Tag Archives: Jesus

For God So Loved The World

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. – John 3. What are your deeds, my friends?

Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner

The 40 Day Fast And Temptation Of Christ

In the Gospel Of Matthew, we learn of the 40 day fast and temptations of Jesus Christ. Were you aware of the spiritual significance behind these verses and how they apply to us? Let’s begin with Chapter 4:1. “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

We will begin with the foundation, the only One, the Chief Cornerstone. The Messiah came preaching, “He is the way, the truth and the life. And no man comes to the Father but by Him.” The first word that we can gain an understanding of is “life.” While Jesus was being tempted by the devil, He was told to turn the stones into bread. We learn in 1 Peter 2, “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.” Here, we have gained the understanding that our bodies represent living stones. Let us now apply it, with simplicity, to the first temptation of Christ during His 40 day fast.

We, as a believer in Jesus Christ, aren’t able to gain eternal life without knowing and understanding the Word. It’s not possible to base all of our faith in a single verse. We need every word of the LORD God to live. Otherwise, we fall short in our understanding. One verse can be misinterpreted and, without reading our Bibles and comparing what we see with other teachings, we cannot understand what is being said. We cannot understand the Epistles without knowing what Jesus was telling us. As living stones, being built up, Christ is the cornerstone of our faith. Everything needs to be built off of His Words.

Jesus Tempted In The Wilderness

During His 40 day fast, Christ is once again tempted by Satan. “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” We are told in Deuteronomy 6, “Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.”

What if we have all already done this? Why did Jesus tell us our father here is the devil? Why did he call Peter Satan in Matthew 16:22-24? What if, just by being here, we are worshipping Satan? Have you looked around you or looked at the world today? Nearly everyone is focused on self, other than the LORD God. Also, during the time of His temptation, the Bible says, “Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”

We will now look at the original in Deuteronomy, “Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah. Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee. And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the LORD: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the LORD swore unto thy fathers, To cast out all thine enemies from before thee, as the LORD hath spoken.”

Jesus tells us He is the way, the truth, and the life. What we just looked at were these biblical principles in reverse. The life comes by knowing and understanding the Word. The truth is who we are, what we are guilty of, repentance, and conversion. To understand the way is to keep the commandments of the LORD God, and to walk in all His ways. What is the way? This is the way, walk in it.

Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner

His Ministers A Flaming Fire

Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honor and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain: Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind: Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire. – Psalms 104:1-4.

The Bible tells us in Hebrews 1, “And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?”

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. – 1 Corinthians 15:51.

Who are the angels that are made Spirits, and the ministers that are made a flaming fire? “Hear, ye that are far off, what I have done; and, ye that are near, acknowledge my might. The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; He shall dwell on high: his place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure. Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.” – Isaiah 33:13-17.

What if, we are those angels, wise spirits, His ministers made a flaming fire? He is the Beginning and the End after all. The simplicity…

Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner

How Do We Receive The Holy Spirit?

We learn in Acts 2, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Living in the world as it is today, do you understand the Biblical definition of repentance? What if we didn’t understand it or commit to it? Why did Jesus say, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head?” If the Bible is true, and it still applies to us today, this verse does as well. We learn that the LORD God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So, it has to be the same now, even as when it was spoken.

We learn from Jesus in John 14, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.”

If we aren’t keeping His words, even His sayings, will His Spirit come and abide with us? How do we receive the Holy Spirit, By the washing of water by the Word.

Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner

Doth Not Wisdom Cry?

Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice? She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths. She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors. Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man. O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart. Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things. For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. – Proverbs 8:1-7

Throughout the Bible, we are told things similar to, “if any man hath an ear, let him hear.” In the opening of Proverbs 1, we begin with the foundation of understanding Wisdom. “To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledgebut fools despise wisdom and instruction. My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.” – Proverbs 1:2-9.

Do you fear the LORD God? Most people will give the same answer, “Why do I need to fear GOD? He came here and paid the penalty, so I am redeemed. I believe on the name of Jesus, so I’m going Home.” Tell me, please, where does it say that in the Bible? Even the devils believe, and they tremble. In previous posts, we have touched upon the three angels who fly in the midst of Heaven. The first angel came with the everlasting Gospel to preach to them that dwell upon the earth. Let’s consider this. Do you believe that some mysterious “being” will be flying around the world and visit billions of people individually, coming down your chimney, eating milk and cookies? Or, could it be something far simpler?

Biblical Wisdom

Paul tells us in Hebrews 13, “Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.” Why would he say that some of us have entertained angels unawares? What if this were true? What if all of us have entertained angels unawares? Doth not Wisdom cry?

Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God. The children of Ephraim, being armed, and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle. They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law; And forgot his works, and his wonders that he had shewed them. – Psalms 78:1-11.

All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them. They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge. Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it. I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions. The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. – Proverbs 8:8-13.

Fear GOD, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. Doth not Wisdom cry? He that hath an ear, let him hear.

Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner

The Burden Of Babylon

The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see. Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them, shake the hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles. I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, even them that rejoice in my highness. The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the LORD of hosts mustereth the host of the battle. They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the LORD, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land. Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.

Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt: And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames. Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.

Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger. And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land. Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword. Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished. Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it. – Isaiah 13:1-17.

The Burden Of Babylon – The End Is Here – Behold The Day, It Is Come

Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner

Bible justice

In The Bible, Justice For All

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.”

Do you know the LORD Jesus Christ?

Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner

come out from among them

Come Out From Among Them

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.

Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner

Sabbath keeping

The Spiritual Significance Of Sabbath Keeping

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 manso 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 itFor 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.

The Empty Tomb

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.

Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner

biblical fasting

Biblical Fasting – The Acceptable Fast

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?

Praying while fasting

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.

Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner