PDA

View Full Version : Does Jesus expect His Disciples to Fast?



Extravagance
Aug 24th 2011, 05:59 AM
The sermon on the mount (Matthew 5-6-7) is said to be the lifestyle of Christian, some commentaries call it basic Christianity. Wesley said the standard of a pastor's success, is the level which his church embrace these values. Jesus said of the lifestyle in Matt 5:"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."

The values of the lifestyle include meekness, doing works before God (not man), prayer, intercession, fasting, giving, tithing, trusting the Father and knowing the Lord. He says in Mat 5:16 "when you fast," not 'if you fast,' which strongly suggests He was expecting fasting to be a part of their lifestyle. Yet the belief is very common in the church that is fasting now something He has told us we no longer have to do, unless there is an extreme need. Is it no longer something He expects of us as a regular practice? Has the lifestyle of America influenced our interpretation of Scriptures?

Mat 9:14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples fast not? 15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the friends of the Bridegroom mourn, as long as the Bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the Bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.

Jesus didn't respond to John's disciples by saying they didn't have to fast, He answered them that 'when He is taken from them (by the cross),' then they will fast. He wasn't saying they were exempt from fasting rather He was answering the implication that John and his disciples were more zealous and passionate than His disciples, by saying one day they will but just as John's disciples were..

These verses directly implies that fasting will bring us to the presense of God, I'm assuming by the Holy Spirit dwelling in them post-Pentecost. Mourning speaks of so hungering and desiring of God that we fast to be in His presence. Zech 8 prophesies of fasting for joy, rather than sorrow. I think that Jesus does not give specifics in Scripture to duration and schedule of fasting, as it is a voluntary move of the heart. A groom cannot command His bride to love him. However as Pastors and Teachers, if we are not awakening hunger for the presence of God in our flock, what are we then doing? Are we like the Pharisees seeking to establish religious activity in the place of connecting with God?

Do we not have to fast as a basic tenet of the works that attests our faith alive? What does fasting accomplish if is a discipline?

Jon 7:38 He that believes on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. In studying the greek I find that the Holy Spirit dwells in our innermost man or 'belly'(KJV) and yet we experience Him in the innerman (sometimes 'translated heart/soul'.) By strengthening our innerman with prayer and fasting, we increase our capacity for more of the Spirit of Christ there. This principle comes from Eph 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith.

This is also align with Paul praying for the church of Ephesus to experience Eph 1:17 work of the Holy Spirit that reveals to them Christ. It seems as though God has chosen fasting as a means of humility. 2 Cor 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Mar 4:24 And he said unto them, Take heed what all of you hear: with what measure all of you use, it shall be measured back to you. Mat 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

If you've tried fasting and hated it, ask God for grace and empowerment for it. This verse is crucial to fasting: 39 You Search the scriptures; for in them all of you think all of you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And yet all of you will not come to me, that all of you might have life. We must let the written word take us to the Living Word,(John 1:1)

What is study of Scriptures without beholding Jesus by the Spirit? Does it transform us or renew our minds? 2 Cor 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding dimly the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the LORD.

These help too:
John 14:26 the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things.
1 Cor 2:10 But God has revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God. 12 Now we have received.. the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
Eph 5:18 be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.

I know some who fast one day a week on water, with a light meal the night before, and a light meal the night of, to break the fast. The results have been tremendous over the years, though one problem is hunger for God growing in such a way that no other earthly pleasure satifies, which only leads to more prayer. Like the pastor says 'fasting without prayer is dieting.'

MoreMercy
Aug 24th 2011, 07:55 AM
What a blessing to read, Extravagance !

God bless you more and more, allowing you to bless us in return.
Sadly, this is a dry topic for most of us now-a-days.

I am aware that our modern use of the word fast now-days means almost exclusively diet, but fasting is indeed denying our appetite, but ALL of our appetites, not just our bellies appetite.
Christ forty day fast in the desert is a perfect example of a biblical fast, no conveniences, no voices for news, no company or companionship or reassurance from our fellows, no bodily comforts, no entertainment, no food to satisfy our belly, no food for thought other than what Father's Spirit will provide in our self imposed solitude.

If we can or will do that, Father will reward us with greatly increased faith in Him
(if we do it to make ourselves available to Him)
Fasting is an act of self denial to make ourselves totally available to Father. It is not at test to show how long we will suffer in starvation for God.

Is fasting the only way to increase faith ? ...nope ! ...but it expedites/quickens faith powerfully, like dynamite ! ...IF it is mixed with prayer and quiet waiting on Father.

Is it commanded or expected ? ...I think it is for each individual to decide for themselves according to how n what n when Father is dealing with them individually.

Although I wont let a man convince or guilt me into a fast, I will respond to Father if or when He coo's n woo's me into one, but I will do it in solitude and in secret and mixed with a whole lot of praying and contemplation on Him and His words.
I think it is very profitable for us who are seeking self-discipline (control of one's own flesh's desires)
The solemn and quiet that a long "fast+praying" will bring to our spirit if we fast to commune with Father in total solitude and self denial will greatly increase our faith and power in Him, very noticeably very, very noticeably...


Father bless, and have mercy on us.

John 8:32
Aug 25th 2011, 04:20 PM
If for no other reason, you must fast once a year on the Day of Atonement. Once a month is much more appropriate but there is no regulation and it is up to the individual according to his/her need.

Isa 58:3 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 labours.
Isa 58:4 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.
Isa 58:5 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?
Isa 58:6 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?
Isa 58:7 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?
Isa 58:8 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.
Isa 58:9 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;
Isa 58:10 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:
Isa 58:11 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.
Isa 58:12 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.
Isa 58:13 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, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:
Isa 58:14 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.

We fast not so that God can see things our way and give us what we want from Him, we fast so that we can see things God's way and serve him with a perfect heart.

TrustGzus
Aug 25th 2011, 05:22 PM
I frankly find it interesting how little the Bible really says about fasting yet how much I hear about it in the church. Once you get past the book of Acts, I don't know of a single instance of fasting being mentioned in any epistles.

mikebr
Aug 25th 2011, 11:37 PM
I frankly find it interesting how little the Bible really says about fasting yet how much I hear about it in the church. Once you get past the book of Acts, I don't know of a single instance of fasting being mentioned in any epistles.

Yep it does seem that we major on the minors.

Slug1
Aug 25th 2011, 11:40 PM
I frankly find it interesting how little the Bible really says about fasting yet how much I hear about it in the church. Once you get past the book of Acts, I don't know of a single instance of fasting being mentioned in any epistles.Is this an excuse then, not to fast?

-SEEKING-
Aug 26th 2011, 01:04 AM
Yep it does seem that we major on the minors.

Wow. So much truth in so little words.

TrustGzus
Aug 26th 2011, 01:05 AM
Is this an excuse then, not to fast?Is an excuse needed if Gentile believers are never recorded as fasting, nor commanded to?

Slug1
Aug 26th 2011, 01:11 AM
Is an excuse needed if Gentile believers are never recorded as fasting, nor commanded to?I guess you're not gonna answer the question? Huh? :P

TrustGzus
Aug 26th 2011, 03:39 AM
I guess you're not gonna answer the question? Huh? :P
I did answer. An excuse is not needed if one isn't told to do something.

John 8:32
Aug 26th 2011, 11:37 AM
I did answer. An excuse is not needed if one isn't told to do something.

Luk 17:7 But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat?
Luk 17:8 And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?
Luk 17:9 Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.
Luk 17:10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.

Mat 6:16 Moreover when (not if) ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Mat 6:17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
Mat 6:18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

Mat 9:14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?
Mat 9:15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.

The Boss says we will fast, good enough for me.

TrustGzus
Aug 26th 2011, 02:31 PM
Luk 17:7 But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat?
Luk 17:8 And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?
Luk 17:9 Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.
Luk 17:10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.

Mat 6:16 Moreover when (not if) ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Mat 6:17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
Mat 6:18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

Mat 9:14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?
Mat 9:15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.

The Boss says we will fast, good enough for me.
Then why do we never see Gentiles fast in Acts and how come the apostles never mention it in the epistles?

John 8:32
Aug 26th 2011, 03:12 PM
Then why do we never see Gentiles fast in Acts and how come the apostles never mention it in the epistles?
Ask the Boss, he is the one who told us to fast. Maybe fasting is a foregone conclusion and doesn't need to be constantly reinforced. Christ said to do it, so they did it. It is a very private matter anyhoo...

Mat 6:16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Mat 6:17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
Mat 6:18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

(By the way, there are other intimate details of life we do not see the gentiles doing in new testament either. Did they or we do them?)

John 8:32
Aug 26th 2011, 03:17 PM
Then why do we never see Gentiles fast in Acts and how come the apostles never mention it in the epistles?

Act 27:9 Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them,

Here the word fast refers to a specific fast, the Day of Atonement which is at a particular season and the seasons were recognized by the Holydays that occurred during those seasons at that time of the year.

TrustGzus
Aug 26th 2011, 03:21 PM
Act 27:9 Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them,

Here the word fast refers to a specific fast, the Day of Atonement which is at a particular season and the seasons were recognized by the Holydays that occurred during those seasons at that time of the year.
John 8:32,

Are you observing the Day of Atonement these days?

Slug1
Aug 26th 2011, 03:27 PM
Then why do we never see Gentiles fast in Acts and how come the apostles never mention it in the epistles?I had these questions once and ya know how they were answered? I surrendered and humbled myself before God in fasting. He began to work in me in a way that was deeper than anything I'd ever experienced before.

John 8:32
Aug 26th 2011, 04:03 PM
John 8:32,

Are you observing the Day of Atonement these days?

Absolutely, I observe all of the Feast of the Jews, whoops, I mean I observe the Feasts of the Lord...

Lev 23:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.

MoreMercy
Aug 26th 2011, 04:04 PM
Unless you think it a sin or trespass TrustGzus
Then just try it, you will like it !
Well you will like the results anyway...


Father bless and have mercy on us.

Extravagance
Aug 26th 2011, 08:08 PM
Ask the Boss, he is the one who told us to fast. Maybe fasting is a foregone conclusion and doesn't need to be constantly reinforced. Christ said to do it, so they did it. It is a very private matter anyhoo...

Mat 6:16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Mat 6:17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
Mat 6:18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

(By the way, there are other intimate details of life we do not see the gentiles doing in new testament either. Did they or we do them?)


Then why do we never see Gentiles fast in Acts and how come the apostles never mention it in the epistles?

The command to fast in secret probably has a lot to do with why we do not have written record of Gentiles fasting in Acts. Jesus said "when you fast," not if you fast. If you say to me "when you go to the gym, work on you arms," you are assuming I work out and commanding me to work on my arms.

The other NT writers were mostly speaking to churches that were made up of disciples of Jesus. The foundational principles of prayer had been laid, and they would have already learned the basic command of mat 6:18, fast unto the Father. Fasting as part of the lifestyle Jesus outlined that highlights our need for God, with commands like Ask, seek, knock (Mat 7:7). After that command Jesus tied God providing for His children to a regular priority to "seek all of you first the kingdom of God (Mat 6:33.)" The fact that the epistles do not mention fasting does not negate the foundation their teaching and lifestyle came from, for Jesus prefaced the command to 'fast unto the Father' with "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." (Mat 5:19).

Jesus stressed fasting not by repeating himself about it over and over, He just used strong language said that we will do it if we are His disciples. A strongly worded statement "My disciples will fast, (Mat 9:15)" shows that Jesus has faith in His previous teaching of Matt 5-7, and also His desirability and is just as strong as many commands. The texts seems to tie a lack of fasting to a contentment in a life without the activity and presence of God. But asking for the empowerment of the Spirit to fast, I've seen is crucial in sustaining a fast and doing it in joy. If you break the fast, you have grace, just try again a different time. In studying Psa 119 and making the text prayer, I asked Him to show me wonderful things in the Scriptures, and to make my delight in them.

BroRog
Aug 26th 2011, 08:16 PM
I don't see where Jesus commands his disciples to fast. I see where his disciples DO fast, but this is because they were practicing Jews, not because they were disciples of Jesus.

Extravagance
Aug 26th 2011, 08:32 PM
I don't see where Jesus commands his disciples to fast. I see where his disciples DO fast, but this is because they were practicing Jews, not because they were disciples of Jesus.

Actually He commanded his Jewish disciples not to fast.


Matt 9:14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples fast not? 15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then they shall fast.


He then says fasting is to take place after His death, and implied that fasting would lead to being with Him (I assume after Pentecost Holy Spirit Outpouring). He then in verse 17 tied the concept of fasting to be with Him to a new wineskin, that the Jewish mindset could not accept. Neither do men put new wine into old wineskin: else the wineskins break, and the wine runs out, but they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.

Also sidenote -the Pentecost Outpouring of Acts 2, Peter said was a partial fulfillment of Joel 2. Joel was prophesying of the end-times though. He tied responding to crisis of judgment to fasting "Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly." This is, on one level, speaking of the Day of the Lord (v1), surely it isn't the Jews who fast here, unless they are believers.

Sidenote:The emphasis of His Bridegroom identity appears to be a new wineskin as well, Rev 22:17 seems to suggest the church will one day fully embrace this wineskin, soon before the wedding supper of the Lamb.

BroRog
Aug 26th 2011, 08:36 PM
Actually He commanded his Jewish disciples not to fast.

Matt 9:14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples fast not? 15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bride-chamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast

He then says fasting is to take place after His death, and implied that fasting would lead to being with Him (after Pentecost Holy Spirit Outpouring). He then in verse 17 tied the concept of fasting to be with Him to a new wineskin, that the Jewish mindset could not accept. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runs out, but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.


Also sidenote -the Pentecost Outpouring of Acts 2, Peter said was a partial fulfillment of Joel 2. Joel was prophesying of the end-times though. He tied responding to crisis of judgment to fasting "Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly." This is, on one level, speaking of the Day of the Lord (v1), surely it isn't the Jews who fast here, unless they are believers.Jesus says that his disciples will fast after he leaves, but this is simply an observation of what they will do, not a commandment that they do so.

mikebr
Aug 26th 2011, 08:45 PM
I did answer. An excuse is not needed if one isn't told to do something.

Opps I got convicted and removed the post. I agree TrustGzuz, We don't need an excuse.

TrustGzus
Aug 26th 2011, 09:05 PM
I had these questions once and ya know how they were answered? I surrendered and humbled myself before God in fasting. He began to work in me in a way that was deeper than anything I'd ever experienced before.

My problem with that is your subjective experience and interpretation of it isn't proof to other people. You need chapter and verse or a logical deduction based on some verses. And I know your heart, Paul, and so I know that you don't mean this, but it's a tad of a bullying technique. Subtly hinting that if I don't fast that I'm not surrendering and humbling myself and that I will lack some deeper experience in my life.

What I see is a works focused second blessing theology. And again, I know no one means to do this. But it comes off that way . . . if you want the deeper experience, then you need to fast. Really? Show me chapter and verse. I cannot get God to owe me anything by fasting. He works by grace. My salvation is unmerited favor and so are his blessings in my daily life.

One of the things I also do is when I have an idea is to see if I can find support from others. Because if I can't, then I've probably got a messed up thought. It could still be messed up anyway, but if I'm the only one, then it's likely a slam dunk that I am wrong.

So I found this in a book of mine in commenting on the theology of Matthew . . .


The retention of references to Jewish practices at various points in the gospel (e.g., temple worship, 5:23–24; almsgiving, 6:2–4; fasting, 6:16–18; temple taxes, 17:24–27; and Sabbath observance, 24:20) and the strong endorsement given to the practice of the law in 5:17–20 suggest that Matthew viewed sympathetically those who chose to live in light of the law and the precepts of Judaism. He, nonetheless, recognized that external observances alone were matters of indifference to God. This is shown by his emphasis on the necessity of having a righteousness that “surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law” (5:20), a recognition that relationship with God is ultimately a matter of the heart which God alone can assess.

Zuck, R. B. (1994). A Biblical Theology of the New Testament (50). Chicago: Moody Press.

Then on the next page also about the theology of Matthew . . .


But what are Gentile Christians to make of injunctions that direct disciples to respond to an unrepentant brother as a “Gentile” (18:17, although the association with “tax collector” helps make it a label of enduring transcultural relevance)? Or what significance does the command to “put oil on your head” while fasting (6:17) have for a predominately Gentile church where (at least judging by the silence of the epistles) fasting was not practiced?

Zuck, R. B. (1994). A Biblical Theology of the New Testament (electronic ed.) (51). Chicago: Moody Press.

Those comments are from Dr. David K. Lowery (http://www.dts.edu/about/faculty/dlowery/) of Dallas Theological Seminary. As I said, he and I could both be wrong, but I know I'm not the lone person thinking this.

Interestingly, every work I've looked at that does suggest fasting for Christians has not addressed the lack of it in the New Testament. That's a loud silence.

Anyway, back to you.

Joe

Extravagance
Aug 26th 2011, 09:11 PM
I don't see where Jesus commands his disciples to fast. I see where his disciples DO fast, but this is because they were practicing Jews, not because they were disciples of Jesus.



The retention of references to Jewish practices at various points in the gospel (e.g., temple worship, 5:23–24; almsgiving, 6:2–4; fasting, 6:16–18; temple taxes, 17:24–27; and Sabbath observance, 24:20) and the strong endorsement given to the practice of the law in 5:17–20 suggest that Matthew viewed sympathetically those who chose to live in light of the law and the precepts of Judaism.


If Matthew 5-7 are, 'commands that were just for practicing Jews' then how are we to interpret this statement that he prefaces the commands like Matt 6:15 "fast unto the Father" with: "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 (Mat 5:19). After He teaches some lifestyle principles and commands He closes with Mat 7:24 Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. How do we reconsile that if these commands were only for Jews?

He said to them "Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Mat 22:19)." Then some of them wrote the gospels and recorded His teachings as He taught them in the spirit of making disciples out of the readers. For Matthew to include commands just for the Jews without prefacing them as such would lead many non-Jews down wrong paths. Why give instruction specifically for Jewish Believers when Rom 8:6 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death? Believing Jews are free from the letter of the law as we are.

TrustGzus
Aug 26th 2011, 11:12 PM
If Matthew 5-7 are, 'commands that were just for practicing Jews' then how are we to interpret this statement that he prefaces the commands like Matt 6:15 "fast unto the Father" with: "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 (Mat 5:19). After He teaches some lifestyle principles and commands He closes with Mat 7:24 Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. How do we reconsile that if these commands were only for Jews?

He said to them "Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Mat 22:19)." Then some of them wrote the gospels and recorded His teachings as He taught them in the spirit of making disciples out of the readers. For Matthew to include commands just for the Jews without prefacing them as such would lead many non-Jews down wrong paths. Why give instruction specifically for Jewish Believers when Rom 8:6 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death? Believing Jews are free from the letter of the law as we are.

First, you say by not prefacing them as being for Jews, it would mislead people. Keep in mind, the entire audience Jesus was speaking to was Jews. Keep in mind Matthew wrote his gospel for/to the Jews.

You are connecting a couple verses from chapter 5 with a couple from chapter 6 and a couple from chapter 7. And I am not sure you are connecting all the dots in the correct order.

Matthew 5 is one whole unit making one or two main points. Read 5:17-21 as a unit/paragraph. Jesus didn't come to abolish the law and prophets but to fulfill them. In other words, he came to fully obey them. He came to fulfill the law and prophets where we all fail. Then he instructs the audience not to tell people to disobey the Law, but that our righteousness must exceed that of the Pharisees.

Then he systematically shows how the Pharisees, and the all of humanity, fail to keep the Law. He does with "you shall not murder." He does it with "you shall not commit adultery." He tells how they were causing people to violate the law in regard to divorce. He corrects their misunderstanding of "love they neighbor" and shows how they were breaking that law. Then he tells them to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect.

So Matthew 5 is similar to Romans 1-3. It tells how we all fail to fulfill the Law.

Then 6:1 points out the main point of chapter 6. Don't do your righteousness to impress men. So the point of his commentary on fasting isn't telling Gentiles to fast. It's telling the Jews the correct way to fast and pointing out the wrong way to fast as it also points out correct and incorrect ways to pray. So the point to take away from Matthew 6 is when you do good things, don't do them to impress men. Do them in a way that takes you and me out of the spotlight.

Now we are told over and over in the epistles to pray. We are never told to fast and neither do we see regenerated Gentiles fasting anywhere in the New Testament.

So if you take Matthew verse by verse and see where the subjects divide, and recognize who the audience of the sermon and all of Matthew really was, we can rightly divide what applies to us and what does not.

Grace & peace,

Joe

Extravagance
Aug 27th 2011, 12:16 AM
First, you say by not prefacing them as being for Jews, it would mislead people. Keep in mind, the entire audience Jesus was speaking to was Jews. Keep in mind Matthew wrote his gospel for/to the Jews.

You are connecting a couple verses from chapter 5 with a couple from chapter 6 and a couple from chapter 7. And I am not sure you are connecting all the dots in the correct order.

Matthew 5 is one whole unit making one or two main points. Read 5:17-21 as a unit/paragraph. Jesus didn't come to abolish the law and prophets but to fulfill them. In other words, he came to fully obey them. He came to fulfill the law and prophets where we all fail. Then he instructs the audience not to tell people to disobey the Law, but that our righteousness must exceed that of the Pharisees.

Then he systematically shows how the Pharisees, and the all of humanity, fail to keep the Law. He does with "you shall not murder." He does it with "you shall not commit adultery." He tells how they were causing people to violate the law in regard to divorce. He corrects their misunderstanding of "love they neighbor" and shows how they were breaking that law. Then he tells them to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect.

So Matthew 5 is similar to Romans 1-3. It tells how we all fail to fulfill the Law.

Then 6:1 points out the main point of chapter 6. Don't do your righteousness to impress men. So the point of his commentary on fasting isn't telling Gentiles to fast. It's telling the Jews the correct way to fast and pointing out the wrong way to fast as it also points out correct and incorrect ways to pray. So the point to take away from Matthew 6 is when you do good things, don't do them to impress men. Do them in a way that takes you and me out of the spotlight.

Now we are told over and over in the epistles to pray. We are never told to fast and neither do we see regenerated Gentiles fasting anywhere in the New Testament.

So if you take Matthew verse by verse and see where the subjects divide, and recognize who the audience of the sermon and all of Matthew really was, we can rightly divide what applies to us and what does not.

Grace & peace,

Joe

This was a sermon on a mount. The context historically was Jesus giving a teaching. So we can take the points as part of a sermon, when He says "one of these commandments," (v19) He means the commandments that He mentions in that setting, on that mount. When He says "these sayings," He means the sayings He just gave. To interpret differently would be grossly going beyond the text.

26 And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. 28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine.

He plainly says here that not heeding these sayings is foolish. If He were giving the sayings to illustrate how He is fulfilling the Law, He wouldn't point to future testing that will come and prove those who do not practice His teaching as foolish and those who do practice His teaching as wise. Doesn't Jesus pointing to a future testing of those who do not implement His teachings suggest that these are principles that are the way that God works and that a lifestyle built on these teachings will be far more stable, regardless of ethnicity?

If what you say is true then Jewish Believers have an invitation to greatness that Gentiles do not. 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 (Mat 5:19)


Also, why would He call someone who did not teach and do these commandments 'least in the Kingdom of Heaven,' if He didn't think it was important for all believers (whosoever) to do them?

Blessings :)

BroRog
Aug 27th 2011, 12:18 AM
If Matthew 5-7 are, 'commands that were just for practicing Jews' then how are we to interpret this statement that he prefaces the commands like Matt 6:15 "fast unto the Father" with: "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 (Mat 5:19). After He teaches some lifestyle principles and commands He closes with Mat 7:24 Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. How do we reconsile that if these commands were only for Jews?

He said to them "Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Mat 22:19)." Then some of them wrote the gospels and recorded His teachings as He taught them in the spirit of making disciples out of the readers. For Matthew to include commands just for the Jews without prefacing them as such would lead many non-Jews down wrong paths. Why give instruction specifically for Jewish Believers when Rom 8:6 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death? Believing Jews are free from the letter of the law as we are. Jesus is a Jew talking to Jews about the Jewish Law. The commandments in view are the commandments Moses gave to Israel so that if they keep them, they will maintain themselves in the covenant at Mt. Sinai.

Slug1
Aug 27th 2011, 02:18 AM
My problem with that is your subjective experience and interpretation of it isn't proof to other people. You need chapter and verse or a logical deduction based on some verses. And I know your heart, Paul, and so I know that you don't mean this, but it's a tad of a bullying technique. Subtly hinting that if I don't fast that I'm not surrendering and humbling myself and that I will lack some deeper experience in my life.Can I ask another question... do you feel that only the Apostles or only Jewish disciples were to fast?

My name is Ken, BTW :P

I ensure you that I am not bullying you in any way. All I'm suggesting is if you want answers... then fast and seek God with a heart that is open.

TrustGzus
Aug 27th 2011, 03:37 AM
Can I ask another question... do you feel that only the Apostles or only Jewish disciples were to fast?

My name is Ken, BTW :P

I ensure you that I am not bullying you in any way. All I'm suggesting is if you want answers... then fast and seek God with a heart that is open.

Ken, sorry. Brain-**** on your name. I knew that. Funny that the site places asterisks for that word. And ask away on the questions. I think we learn a ton when believers ask each other questions.

I think it's an Old Testament thing. I don't even see that it was required of the apostles in the New Covenant. Have you done a systematic theology of fasting and looked at every passage in the entire Bible and what it has to say about it? Why is fasting something for New Testament saints supposedly over say tearing our clothes like Jews did?

It seems to me the burden of proof for the church lies on those who claim fasting is required. If it isn't required, we shouldn't necessarily expect to find a passage listing every single thing we aren't required to do.

Again, I'll point out the entire lack of it in the entire New Testament after Acts. Seems odd if it was a big thing for it to never make it in any epistles, not even the epistles to more Jewish audiences. Doesn't that seem more than a little odd to you?

TrustGzus
Aug 27th 2011, 03:51 AM
This was a sermon on a mount. The context historically was Jesus giving a teaching. So we can take the points as part of a sermon, when He says "one of these commandments," (v19) He means the commandments that He mentions in that setting, on that mount. When He says "these sayings," He means the sayings He just gave. To interpret differently would be grossly going beyond the text.

I think you are misunderstanding this and I agree with BroRog's comment. Jesus is referring to the Law, not his sermon that he was about to present. Again, look at the paragraph.


Matthew 5:17–20 (ESV)

17*“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18*For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19*Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20*For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.


Notice the "therefore" beginning in verse 19. "Therefore" is a word of conclusion based on previous statements, not future ones. In verses 17 and 18, Jesus was talking about the Law. So the "therefore" refers to Jesus previous commentary on the Law. Then after telling the Jewish audience not to tell people to break the Law, he gives multiple examples of how the Pharisees disobeyed the Law and led others to do so.


26 And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. 28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine.

He plainly says here that not heeding these sayings is foolish. If He were giving the sayings to illustrate how He is fulfilling the Law, He wouldn't point to future testing that will come and prove those who do not practice His teaching as foolish and those who do practice His teaching as wise. Doesn't Jesus pointing to a future testing of those who do not implement His teachings suggest that these are principles that are the way that God works and that a lifestyle built on these teachings will be far more stable, regardless of ethnicity?

Here I think you are missing the forest by looking at the trees. It's not a command to fast. It's a command to not be ostentatious in our deeds. Fasting was merely an illustration he used to make that point. You're taking an illustration and making his illustration into a command.


If what you say is true then Jewish Believers have an invitation to greatness that Gentiles do not. 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 (Mat 5:19)

I think this is answered by what I said above.


Also, why would He call someone who did not teach and do these commandments 'least in the Kingdom of Heaven,' if He didn't think it was important for all believers (whosoever) to do them?

Blessings :)

And I think I answered this above also.

Grace & peace to you, Extravagance.

Joe

Extravagance
Aug 27th 2011, 06:18 AM
Notice the "therefore" beginning in verse 19. "Therefore" is a word of conclusion based on previous statements, not future ones. In verses 17 and 18, Jesus was talking about the Law. So the "therefore" refers to Jesus previous commentary on the Law. Then after telling the Jewish audience not to tell people to break the Law, he gives multiple examples of how the Pharisees disobeyed the Law and led others to do so.

I will concede that Commandments could mean other commandments but it definitely includes the ones He mentioned. But "these sayings" can only mean 'these sayings.'



Here I think you are missing the forest by looking at the trees. It's not a command to fast. It's a command to not be ostentatious in our deeds. Fasting was merely an illustration he used to make that point. You're taking an illustration and making his illustration into a command. / I think this is answered by what I said above.

This response confuses me. You wrote that in response to questions that were not about fasting, just the teaching in general. I am not talking about fasting here, I'm still trying to deal with the idea that the Sermon isn't for Christians. I don't see an answer to the other questions either. If you just want stop discussing this I understand, but I can see no evidence that you refuted or even responded to what I asked, but i understand, I'm out of my depth here. I'm just trying to understand dispensationalism and how it relates to the sermon on the mount. It seems to me very shaky theology and a little dangerous.
26 And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. 28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine.


So for those keeping score if Matt 5-7 is only for Jews and Jesus is just giving them prophetic instruction to help them keep the Mosaic Covenant then

1. The Lord's prayer is for Jews and not Christians. (Mat 6:7).
2. Jews, not Christians are the salt of the earth and the light of the world (5:13).
3. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven, this is for Jews, not Christians.
4. The sayings that Jesus that said foolish men will not build their house on, Christians should not build their house on them.
... I have a hard time accepting this. Paul the apostle was a Believing Jew and he said Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. But you are saying Paul still had to keep the law to have salvation through the Mosaic covenant.

Also as I said Jesus said "when you fast, fast unto the Father" not 'if you fast, fast unto the Father'. If you say to me "when you go to the gym, work on you arms," you are assuming I work out and commanding me to work on my arms. But if He was only talking to the Jews, then yes only they have to fast. And yet I'm not saying we have to fast out of religious obligation, just that the Father who sees in secret will reward those that do, and Jesus would have said 'if you fast,' if He didn't expect it to be a virtue of the 'sayings that the wise will keep' (Mat 7:24).

Blessings

TrustGzus
Aug 27th 2011, 02:02 PM
26 And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. 28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine.

He plainly says here that not heeding these sayings is foolish. If He were giving the sayings to illustrate how He is fulfilling the Law, He wouldn't point to future testing that will come and prove those who do not practice His teaching as foolish and those who do practice His teaching as wise. Doesn't Jesus pointing to a future testing of those who do not implement His teachings suggest that these are principles that are the way that God works and that a lifestyle built on these teachings will be far more stable, regardless of ethnicity?


I will concede that Commandments could mean other commandments but it definitely includes the ones He mentioned. But "these sayings" can only mean 'these sayings.'




This response confuses me. You wrote that in response to questions that were not about fasting, just the teaching in general. I am not talking about fasting here, I'm still trying to deal with the idea that the Sermon isn't for Christians. I don't see an answer to the other questions either. If you just want stop discussing this I understand, but I can see no evidence that you refuted or even responded to what I asked, but i understand, I'm out of my depth here. I'm just trying to understand dispensationalism and how it relates to the sermon on the mount. It seems to me very shaky theology and a little dangerous.
26 And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. 28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine.




So for those keeping score if Matt 5-7 is only for Jews and Jesus is just giving them prophetic instruction to help them keep the Mosaic Covenant then


1. The Lord's prayer is for Jews and not Christians. (Mat 6:7).
2. Jews, not Christians are the salt of the earth and the light of the world (5:13).
3. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven, this is for Jews, not Christians.
4. The sayings that Jesus that said foolish men will not build their house on, Christians should not build their house on them.
... I have a hard time accepting this. Paul the apostle was a Believing Jew and he said Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. But you are saying Paul still had to keep the law to have salvation through the Mosaic covenant.


Also as I said Jesus said "when you fast, fast unto the Father" not 'if you fast, fast unto the Father'. If you say to me "when you go to the gym, work on you arms," you are assuming I work out and commanding me to work on my arms. But if He was only talking to the Jews, then yes only they have to fast. And yet I'm not saying we have to fast out of religious obligation, just that the Father who sees in secret will reward those that do, and Jesus would have said 'if you fast,' if He didn't expect it to be a virtue of the 'sayings that the wise will keep' (Mat 7:24).


Blessings

I don't see the problem. He was talking to Jews. Matthew wrote his gospel for the Jews. Jesus was speaking during the Old Covenant. The New Covenant was not established yet.

In regard to #1, do you take it as a command that you must pray the Lord's prayer? Is that how you pray every time since Jesus said "this is how you should pray?"

In regard to #2 and 3, these are reiterated in the epistles. No one quotes Jesus exactly, but those ideas are retaught in the New Covenant writings to Gentiles.

In your #4, I don't know how you got the idea that I am claiming Paul still had to keep the Law to have salvation in the Mosaic Covenant. I've never said anything remotely close to that unless I made a typo by leaving out a word or something.

FYI, I am not a dispensationalist.

Also, it is a sermon. Sermons often have illustrations. Do you not see it at least as a possibility that Matthew 6:1 is one of Jesus' points in and that the issues of giving, prayer and fasting are illustrations and that one of those could have passed off the scene with the Old Covenant and two of those reiterated in the New Covenant?

And my questions still would remain, why do we never see a New Covenant gentile fasting? Why did no epistle tell us to do this, including those that were directed at a more Jewish audience such as James? It's interesting that in all the problems Paul dealt with he never told any church they should have a time of fasting in dealing with any of the issues.

If Jesus had only the Jews in mind at this time, and if they were abusing fasting by being ostentatious, what would his sermon look like? Would it look any different then this? In other words, if it was only for Jews and not a Gentile thing, are you saying the fact that it isn't reiterated in any epistle isn't enough? Do you need a direct statement that it's not for the New Covenant? Does it not at least seem odd that no one ever brings it up in the epistles or recommends it for any of the circumstances going on?

In regard to his summary words . . . every one who hears these sayings . . . First, some of these ideas are reiterated in the writings to the churches. Second, take the idea of if you don't forgive others neither will your Father forgive you. When you share the gospel, do you ask the person if they've forgiven every one, or tell them to or else they can't be forgiven? Are there Christians at this moment, who haven't forgiven someone of something or are they not Christians for the moment until they do? I ask to see how far you push all these sayings.

Grace & peace to you,

Joe

Slug1
Aug 27th 2011, 03:18 PM
In regard to #2 and 3, these are reiterated in the epistles. No one quotes Jesus exactly, but those ideas are retaught in the New Covenant writings to Gentiles.Hey Joe, read your other reply to me from that other post but this comment has me thinking.

Jesus gave the Great Commission to the Apostles (Mt 28 and Mk 16)... wracking my mind here but when were Gentiles told or informed in any Epistle that they ALSO are to go out and witness Christ to the world and once a person (or people) accept Jesus, to also baptize them (all)?

TrustGzus
Aug 27th 2011, 03:54 PM
Hey Joe, read your other reply to me from that other post but this comment has me thinking.

Jesus gave the Great Commission to the Apostles (Mt 28 and Mk 16)... wracking my mind here but when were Gentiles told or informed in any Epistle that they ALSO are to go out and witness Christ to the world and once a person (or people) accept Jesus, to also baptize them (all)?

Those are good questions which focus our attention at question behind the question the thread asks. The thread asks, "Does Jesus expect his disciples to fast?" The question behind that question is "what applies to us and what doesn't?" Neither you nor I apply everything directly to ourselves. An example I asked about was the idea that if we don't forgive others, then neither will the Father forgive us. Have you ever in leading anyone to Jesus verified that they've forgiven everyone and if they haven't told, them "oh well, then the Father won't forgive you either. Let's go have lunch."

Are you, Slug1, going unto all the world? If you aren't personally doing that, are you disobeying the great commission? Was that statement to Slug1 directly?

Slug1
Aug 27th 2011, 05:02 PM
Are you, Slug1, going unto all the world? If you aren't personally doing that, are you disobeying the great commission? Was that statement to Slug1 directly?Cool, this is what I was looking for from you. When I was a babe in Christ, the answer would be NO. Today... yes because as I grow in my relationship in Christ, I can't NOT talk about Him and witness about Him to others. ESPECIALLY when I am led by the Holy Spirit to specifically go to any specific person and witness Christ to them.

Yes, I have had the opportunity to witness Jesus Christ to others in the "world". In places where people are killed for their faith in Christ even.

As for fasting... when I was a babe in Christ, I not only didn't fast but I didn't want to fast. Not for the same reason it seems you have but because I found myself resisting the act of fasting. Granted, the religion I was following at the time didn't help me at all.

Once away from religion and what "they" said to do while fasting I simply asked God and waiting for Him to answer. This led to an initial fast as I was "led" to fast.

Anyway... thus the reason I ask that if you want the real answers, then seek God. Is fasting a requirement? I can't find any support for the "requirement" in the Bible but I do find support in the Bible of what happens when people in the Bible HAVE FASTED.

The same results have happened in my life and in my personal relationship in God, through Christ, as led by the Holy Spirit. When I am led to fast, I fast. When I am up against a wall in seeking answers from God and He seems so silent, I have fasted and that wall came down and I received the answer I was seeking.

Extravagance
Aug 27th 2011, 05:36 PM
Jesus is a Jew talking to Jews about the Jewish Law. The commandments in view are the commandments Moses gave to Israel so that if they keep them, they will maintain themselves in the covenant at Mt. Sinai.



I think you are misunderstanding this and I agree with BroRog's comment. Jesus is referring to the Law, not his sermon that he was about to present. Again, look at the paragraph.


This is why I thought you were a dispensationalist.

Extravagance
Aug 27th 2011, 06:53 PM
Those are good questions which focus our attention at question behind the question the thread asks. The thread asks, "Does Jesus expect his disciples to fast?" The question behind that question is "what applies to us and what doesn't?" Neither you nor I apply everything directly to ourselves. An example I asked about was the idea that if we don't forgive others, then neither will the Father forgive us. Have you ever in leading anyone to Jesus verified that they've forgiven everyone and if they haven't told, them "oh well, then the Father won't forgive you either. Let's go have lunch."Are you going unto all the world? If you aren't personally doing that, are you disobeying the great commission? Was that statement to you directly?


The command is for them to make disciples and their disciples to make disciples and those disciples to make disciples so on and so on until the gospel of the Kingdom goes to all nations. The reason we take the Sermon on the Mount so personally and see it as values of a authentic Christian life is because
26 And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. 28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine.

Jesus taught sayings that He defined as lifestyle values that would overcome trials and testings. To neglect these values is to be overcome by trial He says. Many commentators if not most refer to the sermon something close to 'the constitution of the Kingdom.' It is a very standard practice among evangelists to use the salvation prayer that includes "I forgive those who've wronged me, or I forgive my mother and father."
Even if we (wrongly) reduce the value of fasting in the teaching to 'just a good suggestion,' the rest of the values still tie prayer to the Father's will as a response. (Ask, Seek, Knock) (Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. -Blessed are those who realize their spiritual barrenness and have the wisdom to pray). (6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. - Prayer with hunger and thirst availeth much in the way of rightoeusness.) (see Jams 5:16).

I can make a case that fasting increases spiritual activity and response related to answered prayer, if need be.

The Lord's prayer is a model that values reverance, forgiveness, the need for heavenly provision, the Father's will, and Kingdom realities being birthed on the earth. All which should be componets for our prayers.


In your #4, I don't know how you got the idea that I am claiming ....


as for #4 what was written after #4 was a separate thought that you responded to, #4 is:
4. The sayings that Jesus that said foolish men will not build their house on, Christians should not build their house on them.





And my questions still would remain, why do we never see a New Covenant gentile fasting?
I will respond to this on page 4, after I do some research.

BroRog
Aug 27th 2011, 07:54 PM
This is why I thought you were a dispensationalist.Let's not go there. Once we begin to pidgin hole someone we give ourselves permission to ignore their reasons for what they believe. As I understand fasting, it is a ritual expression of something else. People who fast aren't going without food because they think that going without food is a good idea. A person fasts because they hope to get something from God. This is the ancient, pagan view of God. If we want something from God, we give him something he wants in exchange.

This is the mindset that both Jesus and Paul preached against. Religion is a human need, not something God needs. And those who have become strong in faith have come to understand that God is good and he knows what we need before we ask, and that he doesn't require that we perform religious rituals in order to bless us. As Jesus says in another place, God is seeking those who will worship him in spirit and it truth.

The sermon on the mount is Jesus' attempt to get his people to think beyond religion, coming to terms with the inner man. We can't deny that God instituted the religion of Israel through Moses. But, the people had come to the wrong idea that all God required was a disciplined practice of ritual in order to find his blessing. Jesus is trying to disabuse them of this notion. And while his comments were made in the context of his own culture, he would say the same kinds of things to people from other cultures that teach a disciplined adherence to religious ritual as the means to gain God's favor. He would say the same kinds of things to Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, or any of the other Christian denominations known as "high church", that practice a large number of rituals and liturgy.

Jesus would tell them, God doesn't need your stinking liturgy. He doesn't even like it. Stop waving smoke all over the place, wearing funny clothing, participating in group readings, and formulaic prayers, and using the confessional to justify all kinds of evil actions.

God isn't in to fasting. He could care less about it. Fasting isn't for him. If we fast, it's because we need something. Fasting meets our psycho/emotional need, but has no effect on what God does or will do. And it can lead to self righteousness and hypocrisy.

Slug1
Aug 27th 2011, 07:56 PM
Fasting meets our psycho/emotional need, but has no effect on what God does or will do.The Bible CLEARLY shows us that this statement that you made is absolutely wrong.

BroRog
Aug 27th 2011, 07:59 PM
The Bible CLEARLY shows us that this statement that you made is absolutely wrong.You don't have time to show me? I think the Bible clearly supports what I just said.

Slug1
Aug 27th 2011, 08:06 PM
You don't have time to show me? I think the Bible clearly supports what I just said.Hmmmm, let me get this straight first. As you stated, the element of fasting in the life of a person who has a relationship with God, DOES NOT effect God in anyway... concerning what He will or will not do?

mikebr
Aug 27th 2011, 10:25 PM
Hmmmm, let me get this straight first. As you stated, the element of fasting in the life of a person who has a relationship with God, DOES NOT effect God in anyway... concerning what He will or will not do?


21Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that
you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive; but when the child died,
you arose and ate food.” 22He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said,
‘Who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ 23But now he is
dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return
to me.”

Didn't seem to do David much good in changing God's mind.

Slug1
Aug 27th 2011, 10:28 PM
Didn't seem to do David much good in changing God's mind.Is this the "only" example the Bible has to offer us?

No doubt that the element of fasting in this situation had no effect on God's consequence for the sin that David did.

Are there other examples in the Bible where God's wrath or will "was" altered when fasting is an element offered up before God?

mikebr
Aug 27th 2011, 10:32 PM
Is this the "only" example the Bible has to offer us?

No doubt that the element of fasting in this situation had no effect on God's consequence for the sin that David did.

Are there other examples in the Bible where God's wrath or will "was" altered when fasting is an element offered up before God?

Please enlighten us.

mikebr
Aug 27th 2011, 10:35 PM
Thanks to Google, I don't see any fasting after the resurrection.

Examples of Fasting and Prayer and the Purpose God Had in It

Ezra the priest fasted for God's protection while carrying valuable things for God's temple. We too can fast for God's protection. (Ezra 8:21-23)
Daniel the prophet fasted for the fulfilment of God's promises, and received mighty revelations from God. (Daniel 10:3).
Jesus fasted and spoke the Word of God to overcome Satan (See Matthew 4:1-10; Luke 4:1-13).
Jesus fasted to begin his public ministry, and have the power of God and the anointing. (Luke 4:14).
Elijah needed to fast 40 days before he heard God's voice again. (1 Kings 19:8)
Moses fasted to receive the Ten Commandments and the Law of God, and to see God's glory and goodness.
The elders, prophets and teachers in Antioch fasted and ministered to God, which resulted in the launching of Paul and Barnabas' apostolic ministry to the Gentiles (Acts 13:2,3). Likewise we should fast and pray before getting involved in full time ministry and mission work.
Jesus says to us in Matthew 6:16, "When you fast..." not "If you fast". A true disciple of the Lord will fast at times.
God made it clear through the prophet Joel that the last days outpouring of the Spirit will be in proportion to our fasting and crying out to God in humility, hunger and repentance. (Joel 1:5; Joel 2:12).
Even wicked King Ahab's fast moved God so that he did not bring full judgment down on him in his own lifetime (1 Kings 21:27).

Slug1
Aug 27th 2011, 10:40 PM
Thanks to Google, I don't see any fasting after the resurrection.Trust the Bible, there are plenty of people fasting after the resurrection.

At least you found an example where the element of fasting DID alter or even illuminated God's will or plans!! :P

As in the scriptures of the OT examples... was the element of fasting a "requirement" or was the element of fasting a part of the relationship with God?


The elders, prophets and teachers in Antioch fasted and ministered to God, which resulted in the launching of Paul and Barnabas' apostolic ministry to the Gentiles (Acts 13:2,3). Umm, this is after the resurrection.

mikebr
Aug 27th 2011, 10:45 PM
Thanks to Google, I don't see any fasting after the resurrection.

I meant that the scripture I posted was thanks to google. Should have put a period instead of a comma. Please post the scripture of people fasting after the resurrection. Does Paul ever talk about fasting. I truly don't know.

Slug1
Aug 27th 2011, 10:54 PM
I meant that the scripture I posted was thanks to google. Should have put a period instead of a comma. Please post the scripture of people fasting after the resurrection. Does Paul ever talk about fasting. I truly don't know.I made the required edit as you were posting this.

Isn't Jesus informing us (the scripture you posted) that when we fast... is not enough for any person in a relationship with God, through Christ as led by the Holy Spirit?

I don't fast when anyone simply "tells" me to fast... fasting is an element of MY relationship with God and this relationship is by Jesus as led by the Holy Spirit. So when I'm "led" to fast, as Jesus informs us that we WILL be led, then I am obedient to that leading of the Holy Spirit. When I am not led in the Spirit to fast but I do anyway because I'm up against a wall or I have a problem and I want to do more than "just" pray to God for help... I also add the element of fasting and so far, God has answered all prayer in these situations.

I'll never say that fasting is a requirement, all I'll say is that fasting IS an element of the relationship that a person has with God. Some fast and some don't and after my personal experiences that in some cases are sure on par with the examples I read in the Bible... when I'm led to fast or I feel a fast is a needed element to prayer... then I fast.

mikebr
Aug 27th 2011, 11:05 PM
I made the required edit as you were posting this.

Isn't Jesus informing us (the scripture you posted) that when we fast... is not enough for any person in a relationship with God, through Christ as led by the Holy Spirit?

I don't fast when anyone simply "tells" me to fast... fasting is an element of MY relationship with God and this relationship is by Jesus as led by the Holy Spirit. So when I'm "led" to fast, as Jesus informs us that we WILL be led, then I am obedient to that leading of the Holy Spirit. When I am not led in the Spirit to fast but I do anyway because I'm up against a wall or I have a problem and I want to do more than "just" pray to God for help... I also add the element of fasting and so far, God has answered all prayer in these situations.

I'll never say that fasting is a requirement, all I'll say is that fasting IS an element of the relationship that a person has with God. Some fast and some don't and after my personal experiences that in some cases are sure on par with the examples I read in the Bible... when I'm led to fast or I feel a fast is a needed element to prayer... then I fast.

So would I!!! Thanks.

Extravagance
Aug 28th 2011, 01:56 AM
Didn't seem to do David much good in changing God's mind.


And my questions still would remain, why do we never see a New Covenant gentile fasting? Why did no epistle tell us to do this, including those that were directed at a more Jewish audience such as James? It's interesting that in all the problems Paul dealt with he never told any church they should have a time of fasting in dealing with any of the issues.
If Jesus had only the Jews in mind at this time, and if they were abusing fasting by being ostentatious, what would his sermon look like? Would it look any different then this? In other words, if it was only for Jews and not a Gentile thing, are you saying the fact that it isn't reiterated in any epistle isn't enough? Do you need a direct statement that it's not for the New Covenant? Does it not at least seem odd that no one ever brings it up in the epistles or recommends it for any of the circumstances going on?

A person fasts because they hope to get something from God. This is the ancient, pagan view of God. If we want something from God, we give him something he wants in exchange. This is the mindset that both Jesus and Paul preached against. Religion is a human need, not something God needs. And those who have become strong in faith have come to understand that God is good and he knows what we need before we ask, and that he doesn't require that we perform religious rituals in order to bless us. God isn't in to fasting. He could care less about it. Fasting isn't for him. If we fast, it's because we need something. Fasting meets our psycho/emotional need, but has no effect on what God does or will do. And it can lead to self righteousness and hypocrisy.

For you who are saying fasting isn't desired by God and does not move Him: Jesus said of fasting in secret: "Your Father who sees in secret will reward you." (Mat 5:18). The Father will reward fasting. Will He not? This directly contradicts most of what has been said here about what God thinks of fasting. Isn't This Command (to fast unto the Father, not man) Never Negated By Other Scriptures but rather reinforced;

For those say that fasting does nothing:
Joel prophetically called a fast to avert/reduce judgment from God (economic shaking Joe 1:14 and military attacks Joe 2:13).


Fasting in the New Testament:
Why did Paul write in 1 Cor 5:7 Defraud all of you not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that all of you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
Paul was giving place for the gentile believers of Corinth to fast with the Jews. Paul saw merit in their fasting too.

Paul qualified himself by mentioning his own many fastings in 2 Cor 6:5; 11:27. Paul also said to imitate him as he imitated Christ, who Himself fasted for 40 days. (1 Cor 4:16, 11:1).
2 Cor 6:4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, 5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;

2 Cor 11: Three times was I beaten with rods, .. 26 In journeys often,...In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

Does Jesus think His disciples will fast?:Mat 9:14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples fast not? 15 (sword://UKJV/Matthew 9:15?notip) And Jesus said unto them, Can the disciples of the Bridegroom mourn, as long as the Bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the Bridegroom shall be taken from them (at the cross), and then shall they fast. 17 (sword://UKJV/Matthew 9:17?notip) Men do not put new wine into old wineskins: else the wineskins break, and the wine runs out, and the wineskins perish: but they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.
(Is the new wineskin is joyful new covenant fasting that Zech 8 prophesied of, not fasting for sorrow, but fasting to be in the presense of the Bridegroom Jesus/Holy Spirit?) If not what is the wineskin, it clearly relates to fasting. And it suggested that the Pharisees will reject it/not be able to hold it. You may try to say the old wineskin is fasting itself...

-"Is fasting part of the old Jewish wineskin that needs to be discarded so that the new wine of the kingdom will not burst the wineskins and be lost?" The apparent answer is that Saul and Barnabas and the others in Antioch did not think fasting was the old wineskin:
Acts 13: 2 (sword://UKJV/Acts 13:2?notip) As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work unto which I have called them. 3 (sword://UKJV/Acts 13:3?notip) And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. 4 (sword://UKJV/Acts 13:4?notip) So they, being sent forth by the Holy Spirit, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.

It would then make sense that fasting with mourning is the old wineskin.
Example of Fasting in the church:
Acts 14:23 (sword://UKJV/Acts 14:23?notip) And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

Fasting leading to Spiritual experiences? Cornelius was not even a believer, but a fasting seeker:
Acts 10: 30 (sword://UKJV/Acts 10:30?notip) And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,

BroRog
Aug 28th 2011, 02:21 AM
Hmmmm, let me get this straight first. As you stated, the element of fasting in the life of a person who has a relationship with God, DOES NOT effect God in anyway... concerning what He will or will not do?Yep. That's what I said.

Slug1
Aug 28th 2011, 02:37 AM
Fasting leading to Spiritual experiences? Cornelius was not even a believer, but a fasting seeker:
Acts 10: 30 (sword://UKJV/Acts 10:30?notip) And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, This is also proof in the Bible that Gentiles fasted.

Slug1
Aug 28th 2011, 02:38 AM
Yep. That's what I said.OK... now that I understand I'll put some scripture together. Maybe I can find additional ones that Extravagance didn't already post a few posts ago in support that God IS moved by the element of fasting from those who are in a relationship with Him.

BroRog
Aug 28th 2011, 03:01 AM
For you who are saying fasting isn't desired by God and does not move Him: Jesus said of fasting: "Your Father who sees in secret will reward you." (Mat 5:18). The Father will reward fasting. Will He not?That's not what Jesus said is it? Read it again. Isn't the father rewarding those who pray in secret, that is, not praying for show? I think so.



This directly contradicts most of what has been said here about what God thinks of fasting. This Command (to fast unto the Father, not man) Was Never Negated By Other Scriptures rather reinforced;

For those say that fasting does nothing:
Joel prophetically called a fast to avert judgment from God (military attacks Joe 1:14 and economic shaking Joe 2:13). Sure, Joel calls a fast. But nothing in the text says it did any good.

Here's one for you.


Jeremiah 14:12 "When they fast, I am not going to listen to their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I am not going to accept them.

The house of Jacob cries out:


Isaiah 58:3 `Why have we fasted and You do not see? Why have we humbled ourselves and You do not notice?' Behold, on the day of your fast you find your desire, And drive hard all your workers. 4 "Behold, you fast for contention and strife and to strike with a wicked fist. You do not fast like you do today to make your voice heard on high. 5 "Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself? Is it for bowing one's head like a reed And for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed? Will you call this a fast , even an acceptable day to the Lord? 6 "Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free And break every yoke?

Did you get that? The fast of God is to let the oppressed go free. See that? God doesn't care about religious ritual. He cares about justice, fairness, humility, and liberty.


Fasting in the New Testament:
Paul wrote in 1 Cor 5:7 Defraud all of you not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that all of you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

Does Jesus think His disciples will fast?:Mat 9:14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples fast not? 15 (sword://UKJV/Matthew 9:15?notip) And Jesus said unto them, Can the disciples of the Bridegroom mourn, as long as the Bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the Bridegroom shall be taken from them (at the cross), and then shall they fast. 17 (sword://UKJV/Matthew 9:17?notip) Men do not put new wine into old wineskins: else the wineskins break, and the wine runs out, and the wineskins perish: but they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.
(Does it escape your notice that the disciples didn't fast when Jesus was with them? Why not? Isn't it because fasting is supposed to be a sign of mourning and sadness? Sure it is. That's what a fast is. Jesus says that the disciples of the Bridegroom don't mourn while he is with them. But when he leaves, they will fast. As I said earlier, fasting is all about us and how we feel. It has nothing to do with getting God to do something. When the Bridegroom was with the disciples, they didn't fast. But when he left, they had an occasion to mourn.

God isn't responding to the fasting. He is responding to the humble and contrite heart.

Extravagance
Aug 28th 2011, 03:01 AM
Mat 9:14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples fast not? 15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the disciples of the Bridegroom mourn, as long as the Bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the Bridegroom shall be taken from them (at the cross), and then shall they fast.

16 No man puts a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up takes from the garment, and the rent is made worse 17 Men do not put new wine into old wineskins: else the wineskins break, and the wine runs out, and the wineskins perish: but they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.

Richard Foster, who wrote the book Celebration of Discipline, said in his chapter on fasting of Matthew 9:15, "That is perhaps the most important statement in the New Testament on whether Christians should fast today." That's probably true. So let's give close attention to this text and see what it says about fasting.

Why Didn't Jesus' Disciples Fast?

In Matthew 9:14 the disciples of John the Baptist come to Jesus and ask why Jesus' disciples don't fast? So evidently Jesus' disciples were not fasting while he was with them.

While the Bridegroom Is with His Attendants

Jesus answers with a word picture. He says, "The attendants of the bridegroom cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they?" With those words Jesus teaches us two things: one is that fasting was by and large associated with mourning in that day. It was an expression of broken-heartedness and desperation, usually over sin or over some danger. It was something you did when things were not going the way you want them to.

But that's not the situation with the disciples of Jesus. This is the second thing he teaches: the Messiah has come and his coming is like the coming of a bridegroom to a wedding feast. This is just too good to mingle with fasting. So Jesus was making a tremendous claim for himself here. In the Old Testament God had pictured himself as the husband of his people Israel (Isaiah 62:4f.; Jeremiah 2:2; 3:20; Ezekiel 16:8; Hosea 2:19f.). Now his Son, the Messiah, the long hoped-for one, has come and he claims to be the Bridegroom—that is, the husband of his people, who will be the true Israel (cf. John 3:29). This is the kind of partially veiled claim Jesus made about his identity with God. If you had ears to hear, you could hear it. God, the one who betrothed Israel to himself in covenant love, has come.

This is so stunning and so glorious and so unexpected in this form that Jesus said, you just can't fast now in this situation. It is too happy and to spectacularly exhilarating. Fasting is for times of yearning and aching and longing. But the bridegroom of Israel is here. After a thousand years of dreaming and longing and hoping and waiting, he is here! The absence of fasting in the band of disciples was a witness to the presence of God in their midst.

"Then They Will Fast"

But then Jesus said, "But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast." This is the key sentence: "Then they will fast." When is he referring to?

Some have suggested he was referring just to the several days between his death and resurrection. They would fast just for those days. But that is very unlikely. For several reasons. One is that the early church fasted after the resurrection, as we have seen in Acts 13:1–3 (cf. Acts 14:23; 2 Corinthians 6:5; 11:27). The other is that in Matthew 25:1–13 Jesus pictures his second coming as the arrival of the bridegroom. In other words, the Bridegroom is taken away until the second coming of Christ.

So I think Arthur Wallis is right in his sixth chapter of God's Chosen Fast: "The time is now." Jesus is saying: Now while I am here in your midst as the Bridegroom, you can't fast, but I am not going to remain with you. There will come a time when I return to my Father in heaven. And during that time you will fast. That time is now.

(It's true that Jesus is present with us by his Spirit. But we only experience Him in innerman (Eph 3:16). He dwells in the innermost man.(John 7:24) And that is why we pray, and sometimes even fast. Also we cry out for His return.)

A Patch of Unshrunk Cloth and New Wine

But then Jesus says something very crucial in verse 16–17. He says,

But no one puts a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and a worse tear results. 17 "Nor do men put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out, and the wineskins are ruined; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.

The patch of unshrunk cloth and the new wine represent the new reality that has come with Jesus—the kingdom of God is here. The Bridegroom has come. The Messiah is in our midst. And that is not merely temporary. He is not merely here and then gone. The kingdom of God did not come in Jesus and then just vanish out of the world.

Jesus died for our sins once for all. He rose from the dead once for all. The Spirit was sent into the world as the real presence of Jesus among us. The kingdom is the reigning power of Christ in the world subduing hearts to the king and creating a people who believe him and serve him. The Spirit of the Bridegroom is gathering and purifying a bride for Christ. This is the new wine.

Old Wineskins Can't Contain the New Wine

And Jesus says, The old wineskins can't contain it. What is the old wineskin? In the context it seems to be fasting. Fasting was inherited from the Old Testament and had been used as part of the Jewish system of relating to God. Now Jesus says, the old wineskins of Judaism can't contain the new wine.

So what shall we say? In verse 15 Jesus says that we will fast when the Bridegroom is gone. And in verse 17 he says that the old fasting cannot contain the new wine of the kingdom.

New Wine Demands New Fasting

My answer is that the new wine demands new fasting. Years ago I wrote in the margin of my Greek Testament beside this text, "The new fasting is based on the mystery that the Bridegroom has come, not just will come. The new wine of his presence calls for new fasting."

In other words the yearning and longing and ache of the old fasting was not based on the glorious truth that the Messiah had come. The mourning over sin and the yearning in danger was not based on the great finished work of the Redeemer and the great revelation of himself and his grace in history. But now the Bridegroom has come. In coming he struck the decisive blow against sin and against Satan and against death.

The great, central, decisive act of salvation for us today is past, not future. And on the basis of that past work of the Bridegroom, nothing can ever be the same again. The wine is new. The blood is shed. The Lamb is slain. The punishment of or sins is executed. Death is defeated. The Bridegroom is risen. The Spirit is sent. The wine is new. And the old fasting mindset is simply not adequate.

-Dr. John Piper

Extravagance
Aug 28th 2011, 03:17 AM
That's not what Jesus said is it? Read it again. Isn't the father rewarding those who pray in secret, that is, not praying for show? I think so.

Yes it still stands, you admit He rewards those who fast in secret. If you fast in secret He will reward you. Nothing negates this in Scripture.




Sure, Joel calls a fast. But nothing in the text says it did any good.

Here's one for you.


Jeremiah 14:12 "When they fast, I am not going to listen to their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I am not going to accept them.

The house of Jacob cries out:


Isaiah 58:3 `Why have we fasted and You do not see? Why have we humbled ourselves and You do not notice?' Behold, on the day of your fast you find your desire, And drive hard all your workers. 4 "Behold, you fast for contention and strife and to strike with a wicked fist. You do not fast like you do today to make your voice heard on high. 5 "Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself? Is it for bowing one's head like a reed And for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed? Will you call this a fast , even an acceptable day to the Lord? 6 "Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free And break every yoke?

Did you get that? The fast of God is to let the oppressed go free. See that? God doesn't care about religious ritual. He cares about justice, fairness, humility, and liberty.

So you agree, fasting and prayer will be answered by God and He will loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free. Isaiah does not say God does not desire fasting at all, but rather details the kind of fasting God desires. If Isaiah was abolishing fasting with that text, why would Jesus, who was a greater prophet than Isaiah, say 'When you fast, and 'they will fast.'



Does it escape your notice that the disciples didn't fast when Jesus was with them? Why not? Isn't it because fasting is supposed to be a sign of mourning and sadness? Sure it is. That's what a fast is. Jesus says that the disciples of the Bridegroom don't mourn while he is with them. But when he leaves, they will fast. As I said earlier, fasting is all about us and how we feel. It has nothing to do with getting God to do something. When the Bridegroom was with the disciples, they didn't fast. But when he left, they had an occasion to mourn.

God isn't responding to the fasting. He is responding to the humble and contrite heart.

Couldn't help but notice you had no refute for your quote that Paul expecting the Corinthians to separate for fasting and prayer?

Also the "new wineskin" Jesus is refering to is fasting to be with the Bridegroom, and in joy. This kind of fast the Pharisees could not accept. And after Jesus went to the cross, the disciples did fast He said. Doesn't joyful fasting fit the new wineskin? If the old wineskin isn't fasting that is mourning, then what is it?

BroRog
Aug 28th 2011, 03:19 AM
[SIZE=1]Mat 9:14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples fast not? 15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the disciples of the Bridegroom mourn, as long as the Bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the Bridegroom shall be taken from them (at the cross), and then shall they fast.

16 No man puts a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up takes from the garment, and the rent is made worse 17 Men do not put new wine into old wineskins: else the wineskins break, and the wine runs out, and the wineskins perish: but they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.

Richard Foster, who wrote the book Celebration of Discipline, said in his chapter on fasting of Matthew 9:15, "That is perhaps the most important statement in the New Testament on whether Christians should fast today." That's probably true. So let's give close attention to this text and see what it says about fasting.Again, Jesus says that the disciples will fast when the Bridegroom leaves. BUT he didn't say WHY except out of a sense of sadness. It has nothing, nothing at all to do with a "spiritual discipline". God hates spiritual disciplines. He has said this over and over and over again. He hates it. He will not listen to the prayers of those who perform spiritual disciplines.



Why Didn't Jesus' Disciples Fast?

In Matthew 9:14 the disciples of John the Baptist come to Jesus and ask why Jesus' disciples don't fast? So evidently Jesus' disciples were not fasting while he was with them.

While the Bridegroom Is with His Attendants

Jesus answers with a word picture. He says, "The attendants of the bridegroom cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they?" With those words Jesus teaches us two things: one is that fasting was by and large associated with mourning in that day. It was an expression of broken-heartedness and desperation, usually over sin or over some danger. It was something you did when things were not going the way you want them to.

But that's not the situation with the disciples of Jesus. This is the second thing he teaches: the Messiah has come and his coming is like the coming of a bridegroom to a wedding feast. This is just too good to mingle with fasting.Why? Why is it "too good to mingle with fasting?" What is poor Richard Foster saying hey? God commands only apply when he is absent. But when he comes in the flesh, then it's okay to abstain? Obey God when he is heaven, but when he comes to earth it's okay to disobey him? Seems like Mr. Foster doesn't get it.


Luke 22:35 And He said to them, "When I sent you out without money belt and bag and sandals, you did not lack anything, did you?" They said, "[No], nothing ."

Imagine that. The disciples didn't fast at all while Jesus was present with them, and yet, they lacked nothing. No fasting = lacked nothing. Hmmm.


So I think Arthur Wallis is right in his sixth chapter of God's Chosen Fast: "The time is now." Jesus is saying: Now while I am here in your midst as the Bridegroom, you can't fast, but I am not going to remain with you. There will come a time when I return to my Father in heaven. And during that time you will fast. That time is now.Not as a spiritual discipline Mr. Wallis. If we fast, our fast is as spontaneous and secret as our prayers.


It's true that Jesus is present with us by his Spirit. But Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:8, "We [would] prefer to be absent from the body and at home with the Lord." In other words, in this age there is an ache and a longing—a homesickness—inside every Christian that Jesus is not here as fully and intimately and as powerfully and as gloriously as we want him to be. And that is why we fast.And you really think that going without food will bring him here any faster?

BroRog
Aug 28th 2011, 03:34 AM
Yes it still stands, you admit He rewards those who fast in secret. If you fast in secret He will reward you. Nothing negates this in Scripture.You've missed the point entirely. The fasting does nothing for God. He doesn't ask for it and it does not move him an inch. Jesus' point is that God responds to our private prayers because these prayers are meant as intimate personal communication, not meant for public display. The contrast is between the outward expressions of religion and the personal inward expressions of humble and contrite heart. God is not responding to the fast, he is responding to the humility. If you need to go without food to bring yourself to humility, then the fast is for YOU, not for God.


So you agree, fasting and prayer will be answered by God and He will loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free. Isaiah does not say God does not desire fasting at all, but rather details the kind of fasting God desires. If Isaiah was abolishing fasting with that text, why would Jesus, who was a greater prophet than Isaiah, say 'When you fast, and 'they will fast.'That's right. Notice how God rejects the religious practice of going without food, suggesting that we seek justice and fairness instead? The true fast, he says, is when we deny ourselves creature comforts in order to offer them to those in need. In other words, if you really want to go without something, go without all the extra hours you make your employees work in order to feed your appetite for material goods.


Couldn't help but notice you had no refute for your quote that Paul expecting the Corinthians to separate for fasting and prayer?Paul wasn't TELLING the Corinthians to fast and pray. He was telling them not to spend too much time away from the wife. You see, this kind of mindset is typical of religious people. These husbands denied sex with their wives because they thought it was more holy and more pious to devote their extra time to contemplation and prayer. They had the mistaken idea that God would like to see all men deny their wives and live the ascetic lifestyle. This is typical religious thinking that doesn't understand God or what he is all about. Paul is saying, Okay, if you want to devote a little bit of time to prayer and fasting then go ahead. But don't spend too much time away from your wife.


Also the "new wineskin" Jesus is refering to is fasting to be with the Bridegroom, and in joy. This kind of fast the Pharisees could not accept. And after Jesus went to the cross, the disciples did fast He said. Doesn't joyful fasting fit the new wineskin? If the old wineskin isn't fasting that is mourning, then what is it?No such thing as joyful fasting. You fast if you need help finding a way to deal with all the distractions of the world. Fasting is what we do if we can't seem to focus on God without it. In other words, fasting is for US, if we need it. God doesn't care about it one way or the other.

Extravagance
Aug 28th 2011, 04:07 AM
You've missed the point entirely. The fasting does nothing for God. He doesn't ask for it and it does not move him an inch. God is not responding to the fast, he is responding to the humility. If you need to go without food to bring yourself to humility, then the fast is for YOU, not for God.

You misunderstood me. It seems like you have a lot of zeal behind Isa 58, and yet you do not answer any other Scriptures that conflict with your interpretation of Isa 58. So are we not going to interpret Scripture with Scripture or follow some kind of hermeneutic, or at least answer questions? For example answer me what is the old wineskin of Mat 9 is, if it is not fasting with mourning? Or answer what I said about "If your interpretation of Isa 58 is correct, and it is God saying He would rather us not fast, then why would Jesus later say 'the Father will reward you if you fast in secret?" (Mat 6). If Isa 58 was really saying the fast does not move God an inch, then why did Jesus, who is God, fast for 40 days? Did He not understand Isa 58?

Does it not make more sense that Isa 58 was a rebuke for the way that the hearers were fasting. Wouldn't you agree that nothing in the text says do not fast, it says fast with prayer that is intercessory for the oppressed, with humility without oppressing those around you in the process? Most believe Isaiah is saying "So long as you use contention and oppression, your fasting and prayers will not be heard. Fast but do not neglect justice whilst you fast."


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 all of you break every yoke?

These things you pray for whilst fasting and God does them. For proof, please see any book on intercessory prayer.


Isa 58:7 Is the fast I have chosen not to deal your bread to the hungry, and that you bring the poor that are cast out to your house? when you see the naked, that you cover him; and that you hide not yourself from yours own flesh?
Why do you have bread to give? Because you are not eating it, you are fasting. Why would you hide? Because it is a day of fasting. But God desires that we are to appear not to fast, and we still do justice outside the home while fasting.



Paul wasn't TELLING the Corinthians to fast and pray. He was telling them not to spend too much time away from the wife. You see, this kind of mindset is typical of religious people. Paul is saying, Okay, if you want to devote a little bit of time to prayer and fasting then go ahead. But don't spend too much time away from your wife.


So you admit that Paul was giving place for the gentile believers of Corinth to fast with the Jews? And that Paul saw merit in it? Paul qualified himself by mentioning his own many fastings in 2 Cor 6:5; 11:27. Paul also said to imitate him as he imitated Christ, who Himself fasted for 40 days. (1 Cor 4:16, 11:1).


Imagine that. The disciples didn't fast at all while Jesus was present with them, and yet, they lacked nothing. No fasting = lacked nothing. Hmmm.

What the text says is that they don't need to fast when He is with them, they will need to fast when He is not.

And you really think that going without food will bring him here any faster?

That text isn't neccesarily talking about bringing him faster, it's talking about being in His presense via the indwelling Holy Spirit. It's true that Jesus is present with us by his indwelling Spirit. But we only experience Him in innerman (Eph 3:16). He dwells in the innermost man.(John 7:38) And that is why we pray, and sometimes even fast.

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (Jam 5:16). How much more the prayers from fasting? (that we do while not violating Isa 58 Justice.) The Father will reward the prayers that are done with fasting in secret (Mat 6).

But to answer your question, yes I do think that we can all do our part to bring Him faster:
see: 2nd Peter 3:12 Rev 22:17 and also Luke 18:8 which clearly ties crying out in prayer night and day, to Jesus finding faith on the earth at His return.



No such thing as joyful fasting. You fast if you need help finding a way to deal with all the distractions of the world. Fasting is what we do if we can't seem to focus on God without it. In other words, fasting is for US, if we need it. God doesn't care about it one way or the other.

Zech 8:18 And the word of the LORD of hosts came unto me, saying, 19 Thus says the LORD of hosts; The fast of the 4th, 5th, 7th and 10th months, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; therefore love the truth and peace.
This verse directly contradicts what you said, Zech is prophesying that there will be fasting that shall be joyful. He gives the first precendent of a kind of fasting that is not mourning/tribulation related.

If the new skin is not joyful fasting, what is it? Surely the wine relates to the Bridegroom identity of Jesus. Context seems to suggest it. Better to use Scripture to explain Scripture when context allows. Quite often in Scripture the revelation of the Bridegroom is tied to joy:


Support:
Once in Isaiah does God tell us the nature of the joy that He possesses, in Isaiah 62:5; he says, "It is the joy of a bridegroom. "For as a young man marries a virgin, so shall your sons marry you; and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you. (Isa 62:5). "
-

Isn't it likely that Jesus had this joy (that directly contrasts mourning,) in mind when He prophesied of a new wineskin, for "Bridegroom wine" that the old wineskin couldn't hold: Mat 9:"when the Bridegroom shall be taken from them (at the cross), and then shall they fast... for they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved."
-
John the Baptist spoke of this joy: He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled." (John 3:29)

Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoices as a strong man to run a race (Psa 19:5).

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels (Isa 61:10).

The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom (Jer 33:11).
And if the new wineskin Jesus prophesied of is fasting related to a post-Pentecost Holy Spirit indwelling, it is joyful indeed.

BroRog
Aug 28th 2011, 07:11 PM
You misunderstood me. It seems like you have a lot of zeal behind Isa 58, and yet you do not answer any other Scriptures that conflict with your interpretation of Isa 58.The question on the table is, "does Jesus expect his disciple to fast." The question can be understood in two ways: "Does Jesus anticipate that his disciples will fast as they see fit?" or, "Has Jesus commanded that all his disciples, everywhere and for all time, fast?" The scriptures you provided so far answer half of the first question only. These scriptures show that, indeed, his disciples did fast. The scriptures you provided do not provide answers as to why they fasted.


So are we not going to interpret Scripture with Scripture or follow some kind of hermeneutic, or at least answer questions?I don't know about you, but I don't interpret scripture with scripture. I don't even know what that means as it is an empty concept to me. The hermeneutic I use is to seek the author's intended meaning by examining his words in context.


For example answer me what is the old wineskin of Mat 9 is, if it is not fasting with mourning?

As long as we are talking about our hermeneutics, I will say something about Jesus' parables and analogies. The key to understanding Jesus' parables and analogies is to first understand the parable or analogy on it's own terms. Jesus makes his point with two examples, "shrunk/unshrunk cloth" and "old/new wineskins". What they both have in common is the idea that something inflexible is being attached to or filled with something flexible, which ends up destroying them both. In the first instance a garment, which has already been shrunk, has a hole, which is being mended with a piece of cloth that has not been shrunk. After the repair, when the garment is washed and dried, the unshrunk patch will shrink, growing smaller, and pull apart at the seams, thus making the hole bigger. In the second instance, new wine is being stored in old wineskins. The new wine is still in the fermentation process and creates a gas, which tends to push outward on the wineskin. If the wineskin is new, it is flexible and can expand under pressure. If the wineskin is old, it is inflexible and has already expanded as far as it can go. Additional pressure will break the old wineskin and spill the new wine on the ground.

The analogy Jesus is making is a contrast and comparison between the thinking of his disciples and the thinking of the Pharisees. The new wineskin represents the minds of his disciples which are flexible and able to receive new teaching. The old wineskin represents the mindset of the Pharisees, which is based on the traditions and teachings of the Rabbis who came out of the Babylonian captivity. The objection of the Pharisees to the fact that Jesus' disciples don't fast reveals an inflexibility in the minds of the Pharisees who are not able to apply the scriptures correctly in any given situation. The Pharisaical approach leads them to find comfort and security in a set of rules, such that keeping these rules in a rigid way, brings certainty in their own minds that God will be pleased with them. We see this kind of rigid thinking, for instance, in Jesus story about the Pharisee and the tax gatherer. Notice the mindset of the Pharisee.


Luke 18:10-14 Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: "God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get." But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, "God, be merciful to me, the sinner!" I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.


In this parable we see that the Pharisee was seeking justification though rule keeping, and in doing so, thought that since he was keeping all the rules, we was not like other men. Those who believe that God requires "rule keeping" to be justified, would naturally think and teach that the rules must be obeyed under each and every circumstance. If I am a Pharisee, the situation doesn't matter, and how I feel about it doesn't matter, and what I think I am doing when I keep the rule doesn't matter. All that matters is that I kept the rules. Jesus tells the Pharisees to go back to the scriptures and learn what it means, "I require compassion, not sacrifice." In this the Pharisee should come to understand that God wants us to learn about how God thinks of the world, his values, his priorities, his morally, and apply that vision of righteousness to life on a case-by-case basis depending on the situation. The disciples aren't keeping the rules about fasting, which upsets the Pharisees and challenges their picture of what God requires. Jesus tells them that fasting isn't an intrinsically moral thing like justice or mercy or faith, it's just a rule which can be ignored when the situation changes.


Or answer what I said about "If your interpretation of Isa 58 is correct, and it is God saying He would rather us not fast, then why would Jesus later say 'the Father will reward you if you fast in secret?" (Mat 6). If Isa 58 was really saying the fast does not move God an inch, then why did Jesus, who is God, fast for 40 days? Did He not understand Isa 58?This goes back to the original question, and what it asks. If we are asking whether Jesus fasted, whether his disciples fasted after he left, whether Gentiles fasted, whether we fast today, the answer to all those questions is yes. But if we are asking, "Does God command us to fast? Did Jesus instruct his disciples to fast? Did someone command the Gentiles to fast? the answer is no. Fasting isn't a rule that we must keep. Now, you ask whether God promised to honor our fasting and I responded that God responds to a humble and contrite heart. I cited Isaiah 58 in order to demonstrate that God does not honor a fast for it's own sake or even that someone combine the ritual of fasting with a humble and contrite heart done in secret. Isaiah 58 points out that Israel could have done away with the fast altogether, if they would have treated the disadvantaged fairly, justly, and charitably. When Jesus points out that God will honor a fast done in secret, he isn't weighing in on the question of fasting, whether it should be done or not. His concern is the reason why we fast and what we think we are doing when we do. Again, he is confronting a mind set that places praxis over purpose or meaning. To the Pharisee, it is enough that he tithed, never mind why he tithed or his personal opinion on the subject. In his mind God honors the act itself, regardless of why the act was performed or the mental state of the person performing the act. The Pharisee above was not embarrassed to think that he was better than other men simply because he tithed his dill, mint, and cumin. In his mind, righteousness is defined in terms of keeping the rules.


Does it not make more sense that Isa 58 was a rebuke for the way that the hearers were fasting. Wouldn't you agree that nothing in the text says do not fast, it says fast with prayer that is intercessory for the oppressed, with humility without oppressing those around you in the process? Most believe Isaiah is saying "So long as you use contention and oppression, your fasting and prayers will not be heard. Fast but do not neglect justice whilst you fast." There is nothing in the text of Isaiah 58 that says, "do not fast." But we get the wrong impression if we think that God's objection concerned the technique of fasting. The text assumes that Israel was going without food and other things required during a fast. God wasn't objecting to the fast itself, he was objecting to the incongruity between going without food for religious reasons and the greedy materialism that led them to treat their workers unjustly, withholding their pay, making them word extra hard and etc. God is saying to Israel, if you want to go without something in order to honor me, rather than going without food, why not go without your greed and lust for material goods?


These things you pray for whilst fasting and God does them. For proof, please see any book on intercessory prayer.I don't read books on intercessory prayer. This reminds me of a lady I once knew. After her mother died, she found it very difficult to visit her father. Her father needed her very much and could use the company after he lost his wife. But she couldn't bring herself to visit him. At the same time this was happening to her family, she was attending community college to become a nurse. Ironically, at the time she was taking a class on how to be more compassionate with family members who suffered the loss of a loved one. The thing is, compassion isn't something that can be taught. Either you're compassionate or you aren't. And if you are compassionate, you don't need a class to tell you how to be compassionate. The same thing goes for prayer. I don't need a book on how to pray. I just express to God what I think and feel. And as Jesus says, he already knows anyway. Prayer isn't about moving God. He already knows what needs to be done and if it is according to his will, he will do it. Prayer is about me. Prayer is about me giving expression to my love for others, my love of God, my concern for family members, my concern for a church a thousand miles away. There isn't a book in the world that can tell me what I want. The only one who knows what I want is me.


So you admit that Paul was giving place for the gentile believers of Corinth to fast with the Jews? And that Paul saw merit in it? Paul qualified himself by mentioning his own many fastings in 2 Cor 6:5; 11:27. Paul also said to imitate him as he imitated Christ, who Himself fasted for 40 days. (1 Cor 4:16, 11:1). No, that's not what I said. Paul realizes that people do goofy things like fast, thinking that fasting makes them more holy, and more in touch with God. Paul hasn't said one way or the other, whether this is true or not. Rather, his concern is that the husband not allow his demonstration of piety keep him from loving his wife. Here again is the same old problem with religion. These husbands were doing what the Pharisees did, confusing religious piety with honoring God. In Paul's mind, loving your wife honors God, denying your wife in order to perform a religious ritual does not.


What the text says is that they don't need to fast when He is with them, they will need to fast when He is not.Jesus says they will fast, not that they need to fast.


[
B]
Zech 8:18 And the word of the LORD of hosts came unto me, saying, 19 Thus says the LORD of hosts; The fast of the 4th, 5th, 7th and 10th months, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; therefore love the truth and peace.[/B]
This verse directly contradicts what you said, Zech is prophesying that there will be fasting that shall be joyful. He gives the first precendent of a kind of fasting that is not mourning/tribulation related.I read this differently. Zechariah isn't saying that the fasts will be joyful. He is saying that the fasts will be turned into feasts, and the feasts will be joyful.


If the new skin is not joyful fasting, what is it?The new skin is a mindset pliable enough to understand the moral vision of God, his priorities, his values, his worldview, his orientation, his likes and dislikes and to apply them to life with wisdom. This stands in contrast to the old wineskin that is inflexible and rule based and has no ability to apply wisdom to the situation.

Extravagance
Aug 30th 2011, 08:18 AM
Jesus tells the Pharisees to go back to the scriptures and learn what it means, "I require compassion, not sacrifice."

My Nasb translation has a asterisk that says compassion more than sacrifice. Sacrifice is still needed sometimes, look at the cross, that we all have to take up. To think that God requires no sacrifice of any Gentile Christian is delusional at worst, and unrealistic at best.


No, that's not what I said. Paul realizes that people do goofy things like fast, thinking that fasting makes them more holy, and more in touch with God.

If Paul thought that fasting was goofy, and didn't make him more in touch with God, then why did he do it with the church of Antioch, a church that had Gentiles? And actually Paul gave fasting with prayer as the only good reason to deny your wife, but with her agreement.


The question on the table is, "does Jesus expect his disciple to fast." The question can be understood: "Does Jesus anticipate that his disciples will fast as they see fit?" The scriptures you provided so far answer half of the question only. These scriptures show that, indeed, his disciples did fast. The scriptures you provided do not provide answers as to why they fasted.

So to answer your question; we know Jesus anticipated fasting, so why did He anticipate it from us? Why did Paul? What does fasting do? To put it another way; why did Jesus say that Father would reward it if it was done properly (Mat 6:15) and what is the reward?


I read this differently. Zechariah isn't saying that the fasts will be joyful. He is saying that the fasts will be turned into feasts, and the feasts will be joyful.

Well even if you take it that way, it's still a precedent for a joyful fast. Jesus said when He was fasting, that man is not to live on bread alone, but rather the Word of God (Mat 4:4). When Jesus was at a feast, He did not commend joyfully gorging food, but rather: in John 7: 37, at the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his innermost man (qereb) shall flow rivers of living water. 39. (But this spoke he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Spirit was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) Now interestingly Paul prayed in Eph 3:16 for the believers at Ephesus that they be strengthened with might in the innerman which is 'eso,' not qereb, that they might (Eph 3:19) experience (ginosko) the love of God, and be filled with the fullness of the (Spirit of) God.

When Jesus said they cannot mourn in fasting while the Bridegroom is with them, He knew Scripture confirms this, as almost every reference to the Bridegroom in the OT also speaks of rejoicing. I do not think this is a coincidence, as the Spirit has inspired all Scripture (John 14:26 2 Tim 3:16). We know from Isa 62 that the nature of God's joy is the joy of a bridegroom. So when Jesus says how can they fast when the bridegroom is with them, He is saying how can you mourn when Joy Himself is with you (see also Psa 45:7)?

Now interestingly Paul prayed in Eph 3:16 for the believers at Ephesus that they be strengthened with might in the innerman which is 'eso,' not qereb, that they might (Eph 3:19) experience (ginosko) the love of God, and be filled with the fullness of the (Spirit of) God.


When Jesus answered the question why they do not fast, He answered that they cannot mourn. But then He spoke of them fasting after the Bridegroom is taken from them. Now we must ask, wouldn't the Spirit of the Bridegroom be in them at Pentecost? Wouldn't then out of their bellies flow rivers of living water? So why would they mourn if His Spirit was with them?


There is no record of fasting before Pentecost, only after it (2 Cor 6:5; 11:27 Acts 14:23; 13:2, Paul boasting of many fastings). So we know the church fasted, and yet had the Spirit of the Bridegroom indwelling. Therefore they would not mourn in the Jewish sense, they could joyfully fast, possessing the qureb indwelling Spirit of the Bridegroom, seeking to be filled in the eso innerman with the fullness of the Spirit of God (John 6:25,37). Therefore Joyful fasting relates to the New Covenant, or New Wineskin of an indwelling Spirit.

This is why Jesus said the Father would reward fasting, if it was done in the right way, and then said in Mat 7:27 that anyone who did not heed this saying was foolish, and the floods of life would wash them away. For we need the fullness of God, not just the idea that we already have it, we need the actuality. And so we shall fast. For what is the reward of answered prayer, but the work of the Spirit?


Many Christians do not believe in any tangible experience of the Holy Spirit, simply because they have never experienced it. This is often because it takes faith to enter into the promises of God and they have no faith for it. Jas 4:2 They do not have because they do not ask. They also cannot explain well why the Apostles seemed drunk on the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. But this is why Paul said in Eph 3:18 "Do not be drunk on wine, but instead be filled with the Spirit.

However God has chosen things like fasting as a way into more of God. We know Paul referenced Isa 58: "Is this not the fast I have chosen" in 1 Cor 1:27 God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty. He's chosen them for the 1 Cor 1:23 power of God and the wisdom of God. For 2 Cor 12:9 God's strength is made perfect in weakness. If we want more spiritual strength, we must at times embrace weakness. When He Eph 3:16 strengthens us with might in the innerman, that might is to increase our ability to contain the Spirit of God, even eventually unto the fullness of God. This I believe could result in John 14:12, or at the very least, being filled with the Spirit.

The Spirit of God is worth fasting for, though we can experience Him without fasting. This weakness in the body we embrace so His power is perfected in us. We don't have to pray for might in the innerman if we fast, for that is what the fast does. It increases our capacity to recieve.

You have asked for my opinion why He expects us to fast, and so here you are. If you don't agree, I respect that. But as I said (for none can refute): Jesus said the Father would reward fasting, if it was done in the right way, and then said in Mat 7:27 that anyone who did not heed this saying was foolish, and the floods of life would wash them away. For we need the fullness of God, not just the idea that we already have it, we need the actuality. And so we shall fast. For what is the reward of answered prayer, but the work of the Spirit?

TrustGzus
Aug 30th 2011, 01:47 PM
I took a few days off from this thread. Back to it.


For you who are saying fasting isn't desired by God and does not move Him: Jesus said of fasting in secret: "Your Father who sees in secret will reward you." (Mat 5:18). The Father will reward fasting. Will He not? This directly contradicts most of what has been said here about what God thinks of fasting. Isn't This Command (to fast unto the Father, not man) Never Negated By Other Scriptures but rather reinforced;

You quote this over and over. However, we are stuck at a point where I see the sermon on the mount in particular, and Matthew in general, as being to a Jewish audience. If you quote this to me again in your next post, it won't be as if you hit the magic number of quotes that make me believe the argument.


For those say that fasting does nothing:
Joel prophetically called a fast to avert/reduce judgment from God (economic shaking Joe 1:14 and military attacks Joe 2:13).

These are commands God gave to the Jews at a particular point in history in a particular circumstance. There is nothing here that makes me think this is telling the church to fast today.



:
Why did Paul write in 1 Cor 5:7 Defraud all of you not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that all of you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
Paul was giving place for the gentile believers of Corinth to fast with the Jews. Paul saw merit in their fasting too.

This is 1 Corinthians 7:5. You asked, "Why did Paul write . . . " I would tell you Paul did not write that. Fasting in only in the KJV and NKJV. Why? Because there is massive textual evidence that this was a later insertion and that it is not original. The manuscript evidence is overwhelming. So the KJV and NKJV are mistaken in having this here. Newer versions are correct. It isn't a case of Christians wanted to eliminate this. It's a case where as we go back in time, there comes a time where when we go back far enough this isn't in the manuscripts. So it got added at some point.


Paul qualified himself by mentioning his own many fastings in 2 Cor 6:5; 11:27. Paul also said to imitate him as he imitated Christ, who Himself fasted for 40 days. (1 Cor 4:16, 11:1).
2 Cor 6:4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, 5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;

2 Cor 11: Three times was I beaten with rods, .. 26 In journeys often,...In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness

Even guys that use the KJV lean towards this as an involuntary event. Vine's expository dictionary states (bolded, italics is mine). . .


1. nesteia (νηστεία, 3521), “a fasting, fast” (from ne, a negative prefix, and esthio, “to eat”), is used (a) of voluntary abstinence from food, Luke 2:37; Acts 14:23 (some mss. have it in Matt. 17:21 and Mark 9:29); “fasting” had become a common practice among Jews, and was continued among Christians; in Acts 27:9, “the Fast” refers to the Day of Atonement, Lev. 16:29; that time of the year would be one of dangerous sailing; (b) of involuntary abstinence (perhaps voluntary is included), consequent upon trying circumstances, 2 Cor. 6:5; 11:27.
W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1996), 2:227-228.

The well known theologian Charles Hodge wrote about 11:27 (bolding in in the text, it is not mine). . .


I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food. The use of the Greek word meaning “fast” and its connection with the words hunger and thirst are urged as reasons for understanding this to mean voluntary fasting. But the context is in favor of the common interpretation that makes it refer to involuntary abstinence. Every other detail mentioned here belongs to the class of sufferings; and it would, therefore, be incongruous to introduce into this list anything so insignificant and so common as religious fasting. In this the Pharisees were his equals and probably far his superior. They fasted twice a week. Paul was no ascetic and certainly did not deny himself food to the extent of making that denial an act of heroism. It is remarkable that we have no record of Paul’s ever having fasted at all, unless Acts 13:3 is an example.

Charles Hodge, 2 Corinthians, Crossway classic commentaries (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 1995), 2 Co 11:27.

In 6:5 he states it's voluntary, but has nothing to do with religious fasting . . .


Hunger. The Greek word is never used for involuntary abstinence from food. As it occurs here in connection with hard work and sleepless nights, both of which were voluntary acts of self-denial, it is probably to be taken in its ordinary sense of “fasting.” Perhaps, however, it refers to those cases of abstinence that were to some extent forced on him or that he chose to submit to rather than to omit some duty or fail to take advantage of some opportunity to be useful. There is nothing in the context to demand a reference to religious fasting, as when prayers and fasting are mentioned together. Here it is hard work and hunger.


Charles Hodge, 2 Corinthians, Crossway classic commentaries (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 1995), 2 Co 6:5.


Does Jesus think His disciples will fast?:Mat 9:14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples fast not? 15 (sword://UKJV/Matthew 9:15?notip) And Jesus said unto them, Can the disciples of the Bridegroom mourn, as long as the Bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the Bridegroom shall be taken from them (at the cross), and then shall they fast. 17 (sword://UKJV/Matthew 9:17?notip) Men do not put new wine into old wineskins: else the wineskins break, and the wine runs out, and the wineskins perish: but they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.
(Is the new wineskin is joyful new covenant fasting that Zech 8 prophesied of, not fasting for sorrow, but fasting to be in the presense of the Bridegroom Jesus/Holy Spirit?) If not what is the wineskin, it clearly relates to fasting. And it suggested that the Pharisees will reject it/not be able to hold it. You may try to say the old wineskin is fasting itself...

Why would the Pharisees "reject it/not be able to hold it" in regard to fasting? This was the very fact of the complaint by John's disciples was that they and the Pharisees were fasting and Jesus' disciples were not fasting.

John MacArthur states in his study Bible . . .


Animal skins were used for fermentation of wine because of their elasticity. As the wine fermented, pressure built up, stretching the wineskin. A previously stretched skin lacked elasticity and would rupture, ruining both wine and wineskin. Jesus used this as an illustration to teach that the forms of old rituals, such as the ceremonial fastings practiced by the Pharisees and John’s disciples, were not fit for the new wine of the New Covenant era (cf. Col. 2:17). In both analogies (vv. 16, 17), the Lord was saying that what the Pharisees did in fasting or any other ritual had no part with the gospel.

John Jr MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible, (Nashville: Word Pub., 1997, c1997), Mt 9:17.

As for Zechariah 8, it says right in the verse those fast are for cheerful festivals for the house of Judah. Is that you and me?


-"Is fasting part of the old Jewish wineskin that needs to be discarded so that the new wine of the kingdom will not burst the wineskins and be lost?" The apparent answer is that Saul and Barnabas and the others in Antioch did not think fasting was the old wineskin:
Acts 13: 2 (sword://UKJV/Acts 13:2?notip) As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work unto which I have called them. 3 (sword://UKJV/Acts 13:3?notip) And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. 4 (sword://UKJV/Acts 13:4?notip) So they, being sent forth by the Holy Spirit, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.

It would then make sense that fasting with mourning is the old wineskin.
Example of Fasting in the church:
Acts 14:23 (sword://UKJV/Acts 14:23?notip) And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

Everyone depicted as fasting here are Jewish Christians. I see nothing indicating this was a mandate on Gentile Christians. Just because the Bible records what some people historically did, that doesn't make it a mandate for you and me today.



Fasting leading to Spiritual experiences? Cornelius was not even a believer, but a fasting seeker:
Acts 10: 30 (sword://UKJV/Acts 10:30?notip) And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,

You just supported my point. Cornelius was not a believer. There is no recorded case of a New Covenant Gentile fasting. And even if Acts had one, Acts is a historical narrative. The church in Jerusalem lived in a commune. Should we all do that? Just because something is recorded in a historical narrative, that doesn't make it normative for you and me today.

Grace & peace to you,

Joe

TrustGzus
Aug 30th 2011, 01:53 PM
This is also proof in the Bible that Gentiles fasted.

Hey Ken, this was a comment you made about Cornelius in Acst 10. I said this in the above post, but in case you are only reading replies to your posts . . .

First thing is this is before Cornelius was in the New Covenant. He wasn't a believer. Second thing is that Acts is a historical narrative. Just because Acts records what someone once did at a certain time and place doesn't mean you and I should do the same thing today. Paul took Timothy . . . a half Jew and half Greek and circumcised him in Acts. If you run into a half Jew / half Greek will you go circumcise him because of this? Do you live in a commune because of Acts 2?

TrustGzus
Aug 30th 2011, 01:57 PM
My translation says compassion more than sacrifice. Sacrifice is still needed sometimes, look at the cross, that we all have to take up.

This is just an aside . . . what verse in what translation are you talking about? I can't find any Bible of mine that says "compassion more than sacrifice". It appears to me you've been using the KJV. No KJV I own says this.

Slug1
Aug 30th 2011, 02:04 PM
Hey Ken, this was a comment you made about Cornelius in Acst 10. I said this in the above post, but in case you are only reading replies to your posts . . .

First thing is this is before Cornelius was in the New Covenant. He wasn't a believer. Second thing is that Acts is a historical narrative. Just because Acts records what someone once did at a certain time and place doesn't mean you and I should do the same thing today. Paul took Timothy . . . a half Jew and half Greek and circumcised him in Acts. If you run into a half Jew / half Greek will you go circumcise him because of this? Do you live in a commune because of Acts 2?All I said was that this shows us that Gentiles fasted.

Fasting is a part of the relationship a person has with God as led by the Holy Spirit. I said somewhere in a post it's not about a requirement. I know this is your beef with any doctrine that MANDATES a Christian to fast. It's my beef also.

Anyway... you want to know what "fasting" does concerning the relationship that you presently have with God? Then fast... and find out.

TrustGzus
Aug 30th 2011, 02:14 PM
All I said was that this shows us that Gentiles fasted.

Well, I agree about that. This was never a point I disagreed about.


Fasting is a part of the relationship a person has with God as led by the Holy Spirit. I said somewhere in a post it's not about a requirement. I know this is your beef with any doctrine that MANDATES a Christian to fast. It's my beef also.

Sounds like we agree somewhat if I understand you correctly. Although I'm highly skeptical of many Christians' "led by the Spirit" ideas.


Anyway... you want to know what "fasting" does concerning the relationship that you presently have with God? Then fast... and find out.

Nothing happened in my life in times when I fasted. Our experiences are different.

The thread title is "Did Jesus expect his disciples to fast?" This is an exegetical question, not a pragmatic one. So if fasting has done good things in your life, that's great. It can't answer the question though as I see it. I haven't see you do a "hooaaahhhhh" in this thread. :)

Slug1
Aug 30th 2011, 02:23 PM
The thread title is "Did Jesus expect his disciples to fast?" This is an exegetical question, not a pragmatic one. So if fasting has done good things in your life, that's great. It can't answer the question though as I see it. I haven't see you do a "hooaaahhhhh" in this thread. :)I figure that post #50 in reply to #49 is a form of a... Hooah :lol:

Fasting is an "element" of prayer. So when a person JUST fasts and doesn't do anything else during the fast, then what are they accomplishing? Not much really.

TrustGzus
Aug 30th 2011, 02:28 PM
I figure that post #50 in reply to #49 is a form of a... Hooah :lol:

Gotta add humor at points to lighten the air.


Fasting is an "element" of prayer. So when a person JUST fasts and doesn't do anything else during the fast, then what are they accomplishing? Not much really.

Agreed. Fasting without prayer is dieting.

John 8:32
Aug 30th 2011, 02:43 PM
There is no record of fasting before Pentecost, only after it (2 Cor 6:5; 11:27 Acts 14:23; 13:2, Paul boasting of many fastings). So we know the church fasted, and yet had the Spirit of the Bridegroom indwelling. Therefore they would not mourn in the Jewish sense, they could joyfully fast, possessing the qureb indwelling Spirit of the Bridegroom, seeking to be filled in the eso innerman with the fullness of the Spirit of God. Therefore Joyful fasting relates to the New Covenant, or New Wineskin of an indwelling Spirit.

Mat 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
Mat 4:2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.

Isn't Christ the founder of the NT church? I do not believe that there is any contradiction of scripture, that it is all inspired of God (God breathed) and that the scripture cannot be broken. I believe that Christ set an example that we should follow in His footsteps. Finally, if it comes down to a difference between Christ and Paul (or any other human for that matter), I am going to follow Christ.

Why would one fast? To become closer to God. Jesus apparently thought it would work and needed 40 days of fasting before the showdown in the desert.

TrustGzus
Aug 30th 2011, 02:53 PM
Mat 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
Mat 4:2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.

Isn't Christ the founder of the NT church? I do not believe that there is any contradiction of scripture, that it is all inspired of God (God breathed) and that the scripture cannot be broken. I believe that Christ set an example that we should follow in His footsteps. Finally, if it comes down to a difference between Christ and Paul (or any other human for that matter), I am going to follow Christ.

Why would one fast? To become closer to God. Jesus apparently thought it would work and needed 40 days of fasting before the showdown in the desert.

WWJD doesn't always work. I am not the Christ. I cannot do all that Jesus did, nor should I. It's not my place. That being said, there are some things Jesus did that we can and should do. It's logically possible that Jesus was setting an example for us in what you've said, but you need to build that case up more.

Extravagance
Aug 31st 2011, 02:12 AM
I took a few days off from this thread. Back to it.
Welcome back :)

I’m not making the point that He is telling the church to fast. Rather that He called not doing it foolish, and called doing it wise, and that the reward of it accomplishes crucial things for a life built on the rock.



You quote this over and over. However, we are stuck at a point where I see the sermon on the mount in particular, and Matthew in general, as being to a Jewish audience. If you quote this to me again in your next post, it won't be as if you hit the magic number of quotes that make me believe the argument. These are commands God gave to the Jews at a particular point in history in a particular circumstance. There is nothing here that makes me think this is telling the church to fast today.

Well convince me of how the sayings of the text’s truths and principles do not apply Gentiles. Don’t just say that the audience were Jews and call it a day, haha.

This seems to be how you see the text:
But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face; 18 That you appear not unto men to fast, but unto your Father which is in secret: and your Father, which sees in secret, shall reward you openly BUT NOT IF YOU ARE A GENTILE, THEN HE WILL IGNORE IT, AND WILL NOT REWARD YOU… And every JEW that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand, And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. BUT A GENTILE THAT DOES THIS IS WASTING HIS TIME, FOR DOING THESE SAYINGS IS UNWISE FOR HIM, AND NO FLOODS WILL EVER COME A GENTILE WAY.

But this is what it actually says:
But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face; 18 That you appear not unto men to fast, but unto your Father which is in secret: and your Father, which sees in secret, shall reward you openly. And EVERY ONE that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

A believing Jew would say to you 'Jesus said here: "everyone." "He is speaking to me, but He means you too, Gentile." What if a Messainic Jew were to share His faith with a Gentile? He would be inclined to mention this passage as it applies to both of them.

Historically, there were Gentiles at the church of Antioch, yet they were fasting with the Jews in the church. To say that only the Jews were fasting at Antioch is to go beyond the text. Acts 13:3 does not refer to Saul and Barnabas, but the church of Antioch. “And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.”
So with this example of NT Gentile fasting, the burden of proof is now fully on you to show that Jesus' command in Matt 28 for His disciples to make disciples out of the nations does not include Gentiles fasting in the same way Jewish disciples did.

To say that a Gentile that prays with fasting will not be rewarded in a way related to the fast, is just not supported in Scripture. To say that God does not call Gentiles who neglect prayer with fasting foolish is also unsupported.

In 2 Cor 2:11 in hunger and thirst, in fastings often. If Paul's fasting here has no prayer connotation, then fasting would be doubly redundant, he would have ended the sentense at thirst. Also, hunger and thirst imply Paul want to eat, and not fast. The only other explantion besides bad grammar would be that he used the lack of food as occasion to pray and fast. As for the writings of Mr. Hodge, there are other Scriptural places where fasting used in a sentence without the word prayer, yet the context relates to prayer. For example we the Dan 10:2, fast and then in 10:12 that the fast involved prayer. Mat 6:16 says fast, but the previous verses (7-15) implies the 'fast' verse relates to prayer.

To your point with Sluggo, when Jesus did not say “God” must not live by bread alone, but He said man. And He said that “man” must live by every word from the mouth of God, not bread alone, in the context of fasting!

Cornelius’ praying with fasting produced a spiritual result, I bring up that point only to say fasting w prayer usually has spiritual results, even if you are not a Jew. ‘Man I wish I was Jewish so my prayers from my fasts would be rewarded .’ ;) Cornelius supports the fact that God desires 'man' to fast bread to live by the Word, not only 'Jews.' God supported the fast by sending a messenger to him.



Why would the Pharisees "reject it/not be able to hold it" in regard to fasting? This was the very fact of the complaint by John's disciples was that they and the Pharisees were fasting and Jesus' disciples were not fasting.
Jesus implied that His disciples would fast with no less consistency and intensity that John’s disciples did. Their fasting however, would flow out of longing and mourning for Jesus as a Bridegroom, as they would miss Him. Jesus used their question to introduce Himself as a Bridegroom (Isa 62:5). He was introducing a new paradigm of fasting, a fast motivated by desire to encounter His Eph 5:29 'nourishing and cherishing' presence, the presence of a Bridegroom. This fast is something one could not do without an indwelling Spirit (the ‘wine'). Or an understanding to do it (wineskin).

Wineskins I now have come to discern refer to structures which facilitate the Wine, (Spirit.)
The new wineskin structure (NT community of believers) that replaced Synagogue-structures could hold the wine of Pentecost, for the Synagogue structures could not hold this wine. Churches still break and divide when they cannot hold the Spirit (reject It, ie. 'these men are drunk,' or 'I don't believe we can experience the Spirit'). There is a now a new wineskin in Spirit-believing churches that employs fasting as a means of hungering and thirsting for righteousness, (Mat 5:6) that they would be Eph 5:18; filled with the Spirit. This results in joy.



As for Zechariah 8, it says right in the verse those fast are for cheerful festivals for the house of Judah. Is that you and me?
Oh I’m not saying that verse is fulfilled in Mat 9, rather referenced. That Jesus was contrasting joy and mourning related to fasting is rather apparent, when we under stand that biblically, the Bridegroom reference almost always connotes joy or rejoicing. For many things Jesus said had OT significance. John 1:14 called Him the Word (or Scripture) made flesh, and John 5:39-40 supports this. This feast ultimately relates to the marriage supper of the Bridegroom in Rev 19:7. I think of the fast as 'mourning' to be closer to the Joyful Spirit.



There is no recorded case of a New Covenant Gentile fasting. And even if Acts had one, Acts is a historical narrative. The church in Jerusalem lived in a commune. Should we all do that? Just because something is recorded in a historical narrative, that doesn't make it normative for you and me today. Everyone depicted as fasting here are Jewish Christians. I see nothing indicating this was a mandate on Gentile Christians. Just because the Bible records what some people historically did, that doesn't make it a mandate for you and me today.

Yes Acts did have one, see above. And the question is ‘are they expected to fast?,’ not ‘are they mandated?’ Jesus gave the promise of the Father rewarding the fast to entice, not to command. Though He did command that when it is done, it be done unto the Father, (for that will be rewarded.) And then He said not heeding this would lead to a life that is overcome by a flood, built on sand. What can this suggest but that the reward of fasting is crucial to a life built on the rock?

But because the church currently lacks a Eph 1:17 Spirit of Revelation of the knowledge of Christ, we do not see how desirable being Eph 3:19 filled with the fullness of the Spirit of God is. New wineskins are needed.

TrustGzus
Aug 31st 2011, 01:02 PM
Welcome back :)

I’m not making the point that He is telling the church to fast. Rather that He called not doing it foolish, and called doing it wise, and that the reward of it accomplishes crucial things for a life built on the rock.



Well convince me of how the sayings of the text’s truths and principles do not apply Gentiles. Don’t just say that the audience were Jews and call it a day, haha.

This seems to be how you see the text:
But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face; 18 That you appear not unto men to fast, but unto your Father which is in secret: and your Father, which sees in secret, shall reward you openly BUT NOT IF YOU ARE A GENTILE, THEN HE WILL IGNORE IT, AND WILL NOT REWARD YOU… And every JEW that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand, And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. BUT A GENTILE THAT DOES THIS IS WASTING HIS TIME, FOR DOING THESE SAYINGS IS UNWISE FOR HIM, AND NO FLOODS WILL EVER COME A GENTILE WAY.

But this is what it actually says:
But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face; 18 That you appear not unto men to fast, but unto your Father which is in secret: and your Father, which sees in secret, shall reward you openly. And EVERY ONE that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

A believing Jew would say to you 'Jesus said here: "everyone." "He is speaking to me, but He means you too, Gentile." What if a Messainic Jew were to share His faith with a Gentile? He would be inclined to mention this passage as it applies to both of them.

Historically, there were Gentiles at the church of Antioch, yet they were fasting with the Jews in the church. To say that only the Jews were fasting at Antioch is to go beyond the text. Acts 13:3 does not refer to Saul and Barnabas, but the church of Antioch. “And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.”
So with this example of NT Gentile fasting, the burden of proof is now fully on you to show that Jesus' command in Matt 28 for His disciples to make disciples out of the nations does not include Gentiles fasting in the same way Jewish disciples did.

To say that a Gentile that prays with fasting will not be rewarded in a way related to the fast, is just not supported in Scripture. To say that God does not call Gentiles who neglect prayer with fasting foolish is also unsupported.

In 2 Cor 2:11 in hunger and thirst, in fastings often. If Paul's fasting here has no prayer connotation, then fasting would be doubly redundant, he would have ended the sentense at thirst. Also, hunger and thirst imply Paul want to eat, and not fast. The only other explantion besides bad grammar would be that he used the lack of food as occasion to pray and fast. As for the writings of Mr. Hodge, there are other Scriptural places where fasting used in a sentence without the word prayer, yet the context relates to prayer. For example we the Dan 10:2, fast and then in 10:12 that the fast involved prayer. Mat 6:16 says fast, but the previous verses (7-15) implies the 'fast' verse relates to prayer.

To your point with Sluggo, when Jesus did not say “God” must not live by bread alone, but He said man. And He said that “man” must live by every word from the mouth of God, not bread alone, in the context of fasting!

Cornelius’ praying with fasting produced a spiritual result, I bring up that point only to say fasting w prayer usually has spiritual results, even if you are not a Jew. ‘Man I wish I was Jewish so my prayers from my fasts would be rewarded .’ ;) Cornelius supports the fact that God desires 'man' to fast bread to live by the Word, not only 'Jews.' God supported the fast by sending a messenger to him.


Jesus implied that His disciples would fast with no less consistency and intensity that John’s disciples did. Their fasting however, would flow out of longing and mourning for Jesus as a Bridegroom, as they would miss Him. Jesus used their question to introduce Himself as a Bridegroom (Isa 62:5). He was introducing a new paradigm of fasting, a fast motivated by desire to encounter His Eph 5:29 'nourishing and cherishing' presence, the presence of a Bridegroom. This fast is something one could not do without an indwelling Spirit (the ‘wine'). Or an understanding to do it (wineskin).

Wineskins I now have come to discern refer to structures which facilitate the Wine, (Spirit.)
The new wineskin structure (NT community of believers) that replaced Synagogue-structures could hold the wine of Pentecost, for the Synagogue structures could not hold this wine. Churches still break and divide when they cannot hold the Spirit (reject It, ie. 'these men are drunk,' or 'I don't believe we can experience the Spirit'). There is a now a new wineskin in Spirit-believing churches that employs fasting as a means of hungering and thirsting for righteousness, (Mat 5:6) that they would be Eph 5:18; filled with the Spirit. This results in joy.


Oh I’m not saying that verse is fulfilled in Mat 9, rather referenced. That Jesus was contrasting joy and mourning related to fasting is rather apparent, when we under stand that biblically, the Bridegroom reference almost always connotes joy or rejoicing. For many things Jesus said had OT significance. John 1:14 called Him the Word (or Scripture) made flesh, and John 5:39-40 supports this. This feast ultimately relates to the marriage supper of the Bridegroom in Rev 19:7. I think of the fast as 'mourning' to be closer to the Joyful Spirit.



Yes Acts did have one, see above. And the question is ‘are they expected to fast?,’ not ‘are they mandated?’ Jesus gave the promise of the Father rewarding the fast to entice, not to command. Though He did command that when it is done, it be done unto the Father, (for that will be rewarded.) And then He said not heeding this would lead to a life that is overcome by a flood, built on sand. What can this suggest but that the reward of fasting is crucial to a life built on the rock?

But because the church currently lacks a Eph 1:17 Spirit of Revelation of the knowledge of Christ, we do not see how desirable being Eph 3:19 filled with the fullness of the Spirit of God is. New wineskins are needed.

Hey Extravagane,

Every thing that I would reply to here, I have said somewhere else. So I'll just say it's been nice talking to you. Repeating what I previously said won't make it true if I say it for the XXth time.

Grace & peace to you,

Joe

Extravagance
Aug 31st 2011, 08:37 PM
Hey Extravagane,

Every thing that I would reply to here, I have said somewhere else. So I'll just say it's been nice talking to you. Repeating what I previously said won't make it true if I say it for the XXth time.

Grace & peace to you,

Joe
Haha right now the ad on this page is 'take a journey through the beattitudes.' :)
Okay, so I do not see where you refuted or attemted to answer much of my premise which is best restated in my last post. I do see where you stated and restate your premise to illustrate that my premise was wrong. I do not see where you answered my refutes to your premise. But it's okay, this is the same impasse I have reached with Dispensationalists who are so married to the concept that the church is not appointed to wrath therefore they must be raptured first, that they become married to an interpretation that fits their bias. They have no grid for the church doing miracles in the face of trial and being protected and redirected like the days of old. 2 Thes 2:1-4 and such Scriptures then become mangled and twisted to fit this.

TrustGzus
Aug 31st 2011, 11:09 PM
Haha right now the ad on this page is 'take a journey through the beattitudes.' :)
Okay, so I do not see where you refuted or attemted to answer much of my premise which is best restated in my last post. I do see where you stated and restate your premise to illustrate that my premise was wrong. I do not see where you answered my refutes to your premise. But it's okay, this is the same impasse I have reached with Dispensationalists who are so married to the concept that the church is not appointed to wrath therefore they must be raptured first, that they become married to an interpretation that fits their bias. They have no grid for the church doing miracles in the face of trial and being protected and redirected like the days of old. 2 Thes 2:1-4 and such Scriptures then become mangled and twisted to fit this.

Everyone has biases they are blind to. If we knew of them, we'd abandon them. That being said, again, I am not a dispensationalist. You appear to draw a parallel between me to them and that I am married to a concept that fits my bias. That's always possible. But is it not possible that you are doing the same thing? I'll give you another answer at your most recent post.


I’m not making the point that He is telling the church to fast. Rather that He called not doing it foolish, and called doing it wise, and that the reward of it accomplishes crucial things for a life built on the rock.

I get what you are saying. And I've said Matthew was written to Jews. Every commentary that I've ever read says the same and I probably own a couple dozen. This sermon was preached to Jews. It doesn't mean that we can't find anything to take away, but it doesn't mean we take away everything either. Jesus isn't talking to the church here because the church didn't even exist yet.

Now your statement "I'm not making the point that He is telling the church to fast." Your thread title is "Does Jesus expect his disciples to fast?'' I took "expect" to mean require. When I tell my 16-year-old that I expect her to be home by 10, I'm not saying it would be wise for her to do so and if she doesn't it's unwise like building a house on the sand. I'm telling her when I expect her to be home at by 10 that this is a requirement. So, perhaps I misunderstood your point.


Well convince me of how the sayings of the text’s truths and principles do not apply Gentiles. Don’t just say that the audience were Jews and call it a day, haha.

This seems to be how you see the text:
But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face; 18 That you appear not unto men to fast, but unto your Father which is in secret: and your Father, which sees in secret, shall reward you openly BUT NOT IF YOU ARE A GENTILE, THEN HE WILL IGNORE IT, AND WILL NOT REWARD YOU… And every JEW that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand, And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. BUT A GENTILE THAT DOES THIS IS WASTING HIS TIME, FOR DOING THESE SAYINGS IS UNWISE FOR HIM, AND NO FLOODS WILL EVER COME A GENTILE WAY.

But this is what it actually says:
But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face; 18 That you appear not unto men to fast, but unto your Father which is in secret: and your Father, which sees in secret, shall reward you openly. And EVERY ONE that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

I think this is silly. Should I do what I think the text should say to make it say what you think it should say?

Matthew was written to Jews. This is well known. Every commentary I have (and that's probably around a couple dozen) say this. This sermon was preached to Jews. People didn't travel back then like they do in the 21st century. This was preached in Israel. It wasn't a feast. The audience was Jewish.

If there is a vehicle accident, and someone arrives and says "is everyone alright?" They don't mean all humans that have ever existed when they say "everyone." "Every" doesn't always mean "every". When the waitress ask, "is everything alright?" She's not asking about your relationships with your family and your financial status.

At very least, you should entertain the idea that this may not be what you interpret it to be. I'm not on a limb by myself here. I have plenty of pastors and scholars that share the view. We could all be wrong on the one hand. On the other hand, we just might be correct. We're not all a bunch of idiots and we're not all dispensationalists.


A believing Jew would say to you 'Jesus said here: "everyone." "He is speaking to me, but He means you too, Gentile." What if a Messainic Jew were to share His faith with a Gentile? He would be inclined to mention this passage as it applies to both of them.

Can you speak for every believing Jew? And if you could, do believing Jews interpret infallibly?


Historically, there were Gentiles at the church of Antioch, yet they were fasting with the Jews in the church. To say that only the Jews were fasting at Antioch is to go beyond the text. Acts 13:3 does not refer to Saul and Barnabas, but the church of Antioch. “And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.”
So with this example of NT Gentile fasting, the burden of proof is now fully on you to show that Jesus' command in Matt 28 for His disciples to make disciples out of the nations does not include Gentiles fasting in the same way Jewish disciples did.

Let's grant that. I stated earlier something you point out here in your first word - "historically." Acts is historical narrative. Just because it records people did X, doesn't mean we should do X or that X is correct. Paul circumcised a half Jew/half Greek that converted. Would you? The church in Jerusalem pooled their money. Should we?

Also, we read in Matthew earlier that Jesus' disciples would fast when the bridegroom was taken from them. You bring up Matthew 28. There Jesus says he's with us always even to the end of the age. So he's with us. Why fast? But I'm not into cross-reference theology building a whole lot, especially with single verses. I prefer taking passages.

You and I both take Matthew 5-7 differently. You take the section on fasting as something that Jesus telling everyone to do. I'm saying he's using it to illustrate his point which he made in verse 1. If you restate your view of Matthew one more time, the xxth time won't change my mind and I suspect if I say the same thing again, one more time won't change yours. The Jews fasted. They could apply it directly. If you want to, knock yourself out. I don't see how he's telling us to fast today from that. Let's agree to disagree.


To say that a Gentile that prays with fasting will not be rewarded in a way related to the fast, is just not supported in Scripture. To say that God does not call Gentiles who neglect prayer with fasting foolish is also unsupported.

If you can find an epistle to the church that reiterates what Matthew 6 and 7 say in regard to this, then you've made your case. Until you can find support in epistles directed to the church, you haven't proven your case. And what do you do with people that fast and nothing apparently happens?


In 2 Cor 2:11 in hunger and thirst, in fastings often. If Paul's fasting here has no prayer connotation, then fasting would be doubly redundant, he would have ended the sentense at thirst. Also, hunger and thirst imply Paul want to eat, and not fast. The only other explantion besides bad grammar would be that he used the lack of food as occasion to pray and fast. As for the writings of Mr. Hodge, there are other Scriptural places where fasting used in a sentence without the word prayer, yet the context relates to prayer. For example we the Dan 10:2, fast and then in 10:12 that the fast involved prayer. Mat 6:16 says fast, but the previous verses (7-15) implies the 'fast' verse relates to prayer.

2 Corinthans 11:27 (not 2:11), has multiple interpretations. Hunger before it is often meant to be involuntary. "Fastings" after that (and not all translations use that term that the KJV does) could mean voluntary as opposed to involuntary and not a religious context. It doesn't assume nor imply prayer. It might have been the case, but Paul did not make that clear. You cannot exegete that. You can only eisrgete that. You are begging the question.

Quoting historically what Daniel did . . . I don't see what that adds to our conversation about the church today.


To your point with Sluggo, when Jesus did not say “God” must not live by bread alone, but He said man. And He said that “man” must live by every word from the mouth of God, not bread alone, in the context of fasting!

I don't see what this historical narrative has to do with implying or not implying fasting for the church today.


Cornelius’ praying with fasting produced a spiritual result, I bring up that point only to say fasting w prayer usually has spiritual results, even if you are not a Jew. ‘Man I wish I was Jewish so my prayers from my fasts would be rewarded .’ ;) Cornelius supports the fact that God desires 'man' to fast bread to live by the Word, not only 'Jews.' God supported the fast by sending a messenger to him.

Cornelius wasn't in the church at this point. This is not New Covenant theology.


Jesus implied that His disciples would fast with no less consistency and intensity that John’s disciples did. Their fasting however, would flow out of longing and mourning for Jesus as a Bridegroom, as they would miss Him. Jesus used their question to introduce Himself as a Bridegroom (Isa 62:5). He was introducing a new paradigm of fasting, a fast motivated by desire to encounter His Eph 5:29 'nourishing and cherishing' presence, the presence of a Bridegroom. This fast is something one could not do without an indwelling Spirit (the ‘wine'). Or an understanding to do it (wineskin).

Wineskins I now have come to discern refer to structures which facilitate the Wine, (Spirit.)
The new wineskin structure (NT community of believers) that replaced Synagogue-structures could hold the wine of Pentecost, for the Synagogue structures could not hold this wine. Churches still break and divide when they cannot hold the Spirit (reject It, ie. 'these men are drunk,' or 'I don't believe we can experience the Spirit'). There is a now a new wineskin in Spirit-believing churches that employs fasting as a means of hungering and thirsting for righteousness, (Mat 5:6) that they would be Eph 5:18; filled with the Spirit. This results in joy.

I think you're really stretching with the single verses you're taking from Ephesians to make your point.


Oh I’m not saying that verse is fulfilled in Mat 9, rather referenced. That Jesus was contrasting joy and mourning related to fasting is rather apparent, when we under stand that biblically, the Bridegroom reference almost always connotes joy or rejoicing. For many things Jesus said had OT significance. John 1:14 called Him the Word (or Scripture) made flesh, and John 5:39-40 supports this. This feast ultimately relates to the marriage supper of the Bridegroom in Rev 19:7. I think of the fast as 'mourning' to be closer to the Joyful Spirit.

I'm not sure where you're going. I don't know what you're trying to convince me of.


Yes Acts did have one, see above. And the question is ‘are they expected to fast?,’ not ‘are they mandated?’ Jesus gave the promise of the Father rewarding the fast to entice, not to command. Though He did command that when it is done, it be done unto the Father, (for that will be rewarded.) And then He said not heeding this would lead to a life that is overcome by a flood, built on sand. What can this suggest but that the reward of fasting is crucial to a life built on the rock?

But because the church currently lacks a Eph 1:17 Spirit of Revelation of the knowledge of Christ, we do not see how desirable being Eph 3:19 filled with the fullness of the Spirit of God is. New wineskins are needed.

You've quote four isolated verses out of Ephesians not connected to their context. Your attempt to connected being filled with the Spirit and fasting . . . I think you're making a monstrous, unwarranted stretch.

Are they expected? Are they mandated? It might be good for you to define "expected" and what you mean specifically. And then in the quote above you repeat your use of Matthew 7 which I'm not convinced that you've interpreted correctly. Saying it one more time next time won't change my mind.

Grace & peace to you,

Joe

Extravagance
Sep 3rd 2011, 07:20 AM
2 Tim 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

If this is true, then we should be able to take verses that deal with similar subjects but have different contexts and apply.

Does a disciple fast?
Would Jesus expect this behavior of a Gentile Person who calls themself a disciple? I concede the word expect. But anticipate? I submit that He would anticipate it if it had a postive effect on our prayer, and I believe you would agree, He does seriously expect and desire prayer from Gentiles.

Does fasting have a postive effect on prayer? What does fasting accomplish? I do not see where fasting does anything without prayer included. There is no indication that fasting would not work for a Gentile the way it would work for a Jew, and we agree it works for Jews. Isa 58:9 Then shall you call, and the Lord shall answer; you shall cry, and he shall say, Here I am. =answered prayer.

In John 6 Jesus choose a feast to speak of living water flowing from people who didn't even yet have full access to the Holy Spirit living water. I think He did it because the context was fitting to illustrate the contrast between feasting on food and feasting on Jesus who in v 35 says is the Bread of Life, and John 1:14 says is the Scriptures made flesh. Just before in the first chapter John says it is just before the feast and Jesus has just done the miracle of food multiplication and He then says "John 6:27 Labor not for the food which perishes, but for that food which endures unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you. 35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst.

So this is my question; why would we labor for the food if we have the indwelling Spirit and therefore we shall never hunger?
I believe the answer is in the Greek related to how Scripture says we experience the water and food of the Spirit (being filled with the Spirit), and how our hunger is quenched. When Jesus says in John 7:38 that 'out of our belly shall flow living water' the word belly is qereb which is inward parts or innermost man. Now interestingly Paul prayed in Eph 3:16 for the believers at Ephesus that they be strengthened with might in the innerman the greek for innerman is 'eso,' not qereb, not innermost man. He prayed for this so that the Eph 3:17 Spirit of Christ would dwell in their hearts and so they would "Eph 3:19 experience (epigos) the love of God, and be filled with the fullness of the (Spirit of) God."

So it is biblical to pray for our innerman to be strengthened so we can experience God more. Laboring in this way seems to be advised by Jesus.

2 Cor 12:9 gives a spiriutal principle that God’s strength is made perfect in voluntary and involuntary weakness. In 1 Cor 1 Paul talks about strength and in that chapter, Paul seems to refer to the cross that we as disciples must all pick up and follow. Luke 14:27 And whosoever does not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. Paul says this cross is foolishness to the world, and we know it is not a literal cross for us unless we are percecuted. Paul is referring to the weakness of the lifestyle disciples must live (2 Cor 5:15).

God has chosen weak things like fasting as a way into more of God. 1 Cor 1:27 God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty. Has not God chosen fasting as a weak thing, an expression of the cross that we are to embrace? It seems likely Paul referenced Isa 58: "Is this not the fast I have chosen" here.

He's chosen the weak thing of fasting as one way into the 1 Cor 1:23 power of God and the wisdom of God. For 2 Cor 12:9 God's strength is made perfect in weakness. If we want more spiritual strength, we must at times embrace weakness. When He Eph 3:16 strengthens us with might in the innerman, that might is to increase our ability/capacity to contain the Spirit of God, even eventually unto the fullness of God.

Sometimes you fast and your prayers are heard but you don't experience anything. Then at a later time your prayers are answered before you, if they be in the will of God. Sometimes you fast and you experienced being filled with the Spirit to the fullness, because that is your prayer. The Holy Spirit isn't at our command, but the Scriptures say He is willing to teach us(many) and fill us (Eph 5:18, etc). Lack of faith, disobedience and such can hinder the prayer of fasting. Isa 58:9 suggests the pointing of the finger (accusing brethern, judging those not under our authority) is a common hindrance.

We can experience answered prayer and the Spirit without fasting. Fasting is an intensifier, an accelerater, and is and expression of humility, desire and discipline. He doesn't command it. But He also doesn't tell new Covenant Gentiles that their fasts are less effective than new Covenant Jews. That you would be saying without Scripture to back you up.

Side note. Okay this has been a growing experience for me to understand context and application and that i why I've kept pressing on. I'm indeed out of my depth here. So thank you for indulging me here.
So by Disciples, I mean real disciples that the Apostles would call disciples. You think I mean New Covenant Gentiles, and you and brorog think all New Covenant Gentiles are disciples of Jesus. I think I may have a exaggerated understanding of the word Disciple influenced by Bonhoeffer's Cost of Discipleship, a Foster's Celebration of Discipline and 2 Cor 5:15. Luke 6:40 says it is enough that a disciple be as His master, maybe I take that too far in application. If a disciple just means someone who gives their life to Jesus and then goes to church on Sunday and their life is no different in discipline than a non-believer then yes fasting sure wouldn't be expected of him. For me when I felt the call to be a disciple the word evoked discipline and the high call to have Jesus as my master and to imitate Paul as He imitated Christ. But if it just means 'new covenant Gentile,' then I don't know. I just can't see where all past or all current New Covenant Gentiles are disciples in the sense of the word I'm familar with. The first post here pre-supposes that we are disciples after the model of Jesus' disciples.


Blessings
x