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Saturday, February 11 2017
Man Shall Not Live By Bread Alone
"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God"
"Fast," as the English word that refers to abstaining from eating (and usually drinking), originated from an Anglo-Saxon word, foest, which meant to hold firm against eating (the English "hold fast" and "fasten" originated from the same original word, which produced other terms, such as "steadfast" which is merely another pronunciation of stand fast). While many regard fasting as an unusual practice, or something that only "religious" people do, fasting is actually a natural daily occurrence for everyone (unless some health issue precludes safely fasting overnight) - the English word "breakfast" refers to breaking the fast after the many hours of a night's sleep.
In referring to longer periods of abstinence, "fast" is used to translate the Hebrew word of the Old Testament, pronounced tsoom, which literally means to cover the mouth, as in to fast. In the New Testament, "fast" is used to translate the Greek word, pronounced nace-tyoo-oh, which specifically means to abstain from food.
The longest fasts recorded in the Holy Scriptures were the miraculously-enabled (such long fasts would have been fatal otherwise) forty-day fasts of Moses, Elijah and the Messiah.
"34:27 And the LORD [see Who Is The LORD?] said unto Moses [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Moses], Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel [see also Israel In History and Prophecy: The New Covenant]. 34:28 And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments." (Exodus 34:27-28 KJV)
It was a purposeful lesson that those three men, Moses (representing God's Law of true Freedom; see The Yoke Of Freedom and The Constitution Of The Kingdom Of God), Elijah (representing the prophets; see The Prophets: What Is A Prophet?) and the Messiah (Who unified the Law and the prophets in Him; see The Feast Of Trumpets Prophecy) also appeared together in the "transfiguration" - a prophetic vision of the future Kingdom of God (see The Church In The Kingdom Of God and What Is The Day Of The LORD?).
"17:1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother [see also What Did Peter and John See That Others Didn't?], and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 17:2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 17:3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
"It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God"
The most well-known fast of Bible History, for the Day of Atonement, began as commanded by "the LORD God," Who was Jesus Christ: "10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ." 1 Corinthians 10:1-4 KJV) to The First Christian Church after the Exodus (again, see Who Is The LORD?). It has been one of the true Christian Holy Days ever since (see Calendar of Christ's Holy Days).
"23:26 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 23:27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. 23:28 And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.
The believers of the LORD chose to occasionally fast for other reasons as well, usually during times of tribulation.
"20:26 Then all the children of Israel, and all the people, went up, and came unto the house of God [see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Tabernacle], and wept, and sat there before the LORD, and fasted that day until even, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD." (Judges 20:26 KJV)
The Messiah taught fasting, including prayer and fasting on occasion (see also the Fact Finder question below).
"17:18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour [see The Healing Spirit].
As with so many other things, the religious authorities of that time perverted right things of the LORD into their own ideas of religion. The Messiah rebuked and condemned such self-righteous hypocrisy (see Religious Parties and Is Your Church A Cult?). Notice that Christ didn't say not to fast; He said don't fast like a for-show hypocrite.
"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. 6:17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; 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." (Matthew 6:16-18 KJV)
The "New Testament" Church occasionally fasted in the same way, and for the same reasons, that God's true people always have (keeping in mind that those with health issues that prevent safe and healthy fasting should not fast).
"13:1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 13:2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul [see Straight Street] for the work whereunto I have called them. 13:3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. 13:4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus." (Acts 13:1-4 KJV)
Fact Finder: Why is "prayer and fasting" beneficial?
This Day In History, February 11
660 BC: The traditional date for the founding of Japan by Emperor Jimmu Tenno.
55: Britannicus, a son of Roman emperor Claudius, was poisoned. It paved the way for Nero to become emperor (see also Nero's Torches).
1531: King Henry VIII appointed himself supreme head of his new Church of England after the Church of Rome refused to permit the king's adulterous re-marriages.
1554: Lady Jane Grey, who was Queen of England for 9 days, was beheaded for treason along with her husband Lord Dudley.
1573: English explorer and naval hero (i.e. in the battles against the Spanish Armada) Francis Drake sighted the Pacific Ocean.
1703: Godard van Reede-Ginkel, 1st earl of Athlone, died at age 59. The Dutch soldier, while in English service, completed the conquest of Ireland for Prince William of Orange (King William III of England) against the forces of the deposed King James II after the Revolution of 1688.
1790: The Religious Society of Friends, known as the Quakers, petitioned the new U.S. Congress for abolition of slavery in "the land of the free." The request was denied (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence remained slave holders for their entire lives).
1812: Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry signed a law changing the state's electoral boundaries to ensure a Republican victory. The manipulation gave rise to the term "gerrymandering."
1858: Bernadette Soubirous, 14, began 5 months during which she claimed to have 18 visions of Mary at Lourdes (if the girl saw anything at all, it wasn't Mary - Mary is dead, awaiting her resurrection like everyone else; see What Does The Bible Really Say About Mary? and The Sleep Of Death).
1873: King Amadeo of Spain abdicated. It led to the proclamation of the first Spanish republic.
1919: Friedrich Ebert was elected the first President of the German republic. He helped to bring about the Weimar constitution that tried to unite Germany after the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1922: The discovery of insulin by Frederick Banting and Charles Best was announced in Toronto.
1929: In the Lateran Palace in Rome, Benito Mussolini (representing the Italian king) and Cardinal Gasparri (representing Pope Pius) signed 3 historic documents (1) The Lateran Treaty gave the pope full sovereignty and temporal power over the 110-acre Vatican City. (2) a financial agreement compensated the Vatican for its surrender of claims to the old Papal States. (3) a concordat established Roman Catholicism as the official religion of Italy.
1945: The Yalta Conference of Winston Churchill of Britain, Franklin Roosevelt of the U.S. and Joseph Stalin of Russia ended.
1953: U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower refused a clemency appeal for Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. The couple were later executed by electric chair at New York's Sing Sing prison. Eyewitnesses recorded the Rosenbergs' death, noting that Julius Rosenberg died after the first electric shock, while his wife did not. After three electric shocks, guards removed her strapping and hood only to find that Mrs. Rosenberg was not dead. Two more electric shocks were then applied, from which smoke and the odor of burning flesh rose from her body in the chamber.
1970: Japan became the 4th country to put a satellite into orbit.
1975: Margaret Thatcher became the first woman leader of a British political party when she was elected leader of the Conservatives.
1990: Nelson Mandela released from a South Africa prison after 27 years on charges of treason.