4 Types of Fasts

Supernatural Fast

A fast divinely enabled by God.

Moses fasted for two periods of 40 days. Deuteronomy 9:9, 18

Elijah did not eat for 40 days. 1 Kings 19:8Read more

Bible Study – Fasting

Scripture Reading: 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

Summary: Fasting is a long-held practice of God’s people in both the Old and New Testament and is a needful part of a Christian’s life today. It is an outward act of self-denial that can help focus the mind, body, and spirit on the things of God. It is a channel of power with God for deliverance, guidance, anointing, and spiritual growth.

Definition: While Christians should practice self-denial in many areas, the word “fasting” in the Bible means specifically to abstain from food.Read more

Questions and Answers on Fasting

How frequently should one fast?

The New Testament does not give guidelines for how frequently one should fast. The Pharisee in Luke 18:11-12 fasted twice a week. By the time of Christ, the Pharisees had turned fasts into legal bondage. The best advice is found in Galatians 5:18: “But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” We need to be led by the Spirit in how often we fast. There is a danger that a spiritual observance done regularly can become a form or ritual without true spirituality. Fasting, whether regular or occasional, is a personal decision between an individual and God. Some people have broken their health because they fasted too frequently and too long. This is not temperate and is not caring for the body as the temple of God.Read more

Bible Translation Interpolation

Interpolation is the insertion of something of a different nature into something else. Some Bible versions mention fasting in Matthew 17:21, Mark 9:29, and 1 Corinthians 7:5. However, these references to fasting are believed to be later additions that were not part of the original Bible manuscripts.

Matthew 17:21 and Mark 9:29 refer to the disciples not being able to cast out a spirit, and Jesus said, “This kind goeth not out but by fasting and prayer.” According to the Adam Clarke Commentary and other scholars, Matthew 17:21 is not in the “Vatican MS, one of the most ancient and most authentic perhaps in the whole world.” It is omitted by more reliable texts. While some manuscripts contain the word “fasting” in the Mark account, the Vatican Manuscript omits “fasting”, the Amplified Bible uses italics for “and fasting,” and many other translations reject its veracity. The evidence is inconclusive in this verse. It is interesting that all of the Bibles in the different languages used for translation in this publication use the word fasting in the Matthew account. Swahili does not use the word fasting in the Mark account.Read more

Lent

Lent, in the nominal Christian world, is a special time of prayer, fasting, penance, sacrifice, and good works in preparation for the celebration of the resurrection.

Lent, observed by many for forty days, is not a Biblical doctrine. Some promote Lent fasting as commemorating the fast of Christ in the wilderness, but this does not align with the practice of the primitive church. There is more evidence that the early church fasted for the approximate forty hours in which Jesus lay in the grave—but even this is debatable from early writings in the church. Some taught that the fasting should be one day, some two, etc. The historical development of Lent is uncertain, although its practice was solidified following the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. The forty hours became forty days of fasting and even then, the definition of fasting became liberalized and included abstaining from things other than just food.

God’s people are not bound to the foolishness nor bondage of man’s religion; rather, saints of God are to live a continual life of devotion to God. ■

Beseeching God

And Moses besought the LORD his God…. —Exodus 32:11

When Moses obtained the law from God on Mount Sinai and descended the mountain, he discovered that the people had turned away from God and were worshipping a golden calf. God’s anger was stirred, and He told Moses He was going to destroy the people. Moses besought the Lord and entreated Him to have mercy and turn away from His wrath.Read more

The Great Physician

(The following account is a narrative of the event recorded in Mark 5:24-34, KJV).

People thronged about Jesus as He walked down the dusty road. The disciples surrounded Him and tried to create a barrier from the crowd that pressed into them closer and closer. The sound of laughter could be heard as children scampered about, running between the people. The voices of the men and women conversing and discussing the things they had seen blended into a dull roar. A lame man, unable to keep up, shuffled along behind the crowd. A mother, holding a fevered child, came rushing down the road trying to reach the Master. Read more

The Privilege of Trusting God

[God] hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. —Ephesians 2:6-7

The graces of the Lord Jesus Christ are still flowing down to us in this present age. What a blessing to be personal recipients of love and kindness from the Saviour. The topic this quarter is divine healing. This subject, in its practical application, has proven controversial for many throughout history. This periodical is designed to promote biblical teaching, irrespective of generational teachings and understandings. Even in the Church of God, there has been an ebb and flow of different applications and standards from minister to minister and from generation to generation. This is why it is imperative for us to preach the Word and recognize the Spirit will give it life and lead us in the way God would have us to live.Read more

Doctrine of Divine Healing

Scripture Reading: Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. — Isaiah 53:4-5

Summary: Part of Christ’s purpose is to minister to the physical and emotional needs of mankind. His ministry, and that of the apostles, was full of healing the sick. Jesus made provision on the cross for the healing of the body. Trusting in the Lord for healing is still a wonderful, active privilege of God’s children today.Read more

The Blessing and Privilege of Divine Healing

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.”

One of the most beautiful passages of scripture is recorded in Luke 4:18 where Christ publicly read in the synagogue on the sabbath day from the prophet Isaiah and stated the purpose of His call and ministry. The paramount, overriding theme and ministry of Christ was the spiritual healing of the soul. Through no merit of our own, He freely bestowed the grace of healing on the souls of mankind and brought reconciliation between man and God through His atoning blood. The captive was set free from sin, the spiritually blind received illumination, and those in despair were given hope through salvation of the soul.Read more