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The Yoke of Fasting-Derived Meekness and Humility

The Yoke of Fasting-Derived Meekness and Humility

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Published by Craig Peters
The Spirit reveals all of the Beatitudes are directly related to fasting and prayer! This study shows how authentic fasting is an essential part of True Worship and how much fasting is mentioned throughout the entirety of the Scriptures.
The Spirit reveals all of the Beatitudes are directly related to fasting and prayer! This study shows how authentic fasting is an essential part of True Worship and how much fasting is mentioned throughout the entirety of the Scriptures.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Craig Peters on Feb 20, 2011
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 1
 HE
OKE OF
 F
 ASTING
-D
 ERIVED
 M 
 EEKNESS AND
 H 
UMILITY 
 
by Craig Wm. Peters
…“it is good for a man that he should bear the yoke in his youth.”
Lamentations 3:26
a
Throughout the Scriptures, the Spirit refersto
 fasting
with a rather significant number of key words—words which are directly relatedto the discipline, often in more ways than one.These
key words
reveal certain things that area part of authentic fasting. And the reader willnotice that these key words may further revealwhat happens
to
and/or 
within
the believer who learns to continually seek 
hwhy
with prayer and fasting.In this study, readers will see just how much,and how often, the Savior taught theimportance of fasting and prayer. And welearn that fasting is not an optional practice because, in every one of what are nowcommonly called “
The Beatitudes,
” theMessiah was speaking of nothing less than the promises of the Father for those whose livesare given to fasting and prayer. Key words inthis world-famous text will show us
all
of these
 Beatitudes
are actually fasting-related.Consequently, the present study featuresnumerous contemplations surrounding theMessiah’s special teachings on fasting, prayer,and alms.While the word “yoke” often carries
negative connotations
for much of theChristian world, we must not overlook thetruth that, in a completely different context andsubject matter, this same word has also beenused in the Scriptures in a
very
 
 positive
 manner. We will ponder more about thisspecial, spiritually beneficial yoke at the endof the study, but for that to occur with the mostedification, a considerable foundation mustfirst be set in place. For without this groundwork, the effect would never be the same.This study will show and prove the true natureof a most blessed and spiritually favorableyoke—a yoke first spoken of by the prophetYirmeyahu (Jeremiah), in the book of 
 Lamentations
. Yet
this very same yoke
is later mentioned in the Great Teachings set forth byour Messiah Himself. So significant is thisyoke that those who fail to bear it will also failto inherit splendor in the Millennial Kingdom.The Word of 
hwhy
indicates that this yoke isthe yoke of fasting-derived meekness andhumility, and that bearing this yoke with
eswhy
the Messiah
 fulfills the Torah
 becausewe are truly bearing the Yoke of the Kingdom.If there is a Kingdom, then there is also aKing; and every Kingdom has a Constitution.The Constitution of the Kingdom of 
hwhy
isHis immutable Torah—the Word which Hehas commanded across an immense time-spanof one thousand generations.
1
According tothe prophecy,
2
this great epoch in Earth’shistory will not end for some 40,000 to100,000 plus years in the far-distant future.This stunning and extensive time-span, and themany great events which will transpire withinthis period, add a great deal of meaning to theScripture surrounding the Messianic Rule:
Of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end, uponthe throne of David, and upon his kingdom,to establish it, and to uphold it with justiceand with righteousness, from hencefortheven for ever. The zeal of 
hwhy 
of hosts will perform this.
Isaiah 9:7To truly understand the yoke of fasting-derived meekness and humility, one must firstsee and study many of the
key words
which are
1
Deuteronomy 7:9, Psalm 105:8, Matthew 5:17-20,Luke 16:17, 21:33; Matthew 24:35
2
Deuteronomy 7:9
 
 2
associated with fasting throughout theScriptures. The greatest portion of this study,then, will do just that. And these key wordsnot only reveal various aspects of fasting alongwith the characteristics of those who arefasting, but these key words also show us the
results
which surround a fast. After havingvisited and revisited many of these fasting-related texts, it will then become nearly self-evident as to how this multifaceted topicrelates to a believer bearing the Yoke of theKingdom.
 A Final Introductory Note:
Throughout thisstudy, when fasting-related words are seen inScripture texts, these words have beenformatted to appear in bold, italicized font.These
key words
, as we are calling them, have been arranged and presented alphabetically,although there will be some exceptions to thatorder. Of course, those who study closely willsoon see there is, in many cases, aconsiderable amount of overlap between oneor more of these words/concepts.
t s r q u p e o n m l k y j x z w h d g b a
===============================
 PART ONE: Many of the Key Words Associated With Fasting Throughout the Scriptures
===============================This study will show that, apart fromfasting-derived meekness and humility, believers will continue to lack the following:• Closeness to
hwhy
.• Power over sin and lasting spiritual growthand/or progress.• A fuller understanding of the Scriptures.• The horizontal unity which shows we believeand keep the
Shema
 
3
 —the expression of truelove and Vertical Unity.
3
 
The Shema
is seen in Deuteronomy 6:4-5. (Note:Many Jewish circles refer to Deuteronomy 6:4 as
TheShema,”
while calling Deuteronomy 6:5, “
theV’ahavta
.”) The Messiah simply calls these lines “theGreatest Commandment.” Mark 12:28-30, Matthew22:34-38
Across the years, as one makes progress in theFaith, how all of the above subjects areinterrelated becomes increasingly clearer. Andwe pray the relationship between these greattruths will also become much clearer for readers, even during the present study. Pleasekeep these topics in mind, and ponder them asyou study the Scripture texts we will visitduring our many subsequent meditations onthe Torah, the written Word, and the Messiah,the Living Word.
t s r q u p e o n m l k y j x z w h d g b a
 Ashes / Dust / Sackcloth
Ashes, dust, and sackcloth are all related tothe affliction which comes upon those who arefasting. And none of these things have been“done away with” by the Messiah because HeHimself spoke of people repenting
in sackclothand ashes
.
4
We also see the Two Witnessesswill prophesy 1,260 days
clothed in sackcloth
as fasting and prayer are the key spiritualweapons by which they will be empowered tominister the authentic Word of 
hwhy
.In the days of old, when a difficult time or tragedy was encountered, men would,oftentimes, immediately begin fasting,afflicting themselves in response to thedifficulty. Fasting was like their naturalreaction to the trials and difficulties of life:Knowing that
hwhy
gives
 favor 
 to the humble,
5
when encountering criticalsituations and/or extreme difficulties, thesemen did all they could to receive the promiseof that “greater favor”—the favor spokenof by both Solomon and James.
6
 Because it is the nature of 
hwhy
to save ahumble and afflicted people,
7
men of faithsought Him through self-imposed affliction— affliction which often involved fasting in thedust (i.e., on the ground) with sackcloth andashes.
4
Luke 10:13
5
Proverbs 3:34
6
Proverbs 3:34, James 4:6,10
7
Psalm 18:27, Zephaniah 3:12
 
 3
We know Abraham often sought Elohimwith fasting and prayer because, when
hwhy
 appeared to the patriarch by the oaks of Mamre, Abraham declared himself to benothing but
dust and ashes
:
 And Abraham answered and said,“Behold now, I have taken upon myself tospeak to
hwhy 
 , but I am
 dust
and 
 ashes
.”
 
Genesis 18:27In addition to Abraham, we believe other menof faith likewise declared themselves to bedust and ashes by identifying with these thingswhen fasting.
8
And it is those who are
of the faith of Abraham
who are heirs according tothe Promise.
9
The prophet Iyob (Job) wasfasting and praying over much of the time thatfollowed his great losses: Fasting and prayer was his reaction to all of the emotional and physical infirmities which Iyob endured. Wecan safely say that the narrative of Iyob is setin a fasting-related context. Fasting and prayer are the backdrop for the entire book/account.And we recall what Iyob said to
hwhy
after theMost High appeared to correct him:
1 Then Iyob answered 
hwhy 
 , and said,2 I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be restrained.3 “Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?”
10
 
Therefore, I have uttered that which I understood not, things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. 4 “Hear, I beseech you, and I will speak; I will demand of you,and you declare unto Me.”
 
11
 
5 I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now myeye sees You. 6 Therefore, I abhor myself,and 
 repent
in
 dust
and 
 ashes
.
Job 42:1-6So we see that, like Abraham, Iyob knew thatdust and ashes spoke of authentic humility before
hwhy
. Of course, Iyob had been lyingin the dust and ashes before
hwhy
had appeared
8
The prophet Job openly repented in dust and ashes:Job 30:19, 42:6. See also: Psalm 119:25, Lamentations3:16
9
Romans 4:12,16, Galatians 3:7-9
10
Iyob quotes
hwhy
(Job 38:1-2)
11
Iyob quotes
hwhy
(Job 38:3, 40:6-7)
to him: He had prepared his heart to see
hwhy
.But having seen and heard the Most High, thesuffering prophet was then fully ready torepent. In doing so, Iyob identified with dustand ashes. So the words of Isaiah (now part of at least one fairly popular song of worship) areactually speaking of what occurs when one
emerges
from a time of fasting, prayer, andaffliction:
 He gives me beauty fo
 ashes
 ,the oil of joy for 
 mourning
 , the garmenof praise for the spirit of 
 heaviness
(These are the words to a song based on Isaiah 61:3)
As we emerge from the ashes of fasting,
hwhy
 
restores our souls physically, emotionally, andspiritually. And the above Scripture speaks of that great transformation.So what is the prophetic meaning of “dustand ashes?” When one fasts and prays,identifying with dust and ashes is of criticalimportance because the believer is identifyingwith the judgment of the first and seconddeath:
12
 The first death will turn man back to
dust 
,
13
 while the second death will be the wrath of 
hwhy
14
which turns man to
ashes
in the Lakeof Fire. Apart from the blood of the Messiah,all persons would have been subjected to theSecond Death. During times of fasting and prayer, true humility acknowledges that, apartfrom
hwhy
, we are nothing but dust. Duringtimes of fasting and prayer, our nephesh (soul)cleaves to the dust; and in doing this, weidentify with our humble origin as well as our fate:
“My soul cleaves to the
 dust
:Give me life, according to Your word.
Psalm 119:25
12
Sha’ul wrote: “If we judge ourselves, then we are not judged.” 1Corinthians 11:31-32 Declaring oneself to beworthy of the Second Death—apart from the atonementand salvation provided to us through the blood of theMessiah—is a significant expression of humility whichkeeps us in the love of 
hwhy
and separated from judgment.
13
Genesis 3:17-19, Psalm 104:29
14
Matthew 3:7-10, Luke 3:7-9, Hebrews 10:26-31,12:28-29

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