acts will be remembered in the Judgment Seat of Christ. 1 Cor 3:12-15,
“The glory of the LORD shall be thy reward.” God’s glory shall be upon
The one who fasts and it shall be the faster’s protection. Christ will go before the faster and be behind. As in the wilderness wanderings when the cloud guided the Jews by day and the pillar of fire by night. (Ex 13:22, 14:19-20, Deut 1:33) In Isaiah 52:12 “For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward.”
In Ex 33:18-23 Moses asks to see the glory of God. All Moses was
3swaa permitted to see was God’s back parts. Moses after fasting 40 days & nights without food or water glowed. In Ex 24:18 Moses goes to the Mount Sinai for 40 days and nights. The time on Mount Sinai is picked up again in Ex 34:27-30. This is the 2nd time Moses fasted 40 days and nights. After the 40 day & night fast the skin of Moses’ face shone. (vs. 29-30) Aaron & the people were afraid to come near to Moses. His face shone because Moses met face to face with God. God talked to Moses during the fast. Dear Christian friend, Christ is waiting for you to come to Him, and if you can, come to Him in fasting fellowship. When you come to Him, He will talk to you.

v9 “Then shalt thou call and the LORD will answer.” The 4th promise is here found. What an encouragement to fasting, praying and an accompanying Biblical life style. In the 15 day & night fast of Sept.2006 I was praying for a digital projector for my Power Point Presentation. They cost about $1000. On the last 2 days of the fast $980 was given! God hears prayer offered in the name of His Son Jesus Christ. I got one for $900. Fasting will greatly enhance your prayers. How we need to strengthen our prayers. In Luke 17 Jesus taught on faith. “And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. And the Lord said if ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamore tree, be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.” Lu 17:5-6 “Thou shalt cry)תשוע) – teshava, and he shall say, Here I am.” What a privilege to be in such a close responsive relationship with the Almighty. For a moment meditate on the life style of Anna as described in Lk 2:36-38. She for many years “served God with fastings and prayers night and day.” She had this life style for a long time, perhaps for 84 years, since she became a widow. When she saw the baby Jesus, The Lord’s Christ, she recognized Him. Let us pray, let us fast, let us live in the fullness of the Holy Spirit and in honesty and righteousness. For those who can fast, let us fast and be encouraged by the testimony of Anna. There are conditions that God honors. After she saw Jesus Christ “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.” Lk 2:38 Being filled with the Holy Spirit will
lead to witnessing. Acts 4:29-31 The Holy spirit will lead believers those who are looking for redemption. These hypocritical Jews had wrong attitudes. God through the prophet is trying to point them out. “If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity.” Fasting is designed to break every yoke, as written in v 6. The faster is in a very serious time and he should not speak vanities. Jesus Christ came to set men free through His Word and the power of the Holy Spirit. John 8:32 “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” In Daniel 9 as Daniel began to fast for understanding of Jeremiah’s discussion of 70 years for the desolations of Jerusalem, Daniel was first led to confess his sins and the sins of Israel. Dan 9:1-21 Fasting will help the faster to realize his sins and to confess them. Probably in 2009 I sensed I needed to go to Israel, but I was so busy I did not see how I could possibly take the time to go to Israel. For some weeks I would not surrender to God’s will and call. On a regular Monday fast-prayer day in the midst of prayer I received the faith, the grace to submit to God’s will. I said yes to His call to visit Israel. I had a blessed visit in Israel and I carried on with my ministry in East Europe just after. I wish to note Jesus’ meeting & healing in Matt 15:29-39. The multitude was with Him 3 days and they had eaten nothing. Jesus had healed many and I imagine that he taught miraculously fed 4,000 men and there were women & children with them. Here is a fast because of a real interest in being with Jesus. During my summer camp in 2015 with Miouveni church I considered these days of meeting with no food. I asked the church leadership if they wanted a conference of 3 days with no food. They said yes. That was scheduled for Feb. 2016. It happened and God blessed those 3 days without food and they asked for 7 days in 2017.
The hypocritical Jews were pointing the finger at others in criticism, or mockery or superiority. Pbs 6:12-13 “A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth. 13 He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers;”. Let us be careful what we say with our body expressions, our body language. Let us speak the truth I love not lies or vain things. We need to put a guard on our mouth (and mind, and body). It is even better to nip it in the bud by getting it in the thinking, before it comes out of the mouth or is expressed by the body.

v10 “And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry.” The original meaning of the verb ‘draw out’ is to distribute. The verb for ‘draw out’ used with soul gives a sense of being bowed down. ( ותפק – vetahfeek ) The bowed down soul delivers to the hungry. The soul is bowed down because of proper fasting. In a proper fast as the body weakens the soul strengthens.
David said “My knees are weak through fasting; and my flesh faileth of fatness.” Ps 109:24 I have experienced in long fasts my knees weaken and sometimes while walking my knees buckle. The fat disappears from my arms and when I rest my arm I feel the bone, or when I sit I feel the bone through my buttocks. The verb is found in Ps 140:8 in the sense used here, “Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked: further ( תפק – tefek ) not his wicked device; lest they exalt themselves. Selah.” ‘Further’ is the verb. Ps 35:13 has already been mentioned in explanation of v 3 showing that David humbled his soul with fasting. The believer living under the power of the Holy Spirit wants to give himself to a needy person in order to help him. Fasting will help you to have this compassion. Compassion is a fruit of the Spirit that will be evident after the fast. Fasting imparts power which is helpful in ministry and sanctification. When one is weak from fasting he is better able to have compassion on others who are in trouble and are suffering. Many people in this world go to bed hungry and the faster experiences the hunger pain, day & night. The verb is also found in Ps 144:13 “That our garners may be full, affording ( מפיקים – mefikim ) all manner of store: that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets:”. ‘Affording’ is the verb. The Christian who is faithful will have what to offer to others. In Acts 6 Peter & John at the entrance to the Temple had compassion on a lame man who was born lame. 6 “Then Peter said , Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk .” Fasting will help the believer to reach the state of spirituality he needs and there will also be grace to stay there. He that is of a contrite and humble spirit can minister to others. Is 57:15 The principal is to get spiritually right with God before going out to minister. I use fasting as a time to check my spiritual state. I confess my sins and I ask God to search me and know my heart, to try me and to know my thoughts. Is there some wicked way in me, and may God lead me in the way everlasting. Ps 139:23-24
“and satisfy the afflicted soul”. The humble believer can bring satisfaction to the suffering. Though we may not be able to relieve the pain through healing, we can give comfort, courage and grace. I pray for the miraculous healing of sick people. We can pray for those to whom we minister, especially efficacious is praying for them while you are fasting. Then the ministering believer shall shine. “And they that be wise shall shine as the
brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” Dan 12:3 I recall I think in 2002 visiting in Russe, BG Israelis who were in a serious car accident. A brother Juli from Russe, BG came with me. After the visit I asked if I could pray. They permitted
me to pray. I later visited them in Israel. One of the women who was there in the hospital said she remembered my visit and she believed the prayer helped. I saw Juli in 2015. The Hebrew word for ‘afflicted’ נענה – naanah is from the verb often used with fasting in the OT. ( ענה – anah ) It is found in Is 58:3, 5. The faster has the promise that obscure things will become clear. Darkness is caused by trouble in ones life but the faster has the promise that his darkness will become as the noonday. The noun here for noon-day ( כצהריים -ka tzohoraim ) is from the verb to shine. ( צהר – tzohar ) The noun as in this verse is literally double light, which is most splendid light. Mid-day is when there is the most light in the day.

v 11 The faster receives guidance from God continually. Ezra turned to fasting for guidance. Ezra 8:21-23 “So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was intreated of us.” (v 23) For many of my trips especially those into Eastern Europe I fasted seeking God’s guidance as to where and when and for how long I should go to each place, and for His blessing on the work I would do. The faster’s soul will be satisfied. The satisfaction experienced makes it worth the discomfort. The faster will find satisfaction in times of drought. In difficult times there will be encouragement. The faster looses weight, but the faster’s bones shall be made fat. I do not know exactly what that means but it sure sounds good. As it was true in OT times I believe it is true in NT times. Perhaps it is literal and the bones are helped by fasting. And now the water flows to the garden. KJV has “watered garden”. The word for ‘watered’ ( רוה – raveh ) is used in Ps 23:5, translated ‘runneth over’. What a phrase! ‘and thou shalt be as a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters fail not.’ I think the year was 1965 probably January as the college semester was about to end with its examinations that I went 7 days and nights without food or water because of the immediate need of finances to pay my school bill. If I did not pay ahead of time I could not take the exams and I would lose the whole semester of study. I told Jesus Christ on Sunday night one week before the exams that I would not eat or drink until He gives me the money. From verse 11 I drank many times during the 7 day fast as the thirst was great, and my lips were cracked. I would read the verse often upon my knees and grace would be imparted and I was enabled to continue the day’s activities. I wondered if my lips would heal. On the 7th day I taught Sunday school but could only speak for about 20 minutes as my throat was too dry. God did answer that fasting prayer for finances and then I broke the fast Sunday late afternoon or evening. Halleluiah! I was then permitted to take the exams. I never did that again and I never advised a Christian to try this. In most of my many
fasts I have prayed for the supply of finances. In the 8 day & night fast of Oct. 2015 it was so. At the time of this fast I needed teeth implants. I needed 7 implants and the bill for them was paid for, about $4000. Do you or someone you know or some organization have a financial need? Tell it to Jesus. Men as George Mueller, Hudson Taylor, WEC Mission, Rees Howells of Swansea Bible College in Wales, GB, & Cameron Thompson, trusted God alone to supply their needs. Cameron Thompson’s widow Dell is still alive in 2015 and she carries on the work of distributing gospels, NTs & Bibles by faith to this present day. Cameron T. wrote Master Secrets of Prayer. I heard a WEC missionary speak in Romania in 2013 (?) and he said WEC still has the practice of not sharing financial needs. Fast for your needs and the needs of others. You may not have the money to help someone else but you can fast & pray for the need, and Christ may give you money to give toward the project, and He can lead others to support the project. A believer in Jesus Christ should be very, very careful about sharing a financial need to other believers or churches or organizations. It has been my practice since 1964 not to tell of my financial needs to anyone but God. I learned that from Operation Mobilization (OM) in 1964 and have never forgotten this teaching and have endeavored to practice it ever since. That is of Mar. 2016. On occasion I do as George Mueller did and I tell after God has supplied the need. He also did not share financial needs to others, even to the children in his orphanages. Also Hudson Taylor of China Inland Mission practiced the same principle. George Mueller sent donations to Hudson Taylor. I give the address on my prayer card where finances can be sent. On Nov. 29, 2011 I was in Tiberius, Israel and at the end of my regular weekly day fast I cried out to Christ for finances. That is on the next morning when I break fast. By 10 AM I was given $108 and found $162 in my room which I do not know where it came from.
” In that last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, if any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake he of the Holy Spirit…”. Jn 7:37-39
This source will fail not. “spring of water whose waters fail not.” The choice is yours and mine.
v 12 Grace will be given to the faster and he shall be able to rebuild the work of God which has fallen down. And those whom you train shall also rebuild. This can be the work of many generations. For many generations the gospel ministry has deteriorated. Also those who are properly trained will carry on the right work of God which will last for generations. I note the Protestant Reformation. Men like Calvin who left France for Switzerland, Zwingli in Switzerland 1484-1531, Martin Luther of Germany 1483-1546, Jan (John) Hus in CZ-Prague, excommunicated in 1410 by the Romaa Catholic Church and burned in Council of Constance in 1415, John Knox 1513-1572 in Scotland, Charles & John Wesley 1703-1791 in England turned many back to the Bible, freeing them from traditions which were not based on the Bible. John Knox met with Calvin. The Christian involved in repairing shall be called the repairer of the breech (פרץ גדר – goder peretz) and restorer ( משובב – meshoveiv ) of paths to dwell in. My Christian friend be a restorer. I was saved in 1960 and received my Christian education in the 1960’s at Trinity Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL and at Tennessee Temple Schools in Chattanooga, TN. I believe that training was good and it gave me a foundation upon which I could build my beliefs. Many Christians have strayed away from the fundamentals of the faith. They need prayer, teaching, a good example, and repentance. The repairer of the breach must live a good example, have a good testimony and pray & fast if his body permits for those in error. The foundation is Biblical principles and to these we must return, and remain true. ( עולם חרבות – charvot olam-‘old waste places” ) Those are the works of God which have fallen from Biblical principles and these works need to be restored. One example is Replacement Theology. Israel has not been replaced by the Church. The Church of Jesus Christ does not replace the Jews. For a time the Jews have been set aside that Gentiles might come into the Family of God. God will keep His promises that He made to the Jews. “18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast , thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. ” Rom 11:18 The 1000 year reign of Jesus Christ will come to this earth. Rev 20:1-7 He will reign in Jerusalem and the Jewish people according to their tribes will be in Israel with Him in peace and unity. Zach 14:16-17 See verse 14:11 for peace in Jerusalem. Ezekiel 48 gives the division of the land of Israel according to the tribes during the 1000 year reign of the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus). The prophecies of Israel’s future glory will be fulfilled during the 1000 year reign of Jesus Christ.
Revival from God will greatly help to rebuild the old waste places in our present time. Many revivals were preceded by fasting and praying. The foundations of many generations need to be raised-up, restored. Many Christians need to return to the true Biblical paths to dwell in. The religious Jews are following the precepts of men. Is 29:13-14, also Psalm 50:21. Many Christians are following traditions and not the Bible. How I need God’s help to read the Bible. Reading & studying the Bible is helpful to bring on revival.
v 13 Isaiah is OT and the Sabbath was still in that context when Isaiah wrote. God blessed those who kept it holy. Those who were abusing it
needed to change. The exile to Babylon for 70 years was because the Sabbath was not observed by the Jews. 11 Chron 36:20-21 Jehovah called
for a 70 year expulsion of the Jews from their land so it could enjoy its Sabbaths. Lev 26:32-39 God intended that His Land would rest one day in a week with the Jews resting with the land. It was the day in the week when God’s pleasure was kept not the believer’s personal preference. The pressing need to work on the land was to be put aside for 1 day. Jehovah’s thoughts were on the Land, as well as upon the people of the Land of Israel. If the Land rested then the people the Hebrews in the Land would also rest.
The distance they were allowed to walk was limited. In Ex 29:16 the Jews were told to stay at home for the Sabbath. In Acts 1:12 a Sabbath day’s journey is mentioned. Even necessities were waivered for the sanctity of the day. No fires were permitted. Ex 35:3 I want to insert here God’s concern for His Land Israel. In Joel 3:2, in some Bibles it is 4:2 as it is in the Hebrew text, God says He will gather all nations to the valley of Jehoshaphat (Jehovah judges) to judge them because of their treatment of His People and His Land. They scattered the Jews and divided up His Land. The Land of Israel is for the Jews only. This fact is true of all time, not only limited to the OT. The promise of the land grant was given before the Law was given. The Sabbath was to be a delight. ענג – oneg On Friday night as the evening service finishes the Jews have a fellowship called ‘Oneg Sabbath’. The sin dealt with here in this verse is the wrong practices done on the Sabbath. The Sabbath was to be kept holy and to be honoured. (וכיבדתו – kibadto ) The KJV translates it by “and shalt honour him”. It is not clear to me who the ‘him’ is. Sabbath is feminine, this is masculine. So it may refer to Jehovah rather than Shabbat which is the context here. God was to be honoured, and the Jew who honoured Jehovah also honoured the Sabbath. It would have been natural. Honoring the Sabbath was honoring God, if it was done in the right spirit. It was not a time for doing one’s own ways or own pleasures nor speaking one’s own words, nor doing ones business. It was God’s holy day. This is a guiding principle for every moment of one’s life. I have been troubled through all my years of fasting about the things I do on a fast day. I try to be careful about correspondence as email and letters and phone calls. There are times I must do things and there are times I am involved in evangelism. I tend to emphasize prayer over Bible reading in a fast, or evangelism. I seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance for each fast. I sing songs from a hymn-book.
Fasting is for praying. The faster is to be careful about what he does and says during the fast. This teaching is also good for the whole lifetime of a believer, which I believe is the NT attitude and fulfillment. Every moment of a Christian’s life is observed by God, and should be consecrated to Him. The life of the believer will be judged at the judgment seat of Christ. 11 Cor 5:9-10 May Jesus Christ’s will for us become our will. Amen. Believers in Jesus Christ who live in a country where Sunday is a holiday I would
encourage them to go to church on Sunday. We should find joy in giving Jesus Christ one day of the week. And let us go further, give every day to Jesus Christ. May every day of the believer’s life be consecrated to Jesus Christ. Amen. Believers are admonished to gather together. Heb 10:25 A believer is to be fully persuaded about his decisions. Rom 14:4-5, 14, 23
v 14 Obedience to the Holy Spirit’s leading brings delight in the Lord. ‘Delight’ is from the verb ‘oneg – ענג’ seen in v 13. Full surrender brings joy. It will lead to trouble but the joy will be there. There are high places of fellowship and blessing that are given to those who wholly follow Christ. These are high places and the normal Christian does not reach such heights. One is transported by Christ Himself through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Christ will feed with Biblical truth those who follow Him. It is worth surrendering to have Christ’s blessing. Fasting will help you to reach these high places, though fasting is not necessary in order to reach them. I am reminded of a testimony by Tom Williams who was my pastor in 1964. He was reading the Bible and was so blessed that he had to stop reading and take a walk. Ps 84:11 “For the Lord is a sun and a shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Br. Tom said God gives light, here the sun, but also protects when it is too glorious with His shield. Here in the OT it is the heritage of Jacob, for those in the NT there is the heritage of Messiah Yshua. From Jacob came the 12 tribes. David came from Judah and so did Jesus Christ. And from the 12 tribes came the prophets then the OT was written. This was a great heritage. The Jews also wrote the NT. In the NT we have the heritage of Christ, and that heritage will take you all the way to heaven for eternity. Christians should be eating and drinking and living in high places. Have a taste of 1 Cor 2:9 “But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear head, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.” Psalm 34:8 This is riding upon the high places of the earth. In Eph 1:3 “heavenly places” are mentioned, these are the heavenlies. Col 3:1-2 These high places are a spiritual state of the soul. Isaiah 58 has shown us that fasting will get you to the higher places. Fasting will help you to enter into the courts of the Lord. Ps 84:1-2 “How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts! My soul
longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.” What a joy and privilege to be in His presence. Fasting is not the only way to have such blessings, but God has given us this lesson on fasting. During the fast not only are there precious times of fellowship with Christ and great pleasure in being with Christ, but there is great power to accomplish the work of God, especially through prayer. You will be able to break the yoke of sin, for the true fast breaks the yoke of sin. That is the message of v 6. Fasting is for restoring the old waste places. Fasting can help you to understand difficult verses in the Bible. Daniel was troubled by Jeremiah’s 70 years. He fasted to get the understanding. Dan 9:2-4 See the understanding Daniel got in verses 24-27. In this study I have not dealt much with praying for the sick in body and mind. Fasting is an excellent time to pray for the sick. I have endeavored in all my fasts to pray for the sick. Fasting proves love. Do you love those who are bound by sin or mental strife, or those who are sick or those who have financial needs? Then fast for them if your body permits fasting. Fasting is to God, for fellowship with God and for people in need, and for needs in general. The chapter ends “for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” What more do you want or need to be convinced that fasting is for today and for you?
On May 15, 2012 in Saone, France I woke up in the morning thinking of where is the power of God, that is the power of God upon us. His power is in the Holy Spirit. To have the power of God you must be filled with the Holy Spirit. Acts 4:23-34 In verse 29 & 30 the persecuted believers asked for the visible manifestation of the power of God. In verse 31 they were filled with the Holy Spirit, and then they spoke the word of God with boldness. They had been filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and there was a necessity of another filling. I think the power comes from: first reading and studying and memorizing the Bible, second praying, third a consistent testimony with evangelism, fourth fasting which is helpful though not necessary. In the area of a consistent testimony I include Christian service. A believer must be ministering to others. The Christian needs the power of the Holy Spirit to minister especially in witnessing, but also in praying, and in teaching or preaching or sharing the Word of God. The power of the Holy Spirit helps in overcoming sin in a believer’s life. The power can be gained by the first three, but I believe fasting will advance and facilitate the process of being filled with the Holy Spirit. I believe it was so in my life. Due to health reasons there are believers who can not fast. Jesus Christ understands that. Jesus Christ found fasting necessary and He taught on fasting when He lived on the earth. I wonder why He needed to fast? Perhaps because He was a man, a human being. He left us an example of what a man needed to do to approach God. If Jesus Christ needed to fast, I believe His followers need to fast as well, if they are physically able.

On my web site there is a teaching on fasting, and this message on Is 58. www.To-The-Jew-First.org
For fasting fellowship with Jesus Christ,
Michael David Bentley
Job 23:12 “…I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my
necessary food.”

May, 2012 Athis-Mons, France and Dec. 2015 Tel Aviv, Israel, last updated April 2016.

CMC P.O. BOX 12964
Houston, TX
77217-2964 USA

Teaching on Fasting

Published / by lameh

http://www.to-the-jew-first.org

INTRODUCTION
FASTING IS FORGETTING SOME OF THE NECESSARY THINGS OF LIFE
FASTING IS FOR REVIVAL
WILL HELP YOUR HEART AND FLESH AND SOUL CRY OUT TO GOD
FASTING IS A NATURAL REACTION OF THE BODY AND SOUL
FASTING SATISFIES THE DEEP LONGINGS OF THE SOUL
FASTING IS TRIBULATION
FASTING REQUIRES PATIENCE AND IT CREATES PATIENCE
FASTING WITH AGREEMENT IS VERY POWERFUL
FASTING IS FOR EMERGENCIES
FASTING GETS THINGS ACCOMPLISHED
FASTING IS FOR TODAY, FOR NOW>
FASTING IS FOR NEW BEGINNINGS>
FASTING IS “QUALITY TIME” SPENT WITH GOD
FASTING IS PREPARATION FOR MINISTRY
FASTING IS FOR ASSURANCE OF KNOWING GOD’S WILL
FASTING IS FOR REDEDICATION
FASTING IS FOR THINKING THROUGH OR WORKING THROUGH DIFFICULT SITUATIONS
GOD’S CHOSEN FAST
FASTING FOR BACKSLIDERS IS STRATEGIC
FASTING IS FOR SETTING THE OPPRESSED FREE, AND FOR UNDOING THE HEAVY BURDENS
FASTING IS TAKING HOLD OF THE HORNS OF THE ALTAR
FASTING IS A TIME OF DESPERATION
FASTING IS A TIME OF KEEPING AN URGENT MATTER BEFORE GOD
FASTING IS A TIME OF PRAYING FOR THE SICK
FASTING IS FOR CHANGING THE MIND OF GOD
FASTING IS HEARD ON HIGH
FASTING AND WEEPING GO TOGETHER
FASTING IS FOR THE TIME OF DANGER
FASTING IS FOR LIFE THREATENING SITUATIONS, IT IS NATURAL TO FAST AT SUCH TIMES
CORPORATE OR GROUP FASTING IS ESPECIALLY BLESSED OF GOD
A THREE-FOLD CORD IS NOT QUICKLY BROKEN: PRAYER, FASTING AND AGREEMENT
FASTING IS FOR A TIME OF SPIRITUAL UNFAITHFULNESS>
FASTING IS HOLY
FASTING CAN STOP JUDGMENT
FASTING HUMBLES THE SOUL
FASTING WEAKENS THE BODY BUT STRENGTHENS THE SOUL
FASTING IS PRAYING IN WEAKNESS
FASTING IS A TIME OF PRAISE
FASTING IS FOR THE FEARFUL
FASTING IS ASKING HELP OF GOD
FASTING IS SEEKING THE LORD
FASTING RELEASES THE POWER OF GOD
FASTING IS FOR AFFLICTION
FASTING IS FOR KEEPING YOUR POSSESSIONS
FASTING IS FOR THE WEAK
FASTING HELPS YOU KEEP YOUR EYES ON GOD
FASTING IS PUTTING GOD FIRST
FASTING IS STANDING BEFORE GOD
FASTING IS VICTORY
FASTING IS STANDING STILL
FASTING IS A TIME OF WORSHIP
FASTING IS A TIME OF PRAISE! AND ATIME OF SINGING
FASTING IS A TIME OF TAKING THE SPOILS
FASTING IS A TIME OF BLESSING THE LORD
FASTING IS A TIME OF JOY
FASTING HELPS IN THE SPIRITUAL
BATTLE AGAINST THE DEVIL AND HIS DEMONS
FASTING ALSO HELPS IN THE BATTLE AGAINST THE WORLD AND THE FLESH
FASTING IS BRINGING THE BODY UNDER SUBJECTION
FASTING CAN BE REGULAR
FASTING IS FOR CONFESSION
FASTING IS FOR READING THE BIBLE
FASTING IS FOR UNDERSTANDING DIFFICULT PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE>
FASTING IS FOR MOURNING FOR SIN
FASTING IS FOR REPENTANCE
FASTING IS FOR BREAKING UP THE FALLOW GROUND
FASTING IS FOR FINANCIAL NEEDS
FASTING IS FOR GUIDANCE
FASTING IS FOR TIMES OF UNCERTAINTY
FASTING IS FOR THE TIME OF DESOLATION
FASTING IS FOR SOLEMN ASSEMBLIES>
FASTING IS SERVING GOD
FASTING IS FOR INTERCESSORS
FASTING IS TO GOD
FASTING SHOWS SINCERITY
FASTING IS FOR MISSIONS
FASTING IS FOR CHURCH MINISTRY
FASTING IS FOR AGRESSIVE EVANGELISTIC MINISTRY
FASTING IS FOR SPIRITUAL BATTLE
FASTING IS FOR SPIRITUAL POWER
FASTING IS FOR DELIVERANCE
FASTING IS FOR ENCOURAGEMENT
FASTING IS AN EXPRESSION OF LOVE
FASTING IS BIBLICAL
FASTING INCREASES FAITH
FASTING INCREASES THE POWER OF PRAYER
FASTING IS GOOD FOR THE HEALTH
FASTING IS FOR POWER AND RESULTS
FASTING SAVES TIME

INTRODUCTION

All verses are from the KJV of the Bible. Other versions are noted.

Ps 102:4 My heart is smitten, and withered like grass; so that I forget to eat my bread.

FASTING IS FORGETTING SOME OF THE NECESSARY THINGS OF LIFE.

When one is overtaken by a situation, he can forget to eat. This is one of the basic elements of fasting. Fasting occurs when a person has a heavy burden, a great desire. A desire that is greater than necessary things. It is an overwhelming concern as Ezra had over the faithlessness of the exiles. Ezra 9 & 10, (9:3, 10:6)

“Then Ezra rose up from before the house of God, and went into the chamber of Johanan the son of Eliashib: and when he came thither, he did eat no bread, nor drink water: for he mourned because of the transgression of them that had been carried away.” (Ezra 10:6)

FASTING IS FOR REVIVAL.

Job said “I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.” (Job 23:12)
The word food is not in the original but the Hebrew word has that sense. His words become more important than all our necessities. Fasting occurs when a believer has a strong desire to call upon God for some particular reason. The yearning believer is willing to give up his necessary food in order to present himself and his petition before The Living, Listening Christ. The same Hebrew word is used by Delitsch in the Hebrew translation of the NT of Matt 6:11, in the Lord’s Prayer, “our daily bread”. The word bread is in Matt. The Hebrew of Matt 6:11 could be translated “necessary bread.”

FASTING WILL HELP YOUR HEART AND FLESH AND SOUL CRY OUT TO GOD.
“My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.” (Ps 84:2)

“And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Fasting brings the flesh, (the body) the soul and the mind (the spirit or the heart) into the prayer. In fasting the body, soul and spirit have a greater possibility to be in unison. (Ecclesiastes 4:12)

I am often led to fast because of an intense desire to be alone with Christ. When such a feeling comes upon me, I begin checking my schedule to see when I can block off 2 months of time for a 30 or a 40-day fast. In this writing a day fast is a 24 hour period. As I recall there was at least one and a half years once until I could fulfill that desire. There were times when I had to wait a year. I recall being in Czech in about 1995 in a church meeting and the desire to be alone with Christ was so intense, that I had to find time to schedule a long fast. That was in Ceskytesin with Oto Zabystrzan. But it seems the soul was satisfied once it knew that time had been set aside for me to be alone with Christ in fasting.

When there are such needs,
FASTING IS A NATURAL REACTION OF THE BODY AND SOUL.
FASTING SATISFIES THE DEEP LONGINGS OF THE SOUL.

“And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.” (Deut 8:3)

Fasting helps the believer to understand that he does not live by food alone. Our bodies need spiritual nourishment. Believers need to read and study God’s Word. Fasting contributes to the spiritual life of the believer. There are other sources of strength and life than food. In a very difficult fast of 35 days & nights in Sept.-Oct. 2003 this verse came more real to me. I was so weak and hungry that I could only turn to God’s Word for strength and encouragement. The whole chapter Dt 8 helped me understand the trail I was in during the fast. I found Neh 8:10 also helpful in this fast. “…for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Let us remember “For my strength is made perfect in weakness…For when I am weak, then am I strong.” 11 Cor 12:8-10 In a 30 day & night fast Sept-Oct 2005 I experienced extreme hunger and had to often turn to God. I sensed I was able to continue because of: the prayers of many believers, reading of the Word of God, prayer, crying out to God often in tears for grace to continue, singing and reading songs, listening to Christian songs, and to messages on tape, the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, and the joy of the Lord became my strength (Neh 8:10). I was in great need of patience.

FASTING IS TRIBULATION. “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience.” (Romans 5:3)

FASTING REQUIRES PATIENCE AND IT CREATES PATIENCE.
I have been fasting at least since 1963. I recall my pastor Bob Gray of Trinity Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL in 1963 or 1964 asking me to join him in a fast for a day because of a particular burden he had. I assume he asked me to join him because of Jesus speaking “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt 18:19) Often in Israel’s history, when there was a national emergency, a fast was called for the whole nation.
God brought me through the Sept-Oct fast of 2005. My physical and mental resources were exhausted. Once the time of the fast is decided, then one is committed to that decision. I thought several times during the 40-day fast of 2000 to break the fast. In the beginning I broke several fasts. On one day fasts, I sometimes get headaches. I know if I eat, the headache will go away. A few times in the beginning, I did eat. In my first three 30-day and three 40-day fasts between 1988 and 2000, and in the 37-day fast of 2001, and in the 35-day fast of 2003, I do not recall having a headache. In the 21 day fast of 2004, I had a headache for the first day and a half. Perhaps because I had not fasted in several weeks. In the 30 day fast of 2005 I had no headache.

After breaking the fast, great care, patience and discipline is required. One can not return immediately to normal eating habits. I break the fast with diluted juice. For a fast of 7 days or more, I drink juice for two days. Only on the third day so I eat something like oatmeal and fruit. It is advised to return to normal eating only after as many days as was the fast. Avoid eating meat the first week after a fast of one week or more, especially fried meat. I find it extremely difficult to control my eating after a long fast. When I eat too much, I then get diarrhea. After diarrhea you have to start all over again, to train the digestive system to handle food. It is easy for the digestive system to stop working, but not easy for it to start up after not working for some time. A helpful rule would be to not eat too much at one time during the first week of breaking the fast.

FASTING ITSELF IS POWERFUL. FASTING WITH AGREEING PRAYER IS VERY POWERFUL.

Fasting and praying together is greater than praying without fasting. (All things being equal.)

FASTING IS FOR EMERGENCIES.

While attending the wedding of an Israeli believer, Samuel, in France in March 1999, I made a statement about fasting which I had never made before. I said this to Mark a young French pastor. Many things which I accomplished for Christ were done only because I fasted.

FASTING GETS THINGS ACCOMPLISHED.

Now is the time to fast

“Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not? And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bride chamber 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”. (Matt 9:14-15)

Also found in Mk 2:18-20, Lk 5:33-35. The same teaching was important enough to be mentioned 3 times.

FASTING IS FOR TODAY, FOR NOW.
The Bridegroom has been taken from us, so now is the time to fast.

Matt 6:16-18 “Jesus said When ye fast, and when thou fastest”. In v. 2 He said “when thou doest alms”, and v. 5 “when thou prayest”. As Jesus expects His followers to give alms, and to pray, He expects them to fast.

Some examples from the OT of fasting

1. The disciples of John the Baptist and the Pharisees fasted. They knew fasting from the OT example. Mk 2:18

2. Moses receiving the Law

“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.” (Exod 34:28)

This was at the beginning of a new dispensation. It was important that everything be understood. The time Moses was to pass with God was to be very intense. There were many details to receive. The Law of God was received. He felt it necessary to fast.

FASTING IS FOR NEW BEGINNINGS.

Moses fasted a second time 40 days and nights. Deut 9:18 25. This must have been by supernatural intervention. The sins of Israel drove him again to fast. The first 40 days & nights were for The Word, the second for the People.

Often Christian workers are very busy and are not able to spend much time with their families. So the time they do spend with them they try to make it a special time. In the USA some call it “quality time” with their family.

FASTING IS “QUALITY TIME” SPENT WITH GOD.

Fasting without water is found: Ex 34:28, Esther 4:16, Ezr 10:6, Jonah 3:7. Jesus did the same before beginning His public ministry. It is not recorded whether He drank water or not. “The Prophet that was to come was to come from among the Jewish people was to be like Moses.” (Deut 18:15)

“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered.” (Matt 4:1-2)

This is also recorded in Lk 4:1-2. Moses received the Law. Jesus was about to begin the public work God has for Him to do. Are we better prepared for our work than they? I think not. These two men felt it necessary to fast 40 days and nights at crucial times in their ministries. Our work is also important.

FASTING IS PREPARATION FOR MINISTRY.

Upon being expelled from Israel on May 1. 1988, I went to Crete and had a 30-day & night fast before entering Turkey and Eastern Europe. I have several times preceded my missionary trips with a long fast. In Jan. 1990 and Nov. 1991 I fasted 40 days & nights. In 1990 I made a trip into Eastern Europe. At the end of 1991, just after the 40-day fast, I began a trip to Egypt, Jordan and then continuing into 1992 to Eastern Europe, including Russia. By Jan 1993, I was in Massy, FR to study French. In 1992, I was arrested 9 times for giving out tracts. Eight times were in Kosovo, Serbia and they all happened in 5 days! The 9th was in Egypt were I was taken to court. In 1996 I tried to return to Egypt, but I was not permitted to enter. A week before, I tried to get in Israel but was refused. After being refused in both countries, I went to Cyprus for a 7 day fast.

FASTING IS FOR ASSURANCE OF KNOWING GOD’S WILL

Judges 20:26 – Fasting occurred when Israel had been beaten by Benjamin for the second time. Benjamin was being judged for their wickedness against a Levite and his concubine. 40,000 of Judah had been killed in this civil war. In 20:18 God had said Judah was to go against Benjamin. The men of Israel wept and fasted until evening. Since so many of their soldiers had been killed they wanted to be sure of the next move. Vs 27-28 They offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings. God spoke again, saying that they should go again against their brothers for He would give them victory this time. There was a great slaughter in Benjamin that next day. Judah killed 25,000 Benjamites. Only 600 men were left alive. The children of Israel fasted because they did not understand what God was doing. They were told to go against Benjamin, but they were smitten down two times. They were seriously searching God’s will and they wanted to be sure they were doing the right thing. They got the assurance. Fasting helped to clarify what God wanted and what He would do. They fasted until the evening.

For four years I distributed Bibles to Kibbutzim in Israel. I would go out the day after my weekly fast day, so for a time I broke the fast in the evening to be ready to go out early in the morning. My normal practice is to fast the 3 meals of the day. I fast from midnight to breakfast (= break the fast) about 33 hours later. The word for breakfast in French is dejeuner, having the same meaning as break-fast.

“During the time of Samuel’s ministry the people of Israel were serving Baalim & Ashtaroth. They wanted to come back to God. They turned from the idols to God. In the mean time the Philistines were threatening Israel. Samuel gathered Israel to Mizpeh for confirming their commitment. The people fasted and confessed their sins”. (I Sam 7:6) Then the Philistines were ready to attack as they heard that Israel was in Mizpeh. God honored the repentance of Israel and God thundered with a great thunder on the Philistines and they were discomfited. (I Sam 7:10)

FASTING IS A TIME OF REDEDICATION.

11 Sam 1:12, 3:35

1 Ki 21 Fasting here occurs 3 times. Jezebel’s proclaimed fast was a false fast.
I have gained some incite into fasting from Is 58, which also presents the false fast. Naboth the Jezreelite refused to give King Ahab his vineyard in Jezreel hard by the palace of Ahab King of Samaria. Ahab was also King of Israel. Jezebel was his wife. Jezreel is not in Samaria, but this was an additional palace King Ahab had. Ahab was so set on having the vineyard, that when Naboth refused, “Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased…And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread.” In 20:43 the same two words were used to describe his sentiments when a son of the prophets told him that he would die in Ben-hadad’s place, and his people in place of the Syrians. These two disappointments were too much for Ahab. Ahab was wrong in letting Ben-hadad escape and in wanting to take Naboth’s inheritance of his fathers. In Lev 25:23 God said the land (of Israel) is mine and it is not to be sold forever. Num 36:7 says the land can not move from tribe to tribe. Each man was to stay in his tribe’s territory. Ahab had reason to fast. But instead of seeking God’s face in these matters, he let his wife Jezebel handle the matter. She told the nobles of Jezreel to proclaim a fast and set Naboth on high among the people. V 9 Jezebel had the people to fast. Fasting is for serious matters. It also changes ones normal thinking. You become more concentrated on matters. A proper fast helps the believer to focus in on the matters needing prayer. Her plan worked and the people listened to the two men who gave a false report about Naboth. Jezebel used two Biblical principles: fasting and establishing a matter with two witnesses. Naboth was killed. This is an example of using fasting “to smite with the fist”, Is 58:4. As Ahab arrived to take Naboth’s vineyard, Elijah was there to announce to him the death of Ahab’s posterity and Jezebel’s death. Now in v 27 we see Ahab responding in the right manner. He humbled himself and fasted. God acknowledged his humility and delayed the judgment until after his death. The word for humbleth himself has the sense of bending the knee, and being concurred. Fasting is natural under such circumstances.

Is 58 V. 1 commands the believers to cry aloud to the Jews showing them their sins. One of the sins of those who professed faith was hypocrisy. V. 2 tells what Israel pretends to be. I took note of these pretensions in the 30-day fast of May 1988. They are good qualities if actually done. Seek God daily. The word day is repeated twice for emphasis. Delight to know His ways. This delight is the same word used in Ps 40:8 to describe the Messiah’s delight to do His father’s will. Do righteousness. Forsake not the ordinances of God. May we strive to keep the principles of the Scriptures. Ask of God the ordinances of justice. Let us do right, be just. Take delight in approaching to God. Fasting will help you to approach God. V. 3 They even fasted and afflicted their souls. Proper fasting afflicts the soul. God did not acknowledge their efforts. God criticized them for finding pleasure in fasting. The same thought is expressed in v. 13 where they were doing their pleasure on the Sabbath. Fasting is a spiritual exercise that has great value. It is appreciated by those who know fasting. The results are amazing. Fasting is a difficult physical experience. As I write these thoughts about Is 58 I have been fasting for 22 and a half hours. I have hunger pains. That is not pleasure. The believer is wiling to go through the pain of fasting because he is convinced of its spiritual values. One does not fast to get out of something or some responsibility. One fasts to deal with problems and to present needs to Christ. These two thoughts at the end of v.3 are difficult for me to understand. The two questions asked in v. 3 are good questions. The fasting Jews asked why God did not see their fasting. God answers in v.4. V. 4 goes further into misuse of the fast. They were fasting to inflict others. An example of this is when Jezebel called a fast to bring about the death of Naboth. 1 Kgs 21:12 Another example is when the more than 40 Jews bound themselves to not eat or drink until they had killed Paul. Acts 23:12-15 The goals and attitudes the fasters had in Is 58 were not acceptable to God. The disciples James and John once wanted to call down fire on some Samaritans who did not receive Jesus. Jesus said in Lk 9:56 ‘For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.’ When a Christian fasts he is seeking God’s will and His intervention. A proper fast will make your voice to be heard on high. V.5

Jesus deals with the false fast in Matt 6:16-18..

My Personal History

1. While a student in Tennessee temple Schools from 1963-1966 I began fasting for longer periods. I kept adding a day. A day of fasting for me is a 24 hour period. As I recall, I tried the new number of days several times before pushing on to the next level. I soon reached 15 days, and then did 21. In 1966 I did 28 days. I was a student, and had a job. At one stage I was fasting without water. I then read that if Jesus did not drink water in His 40 day fast, the NT would have said afterward He was thirsty and not an hungered. Thirst is a greater discomfort than hunger. Once I fasted 7 days and nights without water. My lips were cracked. On the 7th day I taught Sunday School. I was able to talk about 20 minutes when my throat went dry and I could not talk. I left the long fasts for over 10 years. (1969-1980)

2. I fasted one day a week during those years. I recall the day fasts in Israel when I prayed for believers in Israel. That custom of praying for believers in Israel during my one day weekly fast is still being carried on. (2005) I do not always fast one day a week while traveling. I recall a fast of at least 3 days in 1969 in Israel. I think it was in1984 I had a 15 day fast in Israel. I started in the Judean Hills just west of Jerusalem where I slept on the ground, went to Mt. Carmel above Haifa, then Mt. Gilboa where again I slept on the ground. Mt. Gilboa is above the Jezreel Valley on its south east side. Saul & Jonathan died there. 1 Sam 31:1-6 I then finished on the north eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. I recall finishing more than one fast on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. It became my favorite place to finish fasts. Many of my fasts in Israel were done at the Beraca Bible Presbyterian center south of Bethlehem. Howie & Laverne Hurdle remember my long fasts at Beracah. Olwen Jones was there as well.

3. Upon being kicked out of Israel in 1988, I went straight to the island of Crete for a 30-day fast. I was 46 years old. I had worked 15 years in Israel. During that fast I worked through the difficulty of giving up Israel. I had committed myself to remain in Israel until my death. I needed that 30-day & night fast to begin letting Israel go. It took several more years to let go of Israel. I imagine David had the same experience as he fasted 7 days lying on the ground while his boy was dying. The boy died because of David’s sin, and that was not easy to bear. 11 Sam 12:1-23 After the death of the boy, he was ready to eat and return to his life. Probably during the 7 days and nights of fasting David gave up his boy.

FASTING IS FOR THINKING THROUGH OR WORKING THROUGH DIFFICULT SITUATIONS.
I imagine David got the thoughts of Ps 51 during those 7 days & nights. In v.20 it is seen that after the fast was over, David washed himself, then went to the Tempe to worship, and only then did he go to eat. In my early years at TTS I needed money for the school bill. If I did not pay, I would loose the whole semester. One week before the start of the exams I told God I would not eat or drink until He gave me the money. Seven days and nights later I got the money. My first desire was not to drink. It was to go get alone and praise God for what He had done for me. Afterwards I returned to my dorm room and there was an orange waiting for me! Fasting can be suggested for believers who go through a divorce or for those in mourning after the loss of a loved one. The fast can be a time of confession and forgiveness and inner healing and release. In the Bible we see Jews fasting after the death of a respected one: 11 Sam 1:12 for Saul & Jonathan, 11 Sam 3:35 for Abner.

4. My third 40-day fast was in 2000 on Crete. I drink water when I fast. I drink no juice nor do I take vitamins. I normally take high blood pressure medicine. I do not take it during the fast. In Oct-Nov 2001 I fasted 37 days. This was to be a 40-day fast, but for the first time I had physical complications so terminated the fast before its intended end. Four times I fasted 30-days: 1988, 1995, 1998 and 2005. That is as of 2005. My first 40-day & night fast was in Lakeland, FL. All the rest of the 30 and 40-day & night fasts, including the 37-day were on the Island of Crete. There was a 35-day & night fast in Sept.-Oct., 2003 and a 21 day & night fast in Sept.-Oct., 2004, both were on Crete.

5. I have presented the subject of fasting two times to the Baptist church in Roshiori de Vede, RO. On Feb. 25, 99 I passed a 10-day fast there to encourage them in fasting. There was a call for a fast among French speaking churches of 3 days beginning on Feb. 25, 99. It was a fast for suffering Christians worldwide. That 3-day fast was called an Esther fast, for it was at the time of Purim. Esther had a 3-day fast. Esther 4:15-16. Because of this fast by some French speaking believers I chose to start my fast on the same day. In Rosiori the unemployment rate was about 85-90%. We had good turn outs to the prayer sessions. We began at 6:30AM to give the high schoolers a chance to pray. I stayed in the church until about 2 PM. During the 40-day fast of 2000, the church in Rosiori de Vede had someone fasting each day of my 40-day fast. They were praying for me. I needed those prayers. In 2001 they were not praying for me as they did in 2000, and I did not make the 40 days.

a. In Sept. 2002 I did a 10-day fast at Calvary Bible Church in Ellerslie, MD. Church members came in to pray with me, mainly in the morning. I started at 8 AM. Pastor Korns came to begin the prayer time with me. Br. Ralph Frantz was there almost each day as well. Eleven different members came to pray with me. Forty-five members submitted prayer requests for me to prayer over. One sister who had been recently saved was blessed in trying to fast. She had a serious problem with eating too much before her salvation. She noted an improvement after her salvation. She was surprised she could go 17 hours without eating on the first day of the fast. Towards the end of the 10-days, she was so happy to report that she had been 30 hours without food. She may have gone beyond that. A 15 day fast is planned for 2006 in this same church.

b. In July 2003 in Iasi, RO I was encouraged by a church’s interest in fasting. They wanted to know what led me to fast and why did I fast. When this church was meeting in a home, they asked me how they could raise the money to build a building. I told them about fasting. They liked the idea. They now have a nice building! A similar opportunity was given in Brasov, RO at the Craiter Church in July, 2005.

Some examples from the last 500 years.

1. Reformers as Leuther (1530), Calvin (1509-1564) and Knox of Scotland fasted. Jonathan Edwards an American preached his sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God while he was weak from fasting. David Brainerd missionary to the American Indians fasted.

2. Charles Finney, about 1860 fasted. He had a keen sense of the Holy Spirit’s fullness. When he lost that fullness, he stopped eating until it came back.
3. John Wesley said when he felt his power waning and a coldness coming over his heart, he fasted & prayed a few days and God heard and answered.

4. J. Harold Smith an American who died in 2001 practiced fasting. After leaving the pastorate he entered evangelism. He soon found that he did not have the power to win the lost in his meetings. He understood that he would have to fast 40-days and nights to get that power. He drank only water, eating no food for those 40-days and received the power to win the lost. He wrote a booklet on fasting. He said his best evangelistic meetings were those in which he fasted from the time he got on the air plane to go to the meeting, to the time he got back on the plane to return home. Br. Smith in his book gives suggested food to eat when breaking a long fast.

5. Lester Roloff encouraged fasting. He encouraged the students at Tenn. Temple Schools in the 1960’s to fast one day a week. I have followed that practice. Br. Roloff wrote a booklet on fasting. It is titled Food, Fasting & Faith. He spoke of the value of a juice fast. In a fast with no food, he encouraged drinking much water. A complete fast is going without any sort of food or liquid. I understand Bill Bright suggests a juice fast as well. Bill Bright wrote a book on fasting. Christian Literature Crusade in Fort Washington, PA 19034, sells at least 2 books on fasting. One is GOD’S CHOSEN FAST by Arthur Wallis

FASTING IS FOR SETTING THE OPPRESSED FREE, AND FOR UNDOING THE HEAVY BURDENS.
In anguish of soul. Hannah yearning for a child stopped eating, 1 Sam 1:6-8. I can think of 3 women I know who are grieved because they have no child. Note Hannah’s fasting was accompanied by tears.
Do you have a heavy burden? Is a member of your family lost? Is a friend bound by evil spirits and or evil actions? Is a member of your family an alcoholic? a drug addict? Are you faced by danger? Are you bound by a sin? Do you have friends who are seriously sick? Your fasting prayers can help in such situations. Perhaps the lesbian or the homosexual’s last chance is the fasting prayer. The fasting prayer can bring a backslider back into the church and the Christian life.

FASTING FOR BACKSLIDERS IS STRATEGIC.

“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?” (Isa 58:6) This is the key verse about fasting. Is 58 deals with fasting, especially the fast rejected by God. Attitude is important in fasting. Jesus dealt with this problem in Matt 6:16-18. But after dealing with the false fast God gives a clear statement as to what proper fasting can accomplish. That is found in verse 6 just quoted.

Saul at death’s door fasted. 1 Sam 28:7-25 Saul had not eaten all the day and all the night (20). Saul was distressed (15) because the Philistines made war against him and God had departed from him. The medium brought up Samuel who reminded Saul of his sins and that God had departed from him. Samuel told Saul he and his sons would be with Samuel tomorrow. Saul was desperate and distressed. It was a natural time to fast. The witch and Saul’s men had to force Saul to eat (23-25).

David grieved for his dying son. The son was dying because David had conceived him in adultery. 2 Sam 12:13-23

These 7 days of fasting (v 18) were for David a time of seeking God. It was a time of returning to God. I believe also a time of inner mental healing for David. It was also a time of intercession for the life of the child.

FASTING IS FOR TIMES OF DESPERATION. David was desperate.

FASTING IS A TIME OF KEEPING AN URGENT MATTER BEFORE GOD.
I am reminded of Jesus’ parable of the unjust judge and the widow who insisted her case be heard. Luke 18:1-6. Jesus taught this parable to instruct believers to always pray and not to faint.

FASTING IS TAKING HOLD OF THE HORNS OF THE ALTAR.

There were two altars related to the Tabernacle. The larger was outside the tent. It was the altar of burnt offering. The smaller one was inside the tent in the Holy Place next to the veil which led to the Holy of Holiest. It appears to me both are mentioned in Lev 4:17-18. The first one is near the vail in the tabernacle and the second one is the altar of burnt offering where all the blood of the sin offering was poured. In Lev 4:25 blood of the sin offering is put on the horns of the altar of burnt offering and then the rest is poured out at the bottom of the altar.
The altar of incense was smaller than the altar of burnt offering. Ex 27:1 gives the dimensions of the altar of the burnt offering. It is also called the brazen altar. It was 5 cubits long and 5 broad. It was 3 cubits high. One cubit = 1 foot 5.48 inches, or 45 cm, though some put it at 55 cm. Which means the altar of burnt offering was four and a half feet high. Ex 30:2 gives the dimensions of the altar of incense. It was 1 cubit long and broad. It was 2 cubits high, which is 3 feet (1 meter). Zacharias was on the right side of the altar of incense when the angel of the Lord appeared to him to announce that Elizabeth would have a son. Lk 1:10-13 From Lev 4:17-18 it appears blood was also sprinkled on the altar of incense.

The horn was from an ox or a ram. It was a symbol of strength, might and power. It is an image taken from bulls and other animals which push with their horns. The ram’s horn was used for the shofar, to make a noise. In Amos 3:14 God’s judgment is to fall on Beth-el. To mark this judgment, the horns of the altar shall be cut off and fall to the ground.

Adonijah tried to take the Kingdom when David was dying. While Adonijah had his feast to celebrate him as king, Solomon was proclaimed king! Adonijah feared Solomon and headed for the horns of the altar! 1 Kings 1:50-53 Says of Adonijah “they brought him down from the altar.” To bring him down from the altar would seem more likely to be the brazen altar. With the fire burning it would be a hot place to hold on to.

Soon after Adonijah was holding onto the horns of the altar, Joab was as well. Joab had sided with Adonijah to make him king. 1 Kings 2:28-34 Joab caught hold of the horns of the altar. Verse 29 says he “was fled unto the tabernacle” and that “he is by the altar”. Joab refused to “come forth” so Benaiah went in and got him.

Holding on to the horns of the altar was a place of pleading for grace, for ones life and for pardon. Those who went there were desperate. Fasting is for the same. It is for life threatening situations.

FASTING IS A TIME OF PRAYING FOR THE SICK
Adding fasting in our prayers for the sick is helpful.

Fasting is important in freeing those bound by demons. “The boy was a lunatic and sore vexed. The disciples could not cast out the devil so they asked Jesus why they could not. 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. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” (Matt 17:14-21)

Horatio Guy who was a fellow seminary student had dealt with demons in the Philippines. He said it is necessary to fast when dealing with demons. He said a backslider should not be present when casting out demons.

FASTING IS FOR CHANGING THE MIND OF GOD.
See also Jonah 3:7-10. David was not able to change the mind of God, but the Ninevites did change God’s mind.

In the Acts 27:33 of the NT, 276 men despaired of their lives. For 14 days while they still had life, they ate nothing. God delivered them all.

FASTING IS HEARD ON HIGH. See Is 58:4.

FASTING AND WEEPING GO TOGETHER.

1. We saw how Hannah wept and fasted. 1 Sam 1:8

2. David fasted and wept for his dying child. 11 Sam 12:21-23

3. Ps 69:10 A Psalm of David “When I wept and chastened my soul with fasting.”

4. Ester 4:3 When the Jews learned of their death penalty issued by Haman and King Ahasuerus (3:8), they fasted, wept and wailed. Jews all over the kingdom of Ahasuerus fasted.

Group fasting was practiced in the OT and in the NT. Note what Ester did when she learned of the fate of her people. 4:16-17 She was willing at the risk of her life to go before the King to try to save her people. But in the face of death, in a desire to escape death, and to gain her people’s lives, she proclaimed a 3 day fast, with no drinking. She did not want to go before the King without fasting. She also did not want to fast alone.

FASTING IS FOR THE TIME OF DANGER.
FASTING IS FOR LIFE THREATENING SITUATIONS, IT IS NATURAL TO FAST AT SUCH TIMES.
CORPORATE OR GROUP FASTING IS ESPECIALLY BLESSED OF GOD.
A THREE-FOLD CORD IS NOT QUICKLY BROKEN: PRAYER,
FASTING AND AGREEMENT. Ecls 4:12

Joel called the priests to an all night fast because there were no meat and drink offerings being given.”Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD.” (Joel 1:14)

FASTING IS FOR A TIME OF SPIRITUAL UNFAITHFULNESS.

FASTING IS HOLY.

Then God called the Jews to be ready for the judgment of God.

“Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:

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. 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? Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly.” (Joel 2:12-15 )
There were no meal or drink offerings. Therefore a fast was sanctified. (Joel 1:13-14)

FASTING CAN STOP JUDGEMENT.

This can be seen clearly in the judgment pronounced on Nineveh by Jonah.

David practiced fasting.

1. 11 Sam 1:12

2. 11 Sam 3:35

3. 11 Sam 12:

4. Ps 35:13 David humbled his soul with fasting. FASTING HUMBLES THE SOUL.

5. Ps 69:10

6. Ps 109:24 David’s knees were weak through fasting, and he had no fat at that time. I have seen times when my knees buckle (give in) because of fasting. I assume from David’s statement in v 24 that he practiced long fasts. It also takes some days before one notices that he is losing fat. I am overweight so it takes me longer to notice it than people of a proper weight. I loose about 20 kgs when I fast 40 days. In 10-day fast of 2002 I lost about 15 pounds in 10 days.

FASTING WEAKENS THE BODY BUT STRENGTHENS THE SOUL.
FASTING IS PRAYING IN WEAKNESS.

God recognizes your earnestness when He sees that you are fasting. There are times when God comes down to see what is going on. Gnu 18:20-21 As in the case of Sodom.

FASTING IS A TIME OF PRAISE. (2 Chron 20)

FASTING IS FOR THE FEARFUL.

2 Chron 20 – A fast was proclaimed (v 3), because 3 armies were approaching Jerusalem. Jehoshaphat feared and therefore fasted.

FASTING IS ASKING HELP OF GOD. (v 4) “They asked help of God”.

FASTING IS SEEKING THE LORD. “They sought the Lord”.

FASTING RELEASES THE POWER OF GOD. In v 6-12 is recorded Jehoshaphat’s prayer. This was a fasting prayer.

FASTING IS FOR AFFLICTION. (v 9) “They called out unto God in their affliction”.

FASTING IS FOR KEEPING YOUR POSSESSIONS. (v 11)

FASTING IS FOR THE WEAK (v 12) “no might”.

FASTING HELPS YOU KEEP YOUR EYES ON GOD. “But our eyes are upon thee.”

FASTING IS PUTTING GOD FIRST. (v) 13
Praise puts God first. God and what He wants is more important than anything else.

FASTING IS STANDING BEFORE GOD. (v 13) All their “little ones” were there.

At the meetings in Rosiori de Vede in Feb. 99 a boy of about 11 asked me if fasting is for children. I said yes with the parents’ permission. I think this boy comes to the meetings without his parents. Pastor Ion Toni thought of the fast of Nineveh. Jonah 3:7-10 Neither man nor beast was permitted to eat or to drink. This may have included the children.

FASTING IS VICTORY. (vs 14-16) God answered and said He would fight the battle. .

FASTING IS STANDING STILL. Ps 46:10

FASTING IS A TIME OF WORSHIP. (v 17) Jehoshaphat worshipped. (v 18) Then the praise began. (vs 19-22) They sang and praised The Lord as they marched to the battle.

FASTING IS A TIME OF PRAISE! AND A TIME OF SINGING.

FASTING IS A TIME OF TAKING THE SPOILS. (v 25)

FASTING IS A TIME OF BLESSING THE LORD. (v 26)

FASTING IS A TIME OF JOY. (v 27)

I started in the early 90’s giving the next to the last day of a long fast to only praise. I did not offer any prayer requests on that day. I sang songs, read scripture, and let the scriptures guide me in my praise. I walked worshipping Our Risen Glorious Christ. I walked and offered thanksgiving. In 1995 I sensed the fast of 1996 would be a fast of praise. It was a 15 day fast. I took the 7 days of rejoicing of the Feast of Tabernacles as my guide. Lev 23:40b. I tried to rejoice before God for 7 days, 7 hours each day. Most of the time I walked and praised God and the Lamb. In the 30 day fast of 1998 the Feast of Tabernacles fell during the fast so I took those 7 days of the feast to praise the Lord for 7 hours each day. God the Father and God the Son await our praises. In the 40-day fast of 2000 again during the Feast of Tabernacles, I praised God and His Lamb for the 7 days of the feast for 7 hours per day.

What happens when we are filled with the Spirit? Eph 5:18-20. Psalms, hymns, songs, singing are what the Spirit leads the worshipper into.

FASTING HELPS IN THE SPIRITUAL BATTLE AGAINST THE DEVIL AND HIS DEMONS.
FASTING ALSO HELPS IN THE BATTLE AGAINST THE WORLD AND THE FLESH.
FASTING IS BRINGING THE BODY UNDER SUBJECTION.

1 Cor 9:24-27 Paul wanted to “keep under my body, and bring it into subjection.”

FASTING CAN BE REGULAR

A one day fast each month Zech 8:19

a. These times (moadim) were of joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts.

b. Many Christians have greatly benefited from a one day fast each week.

FASTING IS FOR CONFESSION.

Nehm 9:1-3 The Jews fasted, stood and confessed. It is helpful to begin the fast with confession. It was a natural way to get close to God for the fast.

FASTING IS FOR READING THE BIBLE. Then they read the Word of God. (Nehm 9:1-3)

FASTING IS FOR UNDERSTANDING DIFFICULT PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE
Dan 9:1-23 Daniel understood from Jeremiah that Israel had 70 years in the desolations of Israel (v 2). He sought understanding of these years and therefore fasted. He naturally started with confession. (vs 2-3).

FASTING IS FOR MOURNING FOR SIN. (Ezra 10:6)

Yom HaKippurim, Day of Atonement, Lev 16. In v. 29 the Jews were to afflict their souls. The Jews understand this to mean fasting. 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.

FASTING IS FOR REPENTANCE. Yom HaKippurim, Day of Atonement is a Day of confession and repentance.

FASTING IS FOR BREAKING UP THE FALLOW GROUND.
Jrm 4:3 Hos 10:12 It brings the heart out of hardness into openness to God ‘s word, and His will.

Far too many times I have experienced that I was only able to accept God’s will in a particular matter while fasting. A striking example was in Feb-May 2005. I was pressed. Time was too short for all I had on my heart. June 1, I would leave again for the 8 month trip. I sensed I needed to go to Israel for 2 weeks. I said no. I fought it. While fasting on my one day a week, I gained grace and surrendered to the will of God. I decided I would go to Israel. I needed to clear out all my things from Beit el Beraka, which had been sitting there for too many years. It took 6 days to clear them out. I had been already working on them on previous visits, especially the books.

FASTING IS FOR FINANCIAL NEEDS. Here is the missionary’s resource.

In March and April 1999, I needed extra gifts of money, beyond that which I normally receive. Since my yearly summer trips to East Europe beginning in 1990, I made for the first time a winter trip in 1999. With my credit card I drew on April’s funds in March. I began praying and during my fast days I brought my financial needs before our Heavenly Father. On May 25, a French sister who has never given to me before, sent me about $1666! Endless praises unto Our All sufficient Faithful God and Our Able Savoir Jesus Christ!

Two or three days before a 30 day fast in 1998, I was with a Greek missionary couple in Athens. They are George & Aleca Dragotas. Their car was no longer dependable. In 1989 they were already having trouble and a brother said he would help them to get another car. Nothing was again said about this. Aleca asked me to pray for another car during my fast. After the fast I came to stay in their home. While I was there they received a call from the brother who had said he would help them. He said he would put $20,000 in their account! They got a 1997 Subaru 4 wheel drive!

The 30 day fast of 2005 was characterized by deep callings out unto Christ for finances. I was given extra finances for Sept. One gift was $2000. By the time I left BG on Sept 2, most of it was gone.

A missionary can not normally work for money. I suggest he try to get the money he needs by fasting for it. I encourage this method rather than depending on asking God’s people for it. I do share financial needs of some with whom I am working. We are encouraged to trust God for our finances. If we give, God will give to us “according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philip 4:19) That was a promise to the Philippian church which had supported Paul financially. God would re-supply them for they had given to Paul. God will supply through the body of Christ, but we want God to do it, not just the body of Christ. As God supplies I feel free to share it as a testimony of His faithfulness.

FASTING IS FOR GUIDANCE.

Ezra 8:21-23 – Ezra fasted with Israel to seek from God a right way. Also see Is 58:11.

FASTING IS FOR TIMES OF UNCERTAINTY.

Is 58:11 – After fasting in the proper manner God promised to guide continually.

FASTING IS FOR THE TIME OF DESOLATION.

Joel 1:13-14 – There were no meal or drink offerings. Therefore a fast was sanctified.

FASTING IS FOR SOLEMN ASSEMBLIES.

For the transition from the OT to the NT, let us observe Anna who saw the baby Jesus in the Temple in Jerusalem. (Luke 2:36-38). She had been a widow for 84 years. She served God with fasting and prayers night and day. The Jewish fast was night and day. The Muslims fast is only during the day.

FASTING IS SERVING GOD

I see in Anna a mighty ministry for sisters. Especially for widows or sisters who never married. (Lk 2:37) And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fasting and prayers night and day.

FASTING IS FOR INTERCESSORS.

Mat 6:16-18 Jesus teaching on fasting.

a. v 16 “When you fast.” He expected His disciples to fast.

b. v 18 Appear not unto men to fast, but fast unto God. We fast not to be seen of men, but to be heard by God. When men see our fasting, it can be a testimony to them. Moses recorded his fast. Jesus’ fast is given to us. Paul spoke of his fasting. It is recorded in the book of Acts that the early church practiced prayer with fasting. Acts 13:2-3, 14:23

FASTING IS TO GOD.

Acts 10:30 Cornelius fasted, and he prayed and his prayers were heard. Peter was in prayer and became hungry. Perhaps he was fasting. But before he could eat he fell asleep and God spoke to him. He was told to go to the Gentile Cornelius. In 10:22 it is clear that Cornelius was in close contact with the Jewish people. He was acting on the light which he had received from the Jews. And God gave him further revelation.

FASTING SHOWS SINCERITY. Cornelius’ earnestness was clearly seen in his fasting and he was wonderfully rewarded.

FASTING IS FOR MISSIONS.
Acts 13:2-3 The first missionaries were chosen during fasting and praying by leaders and others of the church in Antioch. Here is the beginning of the missionary movement. May this movement continue to use fasting. 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. (Acts 14:23)

The first missionaries used fasting and praying to strengthen the elders and the churches they founded. The missionaries’ ministry began with fasting and prayer and they continued fasting and praying in their labors for Christ and His Church.

FASTING IS FOR CHURCH MINISTRY.

(1 Cor 7:5) Paul expected the believers to fast. He said that when husband and wife fast they should not have sex. Fasting creates a unique bond between the believer and God. The believer has deep concerns which have driven him to fast. The faster is to keep Christ before him in his fast.

Paul fasted often. (2 Cor 11:27-28) In spite of the fact that he was often hungry, he still had fasts.

FASTING IS FOR AGRESSIVE EVANGELISTIC MINISTRY.
The fasts were necessary in his aggressive evangelistic ministry. Paul was willing to add to his sufferings, fasting. He was so convinced of its effectiveness. He needed power. (Eph 6:12)

FASTING IS FOR SPIRITUAL BATTLE. The believer’s spiritual battle is against Satanic forces and wickedness.

FASTING IS FOR SPIRITUAL POWER. (Mark 3:22-27) Satan is the strong man and must be bound before we go in and take possession of that which is bound.

All my bones shall say, LORD, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him? (Ps 35:10)

FASTING IS FOR DELIVERANCE.
Those who are bound have great difficulty delivering themselves. They need help. The believers’ fasting prayers are what they need. Paul wanted God to go before him, preparing the way and the work.

FASTING IS FOR ENCOURAGEMENT. Paul needed encouragement.

FASTING IS AN EXPRESSION OF LOVE. We have noted several men who fasted. They proved their love to God and to men by their fasting.

FASTING IS BIBLICAL. We have seen fasting in the OT and the NT.

My Observations

FASTING INCREASES FAITH The combination of the fasting body and the believing prayer increases faith. This has to do with the nature of our human body.

FASTING INCREASES THE POWER OF PRAYER.

FASTING IS GOOD FOR THE HEALTH.
I can not speak with the knowledge of a doctor. I am convinced fasting is good for the health. That is if one is able to fast. There are physical problems in the body, which make it unwise for that person to fast. Fasting eliminates toxic poisons from the body. I knew a man who sprayed oranges, and after spraying he would fast for 3 days to get the chemicals out of his body. Fasting gives the digestive organs a rest. Fasting cleanses the body. Drinking water helps to cleanse the body. The breath will smell, and the cleansing process may create a back ache, or head ache especially in the first day or two. It usually takes my body 6 to 7 days to clean itself. I sense the change as I receive more strength as the body has stopped working to clean itself.

FASTING IS FOR POWER AND RESULTS.
For power and results, the longer the fast the better. I sense the blessing and power is accumulative. The more time of the fast consecrated to prayer the Word and praise the better. In Is 58:3 the faster is warned not to “find pleasure” during the fast. In v. 13 the same expression is used for the Sabbath. I put a limit to the fast: 40 days. Beyond that it is dangerous for the body. I believe the human body was designed for a 40 day fast.

FASTING SAVES TIME.
There is no preparing of food, neither cooking, eating nor cleaning up. I have tried when fasting and continuing my regular schedule, to stop for meal time to read the Word and to pray.

Conclusion

Fasting is taught in the Bible, OT and NT. Christians have used fasting through the centuries. As we approach the last days of the age of grace, Satan is working hard to gain people and ground. He is mightily opposing the work of the church.

“Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time”. (Rev 12:12)

We need the power and the help of God. Fasting will help the church to have God’s power and His help. We need our prayers answered. Jesus said that when the bridegroom is gone then we should fast. Now is the time of fasting, just before His return.

This message as originally written I preached and it was translated into Romanian by Rodica Hortupanu in Feb. 1999. She died in the summer of 99. I dedicate this message to her memory. She was in full time youth work.

I highly suggest to the Church of Jesus Christ fasting: for individuals and for church groups.

Michael David Bentley Feb. 15, 1999, Updated from time to time.

Fasting is weakness.

CMC P.O. BOX 12964
Houston, TX
77217-2964 USA
http://www.to-the-jew-first.org