What is the Way? In Isaiah 30:21 it tells us, “This is the way, walk ye in it.” We all know what Jesus said. As a Christian, do you know what it means? “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” What would happen if we haven’t understood this? What would happen if we were not walking “in it?”
And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him. For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. Ye shall defile (pronounce utterly unclean) also the covering of thy graven images of silver, and the ornament of thy molten images of gold: thou shalt cast them away as a menstruous cloth; thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence. – Isaiah 30:18-22. What it the way?
First, why does it say that we will cast away as a bloody rag, the covering of our graven images of silver, and molten images of Gold? What does that have to do with statues, what we see in the world, or anything that we have made with our hands? The only thing that can come to the mind of a sane person is something, or “someone,” that is filled with blood. The only answer is our bodies, our flesh. Come up with something else. There isn’t anything else. That is the only answer. “They that are in the flesh, cannot please GOD.” So, if the Bible says that our bodies are the graven and molten images, what would happen once we apply this understanding to the entire Bible?
“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” Are you a natural, or a spiritual man? And, therefore the LORD will wait. This is the way, walk in it… As we look at the world, and what’s common to man, what makes suffering as a Christian something more? “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.” – 1 Peter 4:12-16.
Has something strange happened to you? Have you been thrust into a “fiery trial?” Are you being reproached for the name and authority of Christ? Are you a partaker of His sufferings? “And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” In Daniel 10, when he understood the Abomination of Desolation, he was mourning, “three full weeks.” He said that the time appointed was “long.” It must have been a really, really long time?
In Psalm 73, the psalmist says, “As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image. Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins. So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee. Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand.” Have you despised your image? What did the Bible just tell us about our “image?” Have you recognized that you are as a beast before the LORD? Why does the Bible say, “But these, as natural brute beasts, in those things, they corrupt themselves?” Are you aware of how foolish or ignorant that all of us are? Do you understand repentance? “And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction… This is the way.”
There are many things within the pages of the Bible that can confuse, and without proper guidance by the Spirit and the putting forth from a helping hand, we may, in fact, fall short of eternal life. As Peter tells us in Acts 3, “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,” my prayer this day brothers and sisters is that you take heed, “arise o’ sleeper, wake up from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” I have no money to offer you, although what I do have, I give unto you. What is the way? This is the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes unto the Father but through Him.
And, on the third day, He rose again. In the Bible are many parables and teachings of Jesus Christ. Today, we will look at Luke 17:20-21. “And when he was demanded of the Pharisees when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” This is a clue to spiritually understanding the Bible. In the free eBook, Crucified at Golgotha, we covered one prime example of this teaching, which even Paul taught. We will now build on this and see how on the third day, He rose again. Is it possible that when we awake from our sleep and rise from the dead, Jesus rises within us, even, on the third day? “The kingdom of GOD is within you.”
In Exodus 19, the LORD spoke to Moses and said, “Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee forever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the Lord. And the Lord said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes, And be ready against the third day: for the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.”
It goes on to say, “And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death: There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.” Now my friends and brethren, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” – 1 Corinthians 15:51-55.
And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes. And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives. – Exodus 19:14-15. Take a moment and consider this last verse. What could it possibly mean? What is, “come not at your wives about?” Why is Moses telling the people to abstain from sex? That is what he said. What difference does that make? The Bible also tells us, “Seek ye out of the Book and read, no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate.” That is two times in the Bible where we see abstinence being spoken about. How about others? “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
Are there more? “For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.” “Abstain from fleshly lusts.” “But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” The connections are quite endless when you walk with the LORD. “For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.”
Why did John the Baptist and Jesus both teach repentance to people who followed the Law? Why were the Prophets, Apostles, and Jesus persecuted and hated by nearly everyone? It is because they were teaching things that are contrary to what the world teaches us. And, it is no different today. One may claim to understand scripture by only knowing a few verses from the Bible. Or, they have been taught by their Pastors, and believe what they have been teaching them. However, the Bible tells us, “Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men.”
That is the problem with our watered-down version of modern Christianity. No one has any fear of GOD. Believe in any version of Jesus Christ and all will be forgiven. “Well, He died for us, didn’t he? We have been redeemed. We believe the Bible.” Even the devils believe, and they tremble. If we are all facing an eternal torment of fire and brimstone, wouldn’t you think that each one of us individually did something to warrant this kind of everlasting punishment? Why did the LORD God have to come here in the “likeness” of sinful flesh to pay for us in such a manner as He did? Why does the Bible say, “And ye shall know the truth, and the Truth shall set you free?” What truth? What are we being set free from? What is it, that we all did?
Now, back to the Beginning and the LORD rising within us on the third day. The Bible tells us, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” We also learn, “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.” Let us tie it all together. “Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, And be ready against the third day: for the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.” “And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes. And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives.” Without understanding and believing the principle of complete Biblical abstinence, there is a very good chance that we haven’t been born again, and that we don’t have the Spirit within us.
For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 2:2-8. “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven.” How about 1 Corinthians 7? Go and read the whole chapter. Not just the first verse. The Bible also tells us to love as brethren, and to love “as” brothers. Just as we read.
We just learned together, “Seek ye out of the Book and read, no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate.” The truth bears out the Truth all day long. How about, “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge?” Once again, only one verse. How many have we just looked at that say otherwise. Truly, that’s only the tip of the iceberg. However, once you begin looking at the original Greek using the Strong’s Concordance, you see that it talks about the cohabitation of the Spirit and our Marriage to the LORD. “Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
A sister who I follow on WordPress just posted on the Marriage in Canaan. For sharing these verses, I thank you. Let us read it together, and I will make the connections for you with all of the previous information. “And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom.”
First, who was called to the marriage? Or, more specifically, who is called to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb? Jesus and His disciples. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” Before our conversion, we need to be washed, or we need to be baptized. How does this happen? The Bible tells us, “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word.” It has nothing to do with jumping in a bathtub or a river.
After we have taken hold of Biblical abstinence, and the truth, we begin further letting go of things in this world and self. “Be ready against the third day, come not at your wives.” And on the third day, the Spirit rises within you. Jesus awakes you from the dead. It is the same as Mark 4 when there was a great storm and the waves beat against the boat. Jesus was “asleep on a pillow.” I will get into that in another post. When they wanted the “wine,” His “mother” says to the disciples, “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.” What did Jesus say to us? “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” Through self-denial, abstinence, and daily sacrifice, we become converted.
After we have received His Spirit, that isn’t the end. We are told this by the Messiah, “And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.” – Luke 5:37-39. Here, we are presented with another choice. “If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” We are still faced with choices, daily. We have our flesh to subdue with all of its passions and desires. TV, movies, shopping, what we are doing with our time, how we are spending it, as well as, what are we doing for the LORD to further the Gospel and to share the Good News. “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” We are to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the “fatherless” and the “widows.”
These are all Gospel principles that have to do with teaching our brothers and sisters the way, the truth, and the life. These have to do with the acceptable fast and keeping the Sabbath, which we just covered in the past week or so. The more of the old man that we put off, the more of the new man is being put on. We will never be perfect while we are here in our present state. Although, we can strive each day to do better than the last because it is onlythe servants of the LORD that knew how the water was made wine.
The LORD God wants us to know more about Him. Throughout the Bible, GOD reveals more about His character and plan, as He reveals Himself over and again. As in the Garden of Eden, the One who forms us, molds us into something new. Like Abraham, He calls us to companionship. He rescues His people from Sinai and roars against sin and injustice. To Jonah, He was One who condemned sin but forgave those who repented. He is the Son of Heaven who came to this earth from Bethlehem. And on Calvary, He sacrificed Himself for you and I to live.
To know the LORD is best explained by Paul in Philippians: But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. – Philippians 3:7-11.
In a way, the Bible tells us, in the name of justice, we started with a promise. It was only the beginning. Justice is the basis for all things, and without justice, there would be no existence. Hence, justice for all became our love. In spite of the darkness, this love shines brightly. Having come here to bear witness to our love, so that all may love freely, we are here for a just cause. Even though we are not complete apart, together we are whole.
He who loves unconditionally has now entered the world as our True Self and Savior. In fact, He is everywhere. Although He created the world, it does not recognize Him. In addition, while He has come for His own, those who belong to Him do not acknowledge Him. For those who do, He is all. Everyone who answers His call is reborn, regardless of their race, class, or creed.
In a recent post, we covered Who is Jesus to you? The Bible tells us in 1 John 2, “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.”
Paul teaches us in 2 Corinthians 6, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” In this verse, it is clear the LORD is speaking to us. Although, what does He mean? Who are we to come away from? How are we to be separate? And the unclean thing; do you know what this is?
It all begins, as it did with the Messiah, in Nazareth. Everyone knows the story. Jesus was born in Bethlehem. He, his mother and father fled to Egypt. After some time, an Angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph. They came to Israel and made their way to Nazareth. Thus, “He was called a Nazarene.” What is it about these people that are significant to us today? In Acts 24, we see Tertullus, an orator, accuse Paul before the governor. He says, “For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.” Paul must have been teaching something different to what they all had previously understood. In the Book of Numbers, chapter 6, we learn what the Nazarite vow is. At its core, its teachings point towards a life of holiness to GOD, a life of separation, and a life of abstinence. That sounds a lot like, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.”
Jesus sounded this principle throughout the Gospels to His disciples, and to the multitudes. “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” The Bible tells us, “Be ye Holy, for I am Holy.” And if we were to fall short? “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” – Matthew 16:25-26.
Jesus tells us He is the way, the truth, and the life. Everything that He speaks to us is our direct line to the Father. Picture it not as a Bluetooth line. Picture it as the Hand of the LORD reaching out to us, trying to pull us back in. As a Bluetooth line can lose its signal, our Father in Heaven is always there. We are what gets in the way. Whether it be our stubbornness, reluctance, or simple lack of knowledge. Take these three, and set them aside, as we reach forth towards the things which are before.
Yes, there was a before, or it wouldn’t say it. Jesus tells us in John 8:38, “I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.” Wait, who is our father? Everything is of importance. Everything is of eternal value to each of us individually. Jesus says in Matthew 19:12, “For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.” Remember, everything has significance and is more valuable than gold or silver. What is a Eunuch? If you aren’t sure, do a Google search. A Eunuch is the same as someone who has taken the vow of a Nazarene. A Eunuch is someone who has, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing.”
As I am one familiar with these teachings of the Messiah, the Nazarite vow, being separated and isolated, I ask that you take the time to read the one thing that the world will not be teaching you, Biblical Chastity: Jesus, Abstinence, And The Bible. Take the time to read it. Do so again. Read it until you have taken hold of it. It is all true. The Bible is the only truth in this fallen world. Look around you. It is high time you wake out of your sleep and arise from the dead. Christ is the only one who can give us eternal life, and few there be that find it. That’s not billions of “Christians.” Jesus said only a few, or a tiny amount.
Once we begin walking as Jesus did, we gain a deeper understanding of Isaiah 7:15, “Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.” The Bible will be opened to us. Things will begin to make sense. We will not have to look far to find the answers. We will lie down in green pasture and be blessed when we come in, and as we go out. Stay blessed, my friends.
Is keeping the Sabbath a once a week thing? Or is there more to it? Let us begin with Hebrews 4 and the words of Paul. The Spiritual Significance leads us to understand that it is something continual. When we enter into His rest, every day is a Sabbath. This is something that the Spirit confirmed within me, close to the time that I was “Born again.” Jesus said, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven.” Take a moment and consider the words of the Messiah as we continue. He also said, “The Kingdom of GOD is within you.” What if, just what if, many things within the Word of Life are things that happen at a certain place within us, or have happened to us already from a spiritual perspective?
“For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” – Ephesians 2:14-19. Paul understood this principle and I go into detail about it in the free eBook Crucified At Golgotha. If you haven’t laid hold of it, I do earnestly contend that you read it before continuing.
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. – 1 Corinthians 2:7-11.
Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he spake in a certain place (within you) of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. And in this place again (within you), If they shall enter into my rest. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David (For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us), To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. – Hebrews 4:1-7.
“For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” – 2 Corinthians 6:2. Question: What day was the LORD risen from the grave? Why does the Bible say this in Exodus 19: “And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes. And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives.” “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:” – 1 Thessalonians 4:3.
For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. – Hebrews 4:8-12.
In the previous post, we covered Biblical Fasting. Because fasting in the Bible and Sabbath keeping go hand in hand. “And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. 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, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” – Isaiah 58:11-13.
Why don’t we let Jesus break this down for us to make better sense? “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” – Luke 9:23. 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, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words. Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD.
And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
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, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs. The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth. The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd. And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. – Ecclesiastes 12.
Within the pages of the Bible, we learn about Biblical fasting and what the acceptable fast is to the LORD. Jesus also teaches us about the two great commandments. We are to love the LORD God with all of our heart and love our neighbor as ourselves. According to the Word, these two principles go hand in hand.
In Matthew 12, there is a question from the Messiah: “Who is my mother? And who are my brethren?” The answer is like what the Bible teaches us about fasting. “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” Many of us, while reading the Bible, take at face value what others are teaching us without seeking the answers for ourselves. So, what does the Word of GOD actually say about fasting? The answer is in Isaiah 58, and there is no room for debate once you have read it. The LORD is telling us exactly what the acceptable fast is.
It begins as such, “Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labors. Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. Is it such a fast that I have chosen? A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?” – Isaiah 58:3-5. We are being asked by the LORD, the same things that we are being taught by those around us. Is this what fasting means in the Bible? Is this a Biblical fast?
Starting in verse 6 of Isaiah 58, the LORD clarifies what we are supposed to be doing. “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? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?” That doesn’t sound like anything I have been taught. How about you? And, if those who are teaching us are wrong about something that we assume is very simple to understand, what else could they all be wrong about? The answer is pretty much everything. Because the LORD finishes with His promise to us, once we begin following these commandments.
“Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward. Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” – Isaiah 58:8-11. Knowing the Bible is the only truth, reading what we just did, if you aren’t doing these things, is the LORD even hearing us? Is He answering us when we go to Him in prayer? Are we being guided by Him? Then there is a very good possibility that the glory of the LORD will not be our rereward.
What is a rereward? Is it something that we once had and lost? How can it be a re-reward? What about the Parable of the Prodigal Son? Are there similarities that we can extract from this? Why does the LORD God say that He is the Beginning and the End? Are you starting to make the connections? How can we find that which was lost, if we didn’t have it to “begin” with? The bottom line is that Biblical fasting is exactly the same as the two great commandments. If we aren’t loving our neighbor as ourselves, we have absolutely no “claim” to anything.
“Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:19-20.
But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and fromthe power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. – Acts 26:16-18.
In the world today, filled with violence, despair, regret, and remorse, there is only one place for us to turn, the LORD. Many are glued to the news, waiting to see what will become of the unsettling events regarding Ukraine. It now appears that things can only get worse. Many innocent people on both sides are suffering. For what reason? What is the purpose behind these things? Who is the one behind it all? And, do most even know what they are doing?
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) – Ephesians 2:1-4.
Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians that there is a “god of this world.” Were you aware that someone else has domain here, someone else has control? “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” – 2 Corinthians 4:3-7.
What? Know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? For two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. – 1 Corinthians 6:16-20. The Bible doesn’t say adultery, my dear friends.
While Jesus was suffering through his last moments before His death, He gave a very profound statement, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” As I look at those around me, the Putin’s, Biden’s, Trump’s, and all of their followers, I can only think of one thing, the same statement as given by Jesus Christ. Until you have the Spirit of GOD within you, you are walking to the tune of this world. Regardless of what you would like to believe. Now would be a good time to seek those things above, while forgetting those things which are behind. Don’t look back. Rise, Stand Upon Thy Feet…
Did you know that the Bible calls up captives and slaves? A part of the Messiah’s mission included freeing the captives, according to Isaiah 61:1. Jesus read from this Book in Luke chapter 4:18-19. “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, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” During His ministry, did He free them from the Romans? How can we all be captives? What makes us all blind? Why do we need to be set at liberty in the first place? These definitions imply we aren’t supposed to be here. These definitions are pointing out that this world is a prison. Are we captives? I am no longer a slave.
Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts: According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not. For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts. The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts. – Haggai 2:3-9.
What was this first house? Why does the LORD God say that He is the Beginning and the End? Why does it ask, “how do we see it now?” What is the Biblical meaning of a house or a temple? What are our bodies? When the Heavens and the earth shake, what will become of all of us? These are all questions that we need to find the answers to. The good thing is that the Bible provides the answers to life’s most difficult questions. We just need to know how and where to begin. It all begins in the Beginning. Are we slaves? Are we captives? I am no longer a slave.
The hope of Glory is Christ in you. In Colossians, Paul tells us about the mystery that has been hid from the beginning which is revealed to his saints. Do you know what this mystery is? Everyone in Christianity, and possibly the world, knows who Jesus Christ is. Although, what is this great mystery? I could probably go to anyone and ask them what Christians believe. Do you know anyone who can clarify what Paul is speaking about? Why? What does Colossians say about who this is revealed to? “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written that He takes the wise in their own craftiness.” – 1 Cor 3:19. The fact remains that we probably don’t have a clue what we’re talking about unless we have His Spirit.
How do we receive His Spirit? Is it by baptism? Is it by the baptism that the world teaches, by water? Why does the Bible tell us, “That He might sanctify and cleanse it by the washing of water by the Word?” Do your pastors or teachers even know that verse? Do you know what sanctification means? Why does Paul say, “This is the will of GOD, even your sanctification, that you should abstain from fornication?” Why doesn’t it say adultery? Why does it say that? There is only one reason, because it is true. We are to abstain from earthly lusts and this includes sex with our spouse. How many people are teaching this Gospel principle? How many people can tell you what the mystery is? How can you have Christ in you, the hope of glory, if you aren’t doing as He did, and walking as He walked?
“And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” – 1 John 2:4-6.
According to the Bible, Jesus taught us the truth about this world. We can understand certain principles that many do not understand about the Gospel. When reading the Word, it’s easy to miss out on all the ways Jesus showed His love and commitment to His disciples and to God. But what did Jesus teach His disciples? What did they learn in which they taught others? He taught them about prayer, worshiping GOD, denying ourselves, taking up our cross, having faith, and showing them by example how they all should live. He told them that unless they did these things, they could not enter into Heaven.
Throughout His ministry, Jesus encouraged His disciples to trust God and rely on Him for help. In Matthew 14:22-32, Mark 6:45-52, and John 6:16-21, He taught them they didn’t need to worry about daily necessities because God would take care of them. Jesus stated to His disciples and His followers about denying themselves, and both Peter and Paul referenced this teaching. Without intentionally denying ourselves our desires, we aren’t able to put others first or focus on what really matters.
One of Jesus’s last teaching moments with his disciples is a lesson in self-denial. After washing his apostles’ feet, he led them to a garden on their last night together. During prayer, he went away from them and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will but as you will’ (Matthew 26:39). Denying oneself to honor God isn’t something that we like to talk about today, but for Christ and for us, it should be. Follow him in denying ourselves so that we can honor our Creator when all else fails.
It is through Christ’s own death that He defeated sin, conquered death, and liberated us from evil. But to fully experience all that God has for us, we must die in Christ just as He died for us—we must deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow Him. When we do so, He promises to bring good out of every situation (Romans 8:28). Are you ready to give up your desires so that Christ May Be In You, The Hope Of Glory? Then take a moment today to reflect on your priorities and ask God to show you areas where you need to be more like Him. Now is a good time to be focused on understanding how much God loves us—and for repentance!