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SOME OF THE MAJOR SPIRITUAL

PRINCIPLES BEHIND FASTING


by Craig Wm. Peters

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst


for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”
Matthew 5:6

a In many religious circles, fasting has After all, many of the Pharisees were simply
become an act of ill-repute for all the wrong “playing church:” They made religion a carnal
reasons. One of the greatest downfalls show of self-exaltation,4 and many of their
amongst believers today is the tendency to number were not sincerely seeking the Mighty
vilify every act of True Worship which was One of Yisrael. So to reject fasting based on
improperly represented by the Pharisees in the the Pharisaical abuse of the practice makes as
days of the Messiah. But are we being wise if little sense as rejecting the legitimate need to
we allow the proud, erroneous approach of eat food simply because someone who claims
carnal, unconverted men to stand in the way of to believe the Scriptures is a glutton. Thus, we
our obedience to the Faith? Should someone’s leave the improper use of fasting, and focus on
pride-driven abuse of such a profound and the One who taught us the truth of the issue:
significant act of True Worship cause us to
turn aside from the truth of the Word over The words of the Messiah show us that He
such an important matter? To be sure, the clearly expected His followers would regularly
Messiah rebuked the proud spirit of at least engage in fasting and prayer after He
one Pharisee who boasted of “fasting twice in had ascended into the heavens.5
the week.”1 But as a result of the Savior’s In our days, many others still tread far too
rebuke, many believers have so easily fallen lightly when mentioning the act of fasting—a
prey to Satan’s scheme of reverse psychology2 facet of True Worship which, if our hearts are
and they have completely shunned the act of right, is certainly one of the ultimate acts of
True Worship known in our days as “fasting.” “faith, expectation, and love.”6 Some people
This brings us to the question: approach the topic of fasting with such
Should the unacceptable, self-righteous trepidation because they fear being labeled as
attitude of someone who is abusing the truth “self-righteous,” or as “legalistic.” On the flip
of Scripture so completely repulse us that we side, there are scores of others who completely
subsequently avoid those things which are evade the issue of fasting-derived meekness
so clearly a part of the immutable and humility. Their approach? Being
Word of hwhy?3 unwilling to push back the plate, they rather
choose to wrongly accuse those who do follow
1
the Messiah’s Teachings and Example
And of all things, he was praying when the boast was surrounding the righteousness of fasting.
made! Luke 18:9-12 (See also: 1Corinthians 1:29, 4:7.)
2
2Corinthians 2:11
Instead of remaining open to learn more of His
3
hwhy is the unchanging, memorial Name of the Creator Word, they are quick to dismiss themselves
of Heaven and Earth. Exodus 3:14-15, Numbers 6:22-
27, Micah 6:9, Malachi 1:11, Matthew 6:9, John 17:6,
11-12, 26, Philippians 2:9, Hebrews 2:11-12, Revelation exclamation of praise and worship, “Hallelu-YAH”—a
7:1-3, 11:18, 14:1, 15:4, 22:4 Though many scholars word which means, “Praise YAH!”
4
believe the Memorial Name is pronounced, “Yahweh,” Matthew 6:5, 23:5, Colossians 2:23
5
further Hebrew scholarship gives support to the three- Matthew 6:16-19, 9:14-15. As He magnified the Law
syllable form, “Yahuweh.” Although this great and (Isaiah 42:21) in “The Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew
awesome Name has been brought into disuse and ill- chapters 5-7), the Messiah spoke of alms, prayer, and
repute, the Word of hwhy stands unbroken: This is His fasting. Matthew 6:1-19 Yet these are the very three
Name to all generations. Exodus 3:14-15 The short things which the prophet Isaiah mentioned as he spoke
form of the Name of hwhy is “YAH.” This is the form the Word of hwhy to Yisrael. Isaiah 58:1-13
6
of the Name which is seen in the world renowned 1Corinthians 13:13
1
from any obligation to seek hwhy by fasting “And when you fast 12 … ”
and prayer.
We notice eSwhy did not say here, “If you
By leveling accusations of pride and fast,” He said, “And when you fast,” …
“legalism” against those who do fast, they eSwhy was rightly assuming His followers
imagine this to be their “out”—their excuse already knew just how established was this act
to completely neglect this consummate of righteousness in the lives of all those who
act of True Worship. were members of the Commonwealth of
Yisrael. So our Messiah fully expected that
These misled souls are quick to condemn, and
fasting would be practiced by all those who
to judge, and to falsely tag the sincere seeker
followed in His steps.13 And as far as legalism
with most any convenient and/or derogatory
goes, we should put our minds at rest: For we
label. For in doing this, they think to justify
know the Savior did not teach legalism in any
their erroneous position over the issue of
form. And if we are following Him in our
fasting-related humility and obedience. But
actions, walking as He walked—in the spirit of
the maturing believer must realize that the
love—then we are not being legalistic. Love-
carnal mind will always categorize and
driven obedience is not legalism regardless of
condemn others who are actively seeking first
the false accusations which those around us
the Kingdom of hwhy and His righteousness.7
might level.
However, it is both sad and ironic that, of all
possible sources, this “persecution for the The lack of attention given to fasting and
Word”8 comes largely from the believing prayer is easily one of the worst and greatest
community. But for those who are not spiritual conspiracies ever concocted, and we
inclined to follow the Messiah in this matter of posit that the Messiah would say of this of
fasting,9 accusations are the usually the only such a state of affairs among His people,
way they have of excusing/deflecting their
“An enemy has done this.”
obvious error; it is the self-defense mechanism
Matthew 13:28
so often seen when pride rules in the heart. By
accusing others of pride and legalism, they are Over the years, the writer has been surprised at
simply masking what is really in their own the lack of guidance given to the people of
hearts.10 hwhy by those setting themselves forth as
shepherds of the flock:14
Yet for those who wish to truly follow the
Messiah’s Example in fasting and prayer, for • When once attending a day of worship
those who desire to seek hwhy with all their services—services which were specifically
hearts, the false accusations of pride and meant to stir revival—I walked away from the
legalism need not be a concern. eswhy 11 was time shaking my head in sad amazement that
not a legalist and He once taught the there was not a single mention of fasting with
multitudes of His earliest followers: prayer—the very two things which are
essential for breaking up the fallow ground of
one’s heart15 and kindling the flames of zeal16
and revival.17
7
Matthew 6:33
8 12
Matthew 13:21, Mark 4:17, 2Timothy 3:12 Mathew 6:16
9 13
Contrast those who follow Him wherever He leads: Matthew 9:14-15
14
Revelation 14:1-4. True shepherds will follow their Messiah by teaching
10
Romans 2:1 (as did He) the vital importance of fasting: Matthew
11
eswhy is the Savior’s Hebrew name—a name which 5:3-12, 6:16, 28:18-20
15
means “hwhy is Salvation” and which corresponds to Hosea 10:12
16
“Joshua” of the Old Testament. However, there is no Revelation 3:17-19
17
“j” in the Hebrew, and “Joshua” would be rendered as Isaiah chapter 58 shows the light, the revival, and the
“Yahoshua” or “Yahushua.” The Savior was given this restoration that come with executing a true fast. It was
most meaningful name in accordance with the prophecy Daniel’s fasting and prayer that led to the return/revival
spoken by Gabriel, “He shall save His people from their of Yisrael as they were set free from Babel (Babylon) to
sins.” Matthew 1:21 return to the Land.
2
• On still another occasion, one who calls Lacking fasting-derived humility, people sense
himself “rabbi” spoke of how we obtain a vacuum—an unfulfilled need—so they
wisdom from the Most High. While he attempt to replace this emptiness with their
presented some very salient scriptural points, own brand of what constitutes true pride and
once more, I walked away feeling the deepest true humility.22 This is part of what the
bewilderment over this dear man’s failure to Scripture means that says, “They followed
mention the all-important aspect of fasting after emptiness and became empty.”23
with prayer—the very things which cause the
The truth about fasting is that it was intended
windows of Heaven to open as hwhy pours
to further our spiritual progress as we seek
upon us His greatest measure of favor and
and find the righteousness and meekness24
wisdom,18 along with the knowledge and
which hwhy requires before His Spirit can
power needed to execute His will. For it is
work in our lives with increasing power.
only through fasting-derived meekness and
When understood properly, we see that fasting
humility that we obtain the most powerful and
is one of the ultimate expressions of “faith,
ongoing leading of the Spirit; and it is only
expectation, and love.”25 And when realizing
through fasting-derived humility that we gain
these things, we also begin to see just how
the fullest impartation of the “spirit of wisdom
perverse it was for the Pharisee to use fasting
and revelation” 19 in the knowledge of hwhy.
as a means of self-exaltation:
Simply put, when contemplating fasting
For the Pharisee(s) 26 to take something so
and prayer, we must realize that no other
immensely blessed and powerful and to make
aspect of True Worship will contribute more
it a means of self-exaltation, was also putting
towards preparing our hearts to receive the
a deeply wretched and diabolical twist on the
abundant riches of wisdom and knowledge
true, Elohim-ordained purpose of fasting.
which overflow from the infinite spiritual
storehouses 20 of hwhy El Shaddai. But does this historical abuse, on the part of
those so obviously misled, make fasting into a
Because such treasures are not for those who
practice which must be completely shunned?
are lifted up with pride, it is only through
fasting-derived meekness and humility that the If fasting is so wrongly esteemed,
Messiah eSwhy will open to us the doors of it is only among those who would lose
these great storehouses of wisdom and their reward by casting the Word of
knowledge.21 But people cannot truly teach hwhy behind their backs.27
about something which they do not know, or
May our readers never advocate such an error.
which they have not experienced, or which
Every aspect of True Worship has suffered
they are not doing.
Fasting and prayer are the keys to making
true spiritual progress because they are the 22
In the same way, governments and civilizations that
keys to entering into the realm of true spiritual
reject the Law of hwhy subsequently have/feel the need
humility. Lacking this true, fasting-derived to impose their less-than-perfect, man-made regulations.
humility, many in our days have come up with These deficient laws are imposed on nations as part of
their own brand of false humility, just as hwhy the judgment of hwhy for rejecting His Torah. Our own
has said through the prophet Jeremiah: history in America shows this very thing has occurred:
Having rejected His Law, the “laws” of this land are
… Behold, they have rejected the increasingly the epitome of injustice. hwhy declares
word of hwhy, and what manner these man-made laws compose the “statutes that are not
of wisdom is in them? good.” Ezekiel 20:24-26 The Law of hwhy has always
Jeremiah 8:9 been perfect (Psalm 19:7), and it always will be! See
Romans 7:12.
23
2Kings 17:15, Jeremiah 2:5
18 24
James 4:6-10, 3:17-18 Zephaniah 2:3 > Matthew 6:33 and 5:5, Hosea 10:12
19 25
Ephesians 1:17 1Corinthians 13:13
20 26
Colossians 2:2-3 Luke 18:9-12
21 27
Matthew 13:52, Colossians 2:3, Revelation 3:7 Psalm 50:16-17, Acts 13:46
3
violence and abuse28 at the hands of proud, an attempt to provide sincere followers of the
misled, and self-serving men.29 Yet we must Messiah with what will prayerfully be some of
not make the mistake of focusing on the the major aspects of a most monumental act of
historical abuse so that fasting is erroneously True Worship. Fasting is a powerful act of
held forth in our minds with dishonor. This humility and righteousness, and the truths
opening discussion has been set forth with behind this practice are strikingly simple. Yet
many extensive thoughts—all provided in an like the Spirit surrounding all of His ways,
effort to explain why so many erroneous these truths are inexplicably profound with far-
thoughts have been so wrongly associated with reaching and unfathomable implications. Let
fasting for so very long a time.30 us now spend a few moments contemplating
these great, life-changing truths.
In our day, the lack of understanding about
fasting is why so many believers today possess t s r q u p e o n m l k y j x z w h d g b a
the unbelieving spirit of the spies of old.
Recall these spies displeased hwhy by the ==========================
report they brought back from the Land of PART ONE:
Canaan: They told Yisrael it was impossible Some of the Major Spiritual
to “take the Land.” Sad to say, but these men Principles Behind Fasting
have their modern-day counterparts: ==========================
The modern-day counterparts of this Expressing Love For hwhy
faithless attitude are those who teach believers The ultimate purpose of fasting is to
it is impossible to overcome sin, and to, prepare one’s heart to hear and obey the voice
thereby, take the Land of Promise: of hwhy. Our Messiah teaches us that hearing
Age-Abiding Life in the the voice of hwhy, with the intent to love and
First Resurrection.31 obey Him, is the Greatest Commandment in all
of the Torah:
And just like those ten spies of long ago,
anyone in our days who exhibits this faithless 28 And one of the scribes came, and having
attitude will greatly displease hwhy.32 heard them reasoning together, and perceiving
Moreover, these believers will also obtain the that He had answered them well, asked Him,
very thing which they thought to be true: Which is the first commandment of all? 29 And
They will fail to overcome sin and eswhy answered him, The first of all the
they will fail to inherit the Land of Promise commandments is, “Hear, Yisrael: hwhy our
so as to reign with the Messiah in Elohim, hwhy is one: 30 And you shall love
the Millennial Kingdom.33 hwhy your Elohim with all your heart, and
t s r q u p e o n m l k y j x z w h d g b a with all your soul, and with all your mind, and
with all your strength.” This is the first
Like all the immutable truths found in the commandment. Mark 12:28-30
age-abiding Word of hwhy, the principles
How does fasting fuel this love and intent? It
behind fasting are extremely simple; yet this
is during our times of fasting and prayer that
act of faith produces the deepest, most
the Spirit especially teaches us to “be still and
profound and far-reaching spiritual results of
to know that [He is] Elohim.”34 Our soul is
anything given to us from the mind and
silent unto Elohim35 and we forsake our own
sovereignty of hwhy El Shaddai. This study is
power and strength to wait upon His
strength.36 We bow in prayer to offer petitions
28
Matthew 11:12 before Him, but most importantly, we wait
29
Some examples of this violence and abuse: 1Samuel with loving submission to hear His Voice:
2:12-17, Jeremiah 23:1-2, Ezekiel 34:1-4, Micah 3:9-11
30
(and especially among believers in the Messiah)
31 34
Romans 5:17, Ephesians 1:17, 1John 2:25 Psalm 46:10
32 35
Numbers 14:36-37, Matthew 25:26-30 Psalm 62:1, Lamentations 3:26-29
33 36
Revelation 5:9-10, 20:4-6 Isaiah 40:30-31
4
During times of fasting and prayer, Most High appeared to him by the oaks of
our goal is to be attentive to hwhy —to Mamre:
hear His Voice and to fulfill the Shema
by loving Him and doing His will. And Abraham answered and said,
“Behold now, I have taken upon myself to
We read that Abraham heard the voice of speak to hwhy, but I am dust and ashes.”
hwhy,37 and we assert the patriarch heard that Genesis 18:27
Voice because he often humbled himself
before the Most High with fasting and prayer. This statement shows us Abraham—who
We will ponder more about Abraham and his heard the voice of hwhy 42—was well-
life of fasting shortly, but for now, we study instructed in the humility associated with
the misparim 38 of the Hebrew words for fasting and prayer.43 When expressing the
“fast/fasting” and “voice.” In Hebrew, the humility and affliction which are to
misparim for “fast/fasting” (Mwu, tsōme) is characterize the mindset of the one who is
136: fasting, many men of old laid on the ground:
← ← ← They laid down in the dust and covered
136 = (40) M + (6) w + (90) u = Mwu = tsōme = fast
themselves with ashes.44 In many of the
Yet 136 is also the misparim for the Hebrew accounts we read, those seeking hwhy would
word for “voice” (lwq, kol): also lay down in sackcloth and ashes, putting
← ← ← dust on their heads.45 Identifying with dust
136 = (30) l + (6) w + (100) q = lwq = kol/voice and ashes is both humbling and prophetic:
This is far from coincidence. Ruach
1. The dust is both our humble origin as well
ha’Qodesh39 signifying that our seasons of
fasting and prayer are special times for as our fate 46. All men suffer the First Death47
fulfilling the Shema by hearing His Voice, His and truly grasping the reality of this fact is
Spirit, with ever increasing clarity.40 Our both sobering and humbling.48 Apart from the
times of fasting and prayer are times to hear life that hwhy gives, we are mere dust. And
His Voice: dust has no caused to be lifted up. This shows
us some of the humility to be associated with
Only when our hearts are inclined dust and the First Death during our times of
to hear and obey His Voice may our fasting and prayer. When mentioning the
voices then be heard on high.41
humility which one expresses during times of
So the humility that surrounds fasting and
prayer involve our humble, loving submission
before hwhy as we seek to know, to hear, and 42
Genesis 26:4-5
43
to do His sovereign will: This is the all- “The fear of hwhy prolongs days” (Proverbs 10:27),
important beginning of fulfilling the Shema. and nothing promotes the fear/reverence of hwhy more
than times of fasting and prayer. Also, science has
Dust and Ashes shown that longevity is associated with a life
We know that Abraham was given to a life characterized by a lower caloric intake. We assert
characterized by fasting and prayer because of Abraham lived to be 175 years of age due to his “fasting
the words which he spoke to hwhy when the oft.” Matthew 9:14, 2Corinthians 11:27 And Yitschak
(Isaac) was the oldest of the three patriarchs: He lived to
the age of 180. And what was one of the appellatives
given to hwhy by Ya’acob/Jacob? Jacob called hwhy
“the Fear of Isaac.” Genesis 31:42 And Jacob died at
37
Genesis 26:4-5 the age of 147. We assert all three of these men lived a
38
In Hebrew, “misparim” means “numbers.” In honor life characterized by fasting.
44
of hwhy, the Elohim of the Hebrews (Exodus 3:18, 5:3, Job 16:15, 30:19, Lamentations 3:29
45
7:16, 9:1,13, 10:3), this writer has chosen to use the 2Samuel 13:19, Esther 4:1-3, Psalm 102:3-9,
word “misparim” instead of the Greek-based word Jeremiah 6:26, Ezekiel 27:29-31, Daniel 9:3, Jonah 3:6,
“gematria.” Matthew 11:21
39 46
The Spirit of hwhy Genesis 3:19
40 47
Proverbs 4:18 Hebrews 9:27
41 48
Isaiah 58:4 Psalm 90:3-12
5
fasting and affliction, the psalmist wrote of our “The fear of hwhy prolongs days,”54 and
humble origin: nothing promotes the fear/reverence of hwhy
more than times of fasting and prayer.
My soul cleaves to the dust:
Consider for yourselves: Who has more
Give me life, according to Your Word.
fear/reverence before hwhy: The one who
Psalm 119:25
knows that, apart from the Most High, he or
The dust spoke of death,49 and cleaving to the she is mere dust—and only worthy of ashes—
dust was an acknowledgement by the one or the one who is lifted up with pride and self-
fasting that only the power of hwhy could enter sufficiency of any sort?55
into a situation and bring about life, and
resurrection, and deliverance. Fasting Prepares the Heart:
Breaking Up the Fallow Ground
2. Ashes will be the fate of those who incur the Because the Spirit of hwhy dwells with the
Second Death,50 and apart from the atoning humble and contrite heart,56 fasting especially
blood of the Messiah, we are all ultimately prepares the heart to seek and find hwhy. We
worthy of such a judgment. This shows us may read of those who did and did not prepare
some of the humility which is to be associated their hearts before hwhy. Negatively, of
with ashes and the Second Death during times Rehoboam we read:
of fasting and prayer. Sha’ul wrote, “If we “And he did evil, because he prepared
judge ourselves, then we are not judged.”51 not his heart to seek hwhy.”
This is one of the things which should occur 2Chronicles 12:14
during our times of fasting and prayer:
But on a positive note, Ezra the scribe did
Those who judge themselves worthy practice fasting with prayer; and so we also
of the Second Death—those who know that read he had prepared his heart:
they would be turned to ashes, if not for the
atoning blood of the Messiah and the salvation “For Ezra had prepared his heart to
He offers—those are the believers who seek the Torah of hwhy, and to do it, and to
are also given power to overcome teach in Yisrael statutes and judgments.”
the Second Death. Ezra 7:10
Abraham, we are told, has already overcome Through the prophet Hosea, hwhy also spoke
in this manner: He has overcome the Second of how we must prepare our hearts to seek
Death. And eSwhy tells us the patriarch will Him. However, in this case, the Spirit refers to
sit victoriously with all the prophets in the fasting and prayer as “breaking up the fallow
coming Kingdom.52 Since Abraham declared ground,” preparing the untilled soil of our
hearts:
himself to be “dust and ashes,” we know that
he entered into many occasions of fasting and Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap
prayer during his lifetime. And this is quite according to kindness; break up your fallow
significant for those who still wish to express ground: For it is time to seek hwhy till He
the faith of Abraham 53 in their lifetimes. It is comes and rains righteousness upon you.
simply not possible to emulate the patriarch’s Hosea 10:12
life of faith apart from identifying with dust Thus, it is through fasting and prayer that the
and ashes as we seek hwhy during times of believer truly prepares the heart and breaks up
regular fasting and prayer. the fallow ground so that the seed of the Word
may find the best soil,57 allowing the rain of

49 54
Genesis 3:19, Job 10:9, 34:15, Psalm 22:15 Proverbs 10:27
50 55
Matthew 3:7-12, 5:27-30, 10:28 Deuteronomy 32:15, Luke 12:16-21, Revelation 3:16-
51
1Corinthians 11:31 17
52 56
Matthew 8:11-12, Luke 13:28 Isaiah 57:15, 66:2, Matthew 5:3
53 57
Romans 4:12, 16, Galatians 3:7-9 Matthew 13:3,8,23
6
the Spirit58 to bring about the ultimate growth physical water; the great psalmist of Yisrael
within us. All other aspects of fasting hungered and thirsted for the Presence of the
naturally follow from this major intent on the Most High:
part of the true worshipper: Preparing our
hearts to hear hwhy and to obey His Word. O Elohim, You are my El; I earnestly seek
Fasting shows the intent of the heart to live You; my being has thirsted for You; my flesh
reverently59 and fuels the fire of zeal for has longed for You in a dry and thirsty land
anyone who seeks to love hwhy with all the without water. 2 Therefore, I have had a
heart, soul, mind, and strength. vision of You in the set-apart place, to
see Your power and Your esteem.
Hungering and Thirsting Psalm 63:1-2, ISRV
After Righteousness
The physical hunger and thirst which Above all others,63 eswhy the Messiah,
accompany fasting are intended to be outward, brought life and immortality to light through
faith-expressions toward hwhy60 of a deeper, the Good News,64 and He taught us a great
inner, spiritual hunger and thirst on the part of deal surrounding fasting and prayer. And
one who desires to know and to live in eswhy was referring to nothing less than
accordance with the will of the Most High. fasting and prayer—and to those who truly
The spiritual hunger and thirst which emanates hunger and thirst for hwhy during times of
from within the heart of one seeking hwhy is fasting-derived affliction—when speaking
expressed through fasting and prayer. Faith these words to the multitudes:
without works is dead:61 A person can say62 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst
he hungers and thirsts for hwhy, but fasting and
for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”
prayer are the substance of such true faith.
Matthew 5:6
Fasting and prayer are the authentic expression
of faith towards hwhy that our spiritual hunger Fasting-Derived
and thirst are real and sincere. A spiritual Affliction and Humility
hunger and thirst for hwhy was expressed as When hunger and thirst set in on the one
the psalmist endured physical hunger and thirst who worships hwhy with fasting and prayer,
during his times of mourning, fasting, and weakness, affliction, brokenness, and humility
prayer: prepare the heart to better hear the voice of the
Spirit. And the Word of hwhy indicates He
As a deer longs for the water streams,
will save an afflicted people:
so my being longs for You, O Elohim. 2 My
being thirsts for Elohim, for the living El. For You will save an afflicted people,
When shall I enter in to appear before but haughty eyes you will bring down.
Elohim? 3 My tears have been my food Tehillim/Psalms 18:27
day and night, while they say to me all Through fasting-derived affliction, humility,
day, “Where is your Elohim?” and brokenness, we enter into a Sanctuary of
Psalm 42:1-3, ISRV His Presence which cannot be otherwise
David also thirsted after hwhy, and we should known. When we read that hwhy chooses to
not suppose it was only because of a lack of make His dwelling with those who are of a
“contrite and humble spirit,” it must be
realized that the reference is to those who have
58
Isaiah 44:3, Hosea 10:12 humbled themselves before Him with fasting
59
2Timothy 3:12 and prayer:
60
And we emphasize toward hwhy, but not outwardly
toward others. Matthew 6:16-18 However, do not err For thus says the High and Lofty One
by taking this to mean that corporate fasting among a that inhabits eternity, whose Name is set
body of believers was ever forbidden by the Messiah apart: I dwell in the high and separate place,
(see Acts 13:1-3). For many in our days make such an
erroneous assumption.
61 63
James 2:17,20,26 Colossians 1:18
62 64
James 2:18 2Timothy 1:10, John 10:10
7
with him also that is of a contrite and humble
hwhy is near to those that are
spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble,
of a broken heart, and saves such as
and to revive the heart of the contrite.
are of a contrite spirit.
Isaiah 57:15
Psalm 34:18
And this is what the believer who fasts and Such humility and brokenness, we learn, is
prays will experience: hwhy will especially what hwhy regards to be the ultimate sacrifice
make His dwelling place with that person. in True Worship:
During our times of fasting and affliction, not
only will hwhy make His Presence and His 16 For You delight not in sacrifice, else
love known to us, but we will also experience would I give it: You have no pleasure in
His Personal reviving—His Personal touch burnt-offering. 17 The sacrifices of Elohim
that imparts such indescribable love and are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite
healing. Through Isaiah, hwhy would later heart, Elohim, You will not despise.
speak, once again, of those who humble and Psalm 51:16-17
afflict themselves before Him with fasting and Above all others, eswhy the Messiah brought
prayer. And we see just how similar is this life and immortality to light through the Good
promise to that which was read in Isaiah 57: News,68 and He taught us a great deal about
For all these things has My hand fasting and prayer. The Savior was referring
to nothing less than fasting and prayer—and
made, and so all these things came to be,
to those whose hearts are subsequently poor,
says hwhy: but to this man will I look, even to broken, and contrite before hwhy—when He
him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, spoke to the multitudes and said:
and that trembles at My Word.
Isaiah 66:2 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for
theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”
We assert the trembling spoken of here is the Matthew 5:6
trembling characterized by fear/reverence,
love, gratitude, and brokenness. This is the All of the Beatitudes are, in fact, fasting
same fear/reverence, love, gratitude, and related, and through these great Teachings, our
brokenness seen in the woman who anointed Messiah magnifies the Torah69 and teaches us
eswhy,65 and this is the same fear, trembling, the favor and truth of hwhy in unparalleled
and brokenness seen in Sha’ul,66 who fasted abundance.70
often.67 When abiding under the contrition He Must Increase
and humility brought on by fasting and prayer, and I Must Decrease
it is impossible to read the Word, or to sing, or It must be one of the most overwhelming
to pray, without yielding up such tears of love, and instructive Scriptures in all of the Word of
joy, gratitude, and brokenness. This is not hwhy. We speak of that simple line which was
something which one has to “try” to bring spoken by Yochanan as he was nearing the end
about: This is something which the Spirit of of his life and ministry. When speaking of the
hwhy will most certainly do within us, once He Savior, Yochanan said:
has brought us to the point of humility and “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
brokenness. John 3:30
On more than one occasion, King David wrote While Yochanan was obviously referring to
of those who had sought hwhy with fasting and eswhy the Messiah, many have rightly
prayer and who, as a result, were walking perceived that this simple statement also gives
before Him with broken and contrite hearts: us a wonderful picture of what must take place

65 68
Luke 7:37-38,44 2Timothy 1:10, John 10:10
66 69
Acts 20:31, 1Corinthians 2:3, 2Corinthians 10:10 Isaiah 42:21, Matthew 5:17-20
67 70
2Corinthians 6:5, 11:27 John 1:14-17
8
for the Messiah’s life to be revealed in the life associated with digesting and metabolizing
of the individual believer: Through prayer and food, so fasting brings this vital organ a much-
obedience, the life of Elohim is manifested in needed rest.
those who follow the Messiah. Yet what is
Emotional Rest: Our emotions need rest, and
overlooked, unmentioned, or perhaps, largely
the greatest rest to be had is found by trusting
unknown, is that fasting is an essential part of
in the sovereignty of hwhy, regardless of how
how we decrease 71 so that the Messiah might
things might look around us. Our times in
increase within us. We assert this profound
fasting and prayer are especially meant to be
Scripture will only find its ultimate and
times in which we still our souls and
greatest fulfillment in the life of the believer
continually cast our cares upon Him. These
who ministers before hwhy through fasting and
are the times we can more fully and
prayer. During times of fasting and prayer, we
continually abide in His Presence and feel the
decrease—both literally and figuratively—
reality of what hwhy has said in Tehillim 46:
and, as a result, the Spirit of the Messiah
within us will most surely increase. hwhy Be still, and know that I am Elohim:
desires to reveal His Son in us, just as the I will be exalted among the nations,
Sha’ul has said: I will be exalted in the earth.
15 But when it was the good pleasure of Tehillim/Psalm 46:10
Elohim—Who separated me from my mother’s Fasting and prayer are special times for us to
womb, and called me through His favor—16 to be still and to know that He is Elohim: In the
reveal His Son in me, that I might preach quiet humility of fasting we more fully learn
Him among the Gentiles … that He will surely work to be exalted in
Galatians 1:15-16 regard to our burdens; He will surely work to
be exalted in regard to all that He has
The Son of hwhy was revealed in the apostle, foreordained in His sovereign will. We learn
even as He will be revealed in the lives of all to have even greater rest in His unstoppable
those who follow Him. hwhy desires to reveal plans and purposes. Walking in this reality
His Son in each of us, even as He did in the gives us unspeakable emotional rest.
life of Sha’ul. And while Elohim will reveal
His Son in many different ways, fasting and Spiritual Rest: Because fasting results in the
prayer are the common catalyst. The only Presence of hwhy more greatly dwelling with
question here is: “Just how hungry is each us, it certainly leads to the procurement of
person to acquire all those things which have greater spiritual rest. Hordes today are
now been made available through the shed unaware that they have sought out so much
blood of eswhy the Messiah?” Those with a vanity for fulfillment simply because they
greater hunger and thirst for righteousness will have a great void which may only be filled by
seek hwhy more earnestly through fasting and the Spirit of hwhy: Only a relationship with
prayer, and they will be rewarded according to the Creator will fill the chasm in our souls.
their faith. Times of fasting and prayer take this
relationship to its greatest and most intimate
Entering Into His Rest levels.
The ways of hwhy are ways of peace, rest
and refreshing. Times of fasting and prayer The prophets wrote many special lines
are intended to be times of entering into rest about the rest we have when returning to dwell
which is physical, emotional, and spiritual. in the Presence of hwhy. These Scriptures are
most certainly fulfilled any time we bow
Physical Rest: Science has shown that all of before Him in prayer, even when one is not
our bodily organs need rest, and fasting gives fasting. Prayer is the means by which we draw
much-needed rest to our digestive organs. The near to hwhy and rest in Him any time we are
heart also gets rest as it has to do less work: led of the Spirit. Nothing in this present work
For the heart, there is increased labor intends to lessen the importance of prayer,
even when one is not fasting:
71
Psalm 119:141
9
Of all that we may do, continual prayer For thus says the Sovereign hwhy,
is the ultimate act of righteousness. the Qadosh One of Yisrael, “In returning and
However, the special intimacy obtained during rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in
times of fasting and prayer is an intimacy that confidence shall be your strength” …
is carried forth, even when one is not fasting. Isaiah 30:15
Fasting and prayer propel us forth into greater This great rest may be known any time we
vistas of love and service to the Most High pray before Him, but it is often experienced at
because it opens the route by which His Spirit a richer level during times of fasting and
may more fully indwell and encompass all that prayer.
we do and all that we say. Of the faith-rest we t s r q u p e o n m l k y j x z w h d g b a
are to have when bowing in prayer before
hwhy, the Spirit says through the psalmist: ==========================
Be still, and know that I am Elohim: PART TWO:
I will be exalted among the nations, Significant Results of Fasting
I will be exalted in the earth. ==========================
Psalm 46:1072
The Spirit/Presence of hwhy
Our times of prayer should be permeated with Those who afflict their souls with fasting
the spirit of faith and rest—the spirit of being and prayer enter into a realm by which the
still and resting in the powerful love and Spirit of hwhy can dwell with them
sovereignty of hwhy: We must be assured that increasingly. We have already visited those
He will always do those things which will texts which show hwhy is pleased to let His
ultimately bring Him the greatest exaltation in Spirit dwell with the humble and contrite of
all the earth. heart.
The prophet Isaiah also spoke of how great is For thus says the High and Lofty One
the rest to be had whenever we kneel before that inhabits eternity, whose Name is set
hwhy: As we draw near to the Father through apart: I dwell in the high and separate place,
the blood of His Son, His Spirit will always with him also that is of a contrite and humble
impart His rest to those who place their trust in spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble,
Him: and to revive the heart of the contrite.
Isaiah 57:15, 66:2
… to whom He said, “This is the rest,
you give rest to him that is weary; Meekness, humility, and righteousness are
and this is the refreshing” … things which must be learned, and they are
Isaiah 28:12 best learned during times of fasting and prayer
in the Presence of hwhy:
Those who imagine prayer to be dry and
lifeless must realize: Prayer is anything but Seek hwhy, all you meek of the earth,
that have kept His ordinances; seek
dry; true prayer involves resting in the
righteousness, seek meekness: it may
Presence of hwhy and casting the burdens of be you will be hidden in the day
our hearts before His Throne of love and of the wrath of hwhy.
kindness. When drawing near to the Father Zephaniah 2:3
through the blood of His Son, the Spirit of
hwhy will always impart His rest to those Shelemo/Solomon wrote,
whose petitions express trust in Him: The fear of hwhy is the instruction of
wisdom; and before honor is humility.
Proverbs 15:33
72 Simply put, nothing cultivates humility and the
We know this text was just cited a few paragraphs
prior to this, but the concept is of great importance and fear/reverence of hwhy more than fasting and
worthy of repetition.
10
prayer, especially since He will Personally who sought hwhy with fasting, prayer, and
teach those who so draw near: repentance.73 We pray that all of our readers
will partake in this light increasingly.
From Your judgments I have not turned
aside: for You Yourself have taught me. The Power of hwhy
Psalm 119:102 It would be a dangerous thing to possess
the Power of hwhy without possessing the
The Light of hwhy
Mind of hwhy; without being quick to listen
In the Presence of hwhy is light, and by
and slow to anger; without having experienced
dwelling in this light, those who draw near to
the smallest measure of His overwhelming and
hwhy will also have increasing light from His
infinite lovingkindness. The penchant for
Word:
power seen among believers today is out of
For with You is the fountain of life: balance. Many of today’s “power brokers”
In Your light we will see light. want nothing to do with the immutable Torah.
Psalm 36:9 Yet no one who spurns the Torah of hwhy can
be a true prophet.74 Even so, many today
More importantly, by its nature, the light claim to have power from on High while
banishes all darkness. So those who draw near openly rejecting His immutable Torah. But
to hwhy will have increasing power and victory the Messiah will surely cast out those who
over all darkness and temptation: Abiding in walk in anti-Torah darkness regardless of what
His Presence, they will be transformed into miracles they have done in this lifetime.75
His image:
hwhy gave power to Eliyahu, He gave power to
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding His Messiah, and He will give power to those
as in a mirror the splendor of the Sovereign, who truly seek Him with fasting and prayer.
are transformed into the same image, But those who desire His Kingdom know that
from splendor to splendor, even the power belongs to hwhy: They are not lifted
as from hwhy the Spirit. up in pride against the decrees of the Torah.76
2Corinthians 3:18 They are true shepherds—who direct all
Does His Presence transform us, or is Elohim Yisrael to walk in accordance with His
a liar? Of course, we know His Presence does enduring and immutable Law—the Word
transform us. Not knowing, or not long which He has commanded across the many
experiencing this transforming light, there are eons of time it will still take to fulfill the 1000
those who insist sin is inevitable. As generations which have been prophesied in the
mentioned earlier, we account that teaching to Torah.77
be tantamount to what was spoken by the Feeding His Sheep
unfaithful spirit of the spies of old: Through the prophet Yechezkel (Ezekiel),
Just as those ten spies told Yisrael it hwhy spoke this indictment over the shepherds
was impossible to take the Land, so their of Yisrael who fed themselves instead of
modern-day counterparts would tell us it is feeding the flock:
impossible to overcome the giants of sin. Thus says the Sovereign hwhy:
But the writer to the Hebrews tells us Woe to the shepherds of Yisrael that
otherwise: feed themselves! Should not the
shepherds feed the flock?
You have not yet resisted to the point Ezekiel 34:2
of blood, in your striving against sin.
Hebrews 12:4
This New Covenant teaching clearly indicates 73
Isaiah 58:1-13
we can even attain to the point of death in our 74
Deuteronomy 13:1-4
striving against sin. But that also means sin 75
Mathew 7:21-23
can be overcome. Light, life, restoration, 76
Psalm 119:21
blessings, and revival were promised to those 77
Deuteronomy 7:9, Psalm 105:8, Matthew 5:17-20
11
And we have at least one negative example of of significant proportions. There is an ancient
this in the Scriptures, seen in the sons of Eli, saying which pertains to the start of the longest
Chophi and Phinechas, who fed themselves journey; it goes something like this:
instead of feeding flock.78 And these men
were soon judged. Yet those shepherds who The journey of a thousand miles
sought hwhy by fasting and prayer did just the begins with the first step.
opposite: Instead of feeding themselves, they Our spiritual sojourn through this life is much
fed the flock. We see the apostles did this in like that 1000-mile journey on foot. Once one
the early assembly:
has placed his or her faith in the Messiah, if
1 But in those days, the disciples multiplying that person refuses to seek hwhy by fasting and
in number, there arose a murmuring of the prayer, then the first major leg of this life-long
Hellenists against the Hebrews because their journey has not really even begun in earnest.
widows were overlooked in the daily To follow the Lamb wherever He goes,80 we
ministration. 2 And the twelve, having called must believe and keep His Teachings.81 He
the multitude of the disciples to them, said, It clearly teaches us the importance of fasting. A
is not right that we, leaving the Word of believer who does not fast is much like a light
Elohim, should serve tables. 3 Look out which continually flickers due to a fluctuating
therefore, brethren, from among yourselves power source caused by a nearly severed
seven men, well reported of, full of Spirit and and/or shorted cord. Such light may be
wisdom, whom we will establish over this minimally helpful, but it cannot dispel the
business: 4 but we will give ourselves to darkness.
prayer and the ministry of the word.
To be sure, fasting is not an end in itself,
Acts 6:1-4
but it is most certainly a rather significant and
Many years ago, one misled teacher actually necessary beginning—the beginning
attempted to set forth the theory that the expression of a lasting, far-reaching faith,
apostles were being pompous in their directive. expectation, and love. And such seeking is
We heartily disagree: Instead of being clearly a valid and a required beginning in the
pompous, these men—who were in fasting and mind of hwhy, so that those who refuse82 to
prayer—wisely avoided the realm of food and seek Him by fasting and prayer simply never
eating altogether! Unlike the shepherds of get past “square one,” so to speak. Their
Yisrael, who failed to feed the flock, these service rendered for the Kingdom of hwhy will
men were not feeding themselves so they
be without reward, and their understanding of
could feed the sheep of the Messiah with His
His Word and ways will remain deficient,
living Word. Like the apostles, those who
forego feeding themselves, being given to watered-down, and incomplete.83
times of fasting and prayer, will also be We are commanded to teach every nation all
empowered in the Spirit to feed His sheep! that the Messiah taught, and since eSwhy
indicated a life given to fasting and prayer
t s r q u p e o n m l k y j x z w h d g b a
would characterize His followers after His
ascent to Heaven,84 we advocate nothing less.
A Few Closing Thoughts
The natural man rejects fasting outright, As with everything in the realm of obedience,
perhaps due to a carnal unwillingness to fasting is an act of faith, expectation, and
suppress the appetite even for relatively brief love into which one must grow.
periods of time.79 One could rightly expect
this from the unconverted. But for sincere
believers to outright reject fasting is a concern 80
Revelation 14:1-4
81
Deuteronomy 18:15-19, Matthew 17:5, John 14:23
82
Hebrews 12:25
78 83
1Samuel 2:12-17, 22-25, 27-34 Revelation 3:1-2, John 15:5
79 84
Romans 8:7-8, Philippians 3:19 Matthew 9:14-15
12
But spiritual growth requires action, and a These many abuses have filled the worship house
mere mental ascent to the goodness of fasting of hwhy with money changers who hinder True
will not bring about spiritual benefit. We pray Worship by robbing and oppressing the poor.
Zechariah 7:10 Many have turned reverence and
no one will make the mistake of waiting, only the worship of hwhy into a means of great, personal
to realize many years from now that you have gain. Micah 3:11, 1Timothy 6:5-10, 1Peter 5:2 We
missed out on so many vital opportunities to assert such things were never meant to be, Isaiah
serve your Creator, and to enter into a greater 55:1,2, Mark 11:15-17. Hence, our copyright is
spiritual progression, because you failed to intended to allow for free distribution of the Word
humble yourself before Him during so many of hwhy with the following, minimal limitations:
special and blessed times of fasting and prayer. • This document may be copied and distributed (or
freely printed in its pdf format after being
This article was begun in 2008, in an attempt downloaded from the Internet):
to consolidate some of the more striking
spiritual truths behind fasting. Please know – If it is left unaltered.
this work has been written in judgment of no – If it is left in its entirety.
one. However, having experienced—firsthand
and nationwide—the close-minded objections – And if it is given away at
absolutely no cost.
of numerous believers who outright reject the
truth of fasting, this work was written with a Matthew 11:5, Luke 4:19, Galatians 2:10
view towards helping those who are honestly • Neither this article, nor any portion of this
seeking the truth of the matter. Emerging article, may be included in any publication which
from the Dark Ages, many men have died in is sold. This stipulation applies regardless of the
their mission to translate and distribute the nature of the organization or the nature of its
Scriptures. Many were burned at the stake by sales, meaning: profit or nonprofit. Further,
those who wished to retain their ecclesiastical whether an organization’s publication is of a
power: religious nature, or otherwise, this stipulation still
applies.
The hope of such power-hungry men
was to keep the multitudes in the dark • With the exception of our first stipulation (i.e.,
regarding what the Scriptures really said. the one specified under the first bullet point giving
permission to photocopy the work in its entirety),
Consequently, many of the reformers, publishing any portion of this work without the
translators, and distributors of these light- author’s written permission is strictly prohibited.
revealing efforts were burned at the stake. For other free documents which are offered to
For their sakes, and certainly for the sake of provide encouragement and edification from the
his Messiah, this author feels obligated to Word of hwhy, please refer to the following
make sure every true doctrine, and every website:
upright practice, is not set aside in disuse, or
http://www.scribd.com/yhwh26echad13
ill-repute, based on unlearned deductions
which never came forth from the Mind of t s r q u p e o n m l k y j x z w h d g b a

hwhy. As we have seen, fasting often was


taught by the Messiah and practiced by all of An Excellent Translation of the Scriptures
His apostles. t “ISRV” is an acronym which means: “INSTITUTE
FOR SCRIPTURE RESEARCH VERSION.” This
C.P. acronym has been used in the current document to
12/24/2010 indicate we have quoted a Scripture text from the
excellent translation produced by the INSTITUTE
t s r q u p e o n m l k y j x z w h d g b a
FOR SCRIPTURE RESEARCH – an organization of
PC
Personal Copyright 2008-2011, Messianic believers based in South Africa. These
by Craig Peters believers have published a most helpful, edifying
Version 1.0 version of the Word of hwhy which is entitled “The
Scriptures.” For those wishing to make further
We believe most copyrights have been abused inquiry, the ISR website address is:
worldwide in religious circles as false shepherds
and other merchants feed on the sin of the people. http://www.isr-messianic.org
13