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On my website, one of our dear ladies, Lisa Schultz, posted a blog titled Is Fasting Christian? Here is Jake's response that I thought I would share with you.
Reply by Jake Baker
It is so good to study and meditate on the things of Yahweh and what a blessing it is to have brothers and sisters in the LORD who are digging deep into the Word to find truth in all things, including our daily walk. This passage is such a passage of freedom and removes from us such a burden in knowing that we can once and for all be free from the requirements of the often religious (not Biblical) driven do’s and don’ts of life. For instance, in reading this passage, we will discover that there are two very important points revealed.
Let’s begin with the most important: Are you a believer? If we are truly Christians, why would we concern ourselves with the elemental principles of this world? The elemental principles of the world encompass that which the Pharisees, both then and now, were and are so good at foisting upon us.
For instance, the Pharisees had a law that an egg laid on Sabbath (Saturday) could not be eaten because the chicken had to work to lay it. What foolishness! The chicken would have to work infinitely harder not to lay the egg. The Sabbath walk was limited in distance to about .65 miles. These are those things spoken of by Messiah when he said that they set aside His law to keep their own traditions. (Mark 7:9) Those are the elemental principles of this world, not His eternal commandments.
Therefore, let us properly define “decrees” such as, “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” (which all refer to things destined to perish with the using) in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? Colossians 2:20-23:
Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh. Colossians 2:20-23
“But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Matt. 15:9
It is important to notice in these passages the phrase, “in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men.” We must not fall into the trap of humanistic thinking and negate the commandments and teachings of Yahweh by reading this passage to include His eternal commandments.
1 John 2: 3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
Therefore we know that the human command of touch not, taste not etc. applies only to the commandments of men … NOT the eternal law of Yahweh. Remember the Gospel of John tells us that Messiah was the “Law Word” in the flesh. To throw out the law is to throw out the Messiah – who is now a more sure witness – Christ in you – the hope of glory.
Because of the indwelling of the Spirit, Messiah and his righteousness are written on our hearts which gives us a more sure witness than just tablets of stone. Because his Law Word is now on our heart we have a three dimensional: body, soul, and spirit understanding of law, not a one dimensional, “tablets of stone” view of law.
His commands are neither to be added to nor subtracted from. In other words, a strict prohibition against the use of alcohol is a man-made “touch not” commandment. In fact, the wine was served at Passover and if one could not make it to Jerusalem for Passover, there was the strong drink offering, which was a wave and consumption offering. Paul tells Timothy to “take a little wine for thy stomach sake.” (I Tim. 5:23). However, over indulgence is also forbidden. We are instructed not to be “Filled” with wine wherein is excess but rather to be filled with the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18)
Food is another item that this passage is used to license. We are given the example of Peter as proof that the concept of a Biblical diet is no longer required. When the sheet came down and Peter saw the different kinds of food he was told to “arise, kill and eat.” Peter responded, “No Lord! I have never eaten anything common or unclean.”
Notice the two categories: COMMON and UNCLEAN. Common were the things that the Lord had forbidden – Unclean were the things the Pharisees had added to the list like the egg mentioned earlier. This happened three times and Peter said the same thing to Yahweh each time. But Yahweh said to Peter, “What I have cleansed, let no man call common.”
In other words, don’t let the Pharisees add their list of things unclean to the things (common) I’ve forbidden. Why? Because the Pharisees had also added the Gentiles to their list of “unclean”. Yahweh was about to send Peter to the house of an “unclean” (but not common that is not forbidden by Yahweh) Gentile with the gospel. That is why he said, “What I have cleansed, let no man call common. “ He was instructing Peter that while the Pharisees considered the Gentiles unclean, He had died for the sins of all - therefore, they too needed the gospel.
Now, how should we apply this to fasting? Is fasting Christian? Yes and no.
There is only one required fast in all of scripture and that is on the Day of Atonement. We are required on that day to fast and to dedicate ourselves to sanctification, which means we purpose ourselves anew to responding to our great salvation with a life dedicated to finding and walking in that destiny laid out for us before the world was framed. For us to have that close fellowship with the Father, we must both know and be walking in His commands and His righteousness, crucifying the flesh that Yeshua might live through us.
If fasting is done to show the world what a really good Christian I am, then it is nothing more than a Pharisee’s fast and of no spiritual value. However, if we are truly seeking some quiet time with Yahweh without the distractions of the world, the flesh and tuning into the things of the spirit, then fasting can be a powerful and wonderful tool, which can lead to the breaking down of walls in our lives that keep separation between us and Yahweh.
But fasting is by no means a magic bullet. Just going without food has no intrinsic value. It is the spiritual hunger driven fast alone that the drives us to that living food and living water, which will sustain us as we enter this time of testing that is even now unfolding.
A true fast is a time of following hard after God and refusing to let go of the hem of His garment until we receive the spiritual food we need.
This is indeed the perfect time of fasting and prayer. The dark majesties of the elemental principles of this world are unleashing a frenzied revelation of their hate-filled furry. Mankind now finds itself at the confluence of the rivers of prophecy, history and current events and a great darkness is about to descend upon humanity.
My advice is to fast, pray, and seek the shelter of His great salvation. Be comforted in knowing that the trials of this present hour, though they be great, will pale in comparison to the glory of that soon and coming Kingdom of our Saviour.