Mar 13

FROM FAITH UNTO FAITH (6)

Galatians chapter three is a great chapter in the Abrahamic Promise! It is also a very demanding chapter on “the faith” once delivered unto the saints (Jude). In this article we hope to reach the end of the chapter, as Paul does so beautifully.
Our first point that Paul has brought to our attention is that the faith had come, as he wrote: “But before faith came, …” (verse 23). If something had “came;” we know at least two things: 1) there was a time before the coming of it and 2) there is a period where the faith was or shall we say, “is?” Paul describes the period of time before the “faith” had come. He does so in these words: “But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed” (verse 23). We must stop and call attention to the pronoun in this verse, Paul uses the pronoun “we,” as in “we were kept under the law.” So, we must face the fact that we today are not included in the “we” of Paul’s words. However, over the years I have heard preacher after preacher and Bible class teacher after Bible class teacher, teach that this “we’ includes us today! Simply stated, we today are included in Paul’s “we.” Friends, it just is not true! How do I know this? Hear Paul: “we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards (notice Paul’s “afterwards;” this means there is a before) be revealed.” Two periods of time covered in Paul’s words: 1) the age of Moses and 2) the age of Christ, wherein Christ is the law giver. It was the Jews and not the Gentiles as Paul has so clearly stated, “kept under the law!” We today have never been under the law; therefore, we are not included in Paul’s “we!”
Paul further describes that period of time in these words: “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” There was no “justification under the law of Moses, as “justification” is in “the gospel of Christ!” Rom. 1:16-17). Once more before continuing, that we today are not included in Paul’s “us!” The “we” and the “us” are the same people, the Jews! Here is what Paul wrote and we would be amiss, if we did not point it out, that as Paul’s words state: “Wherefore the law was our (the Jews) schoolmaster.” Question: “What was the “schoolmaster?” Paul had just written, “the law was our schoolmaster.” The law was like a slave who oversaw a child’s growth and education, to see that the child received the right education. Therefore, as you read this, envision a slave who is responsible for the education of the child, here the Jews, the “schoolmaster” was to lead the child through the years until he could put the child (the Jews) hand’s until he could put that hand in the hand of Christ! This was the overriding purpose of the law of Moses, as it was in force unto the law of Christ was set forth.
Paul now writes: “But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster” (verse 25). Did you notice the words, “after that faith is come.” Yes, the Greek word “the” is in the Greek Majority Text. It is “the faith is come!” There was a time when “the faith” was not present but Paul says it had now come, it was a reality! When “the faith” had come, then, the Jews were no longer under a schoolmaster, as they were now under the “the faith!” Moving to verse twenty-six, which reads: “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” Yes, once more the “the” appears before the word “faith,” this means, it is referring to “the faith” which was once delivered unto the saints (Jude 3).
Paul has now reached the climax of the third chapter. This is done in verses twenty-seven and twenty-eight and concluding in verse twenty-eight and thirty-nine. Here are the words: “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” Here Paul’s aims, to show that it is Christ, in the gospel of Christ and not Moses for where salvation, justification, is in Christ! Here we must keep in mind, that Paul is addressing the Jews, he is reminding them, how they became children of God and it is in the gospel of Christ, it is Christ! In verse twenty-seven, Paul gives the reason, as it starts with that little Greek word “gar,” and it gives the reason for the above; therefore, “For,” “for” what? “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (verse 27). The reason for giving up Moses, the “schoolmaster” is that there is no salvation in Moses! ,Only those who have been baptized into Christ, are the children of God and no more! Yes, it is true that “baptism” stands between being in Christ and out of Christ. Is there salvation out of Christ? “God forbid!”
Concluding with Paul’s words: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (verse 27). In Christ we are one, we have all been saved in the same manner, by obeying the same gospel, which puts us in Christ! Therefore, Paul wrote: “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Here are those words “the promise.” Yes, the promise that God made to Abraham is fulfilled when we, both Jew and Gentile, are baptized into Christ, wherein we are all one!

Frank R. Williams

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Mar 06

FROM FAITH UNTO FAITH (5)

Is it “faith” as in “the faith” or is it “faith” as in my “faith?” This is the question of the day! As in the other four articles, we will continue to deal with this question in Galatians the third chapter. “Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law” (Gal. 3:21). It is only natural if you are a Hebrew in the first century and have been living under and faithful to “the law of Moses” as it is addressed in the question by Paul, a Hebrew!
The answer to Paul’s question: “is the law of Moses,” “against the promises of God?” God is never against himself, in what he says or what he had others to write! There are some, who try to justify their man-made teaching, who put “the teaching of Christ,” equal to saying “God’s teaching” against itself! (2 John 9). We do our absolute best never to do such! Oh, so clearly has Paul stated, that the law of Moses is never, no, not in even one point against “the teaching of Christ!”
Now, let us move to the next verse in Galatians chapter three: “if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.” (verse 21). We already know that “righteousness” come from “the gospel of Christ;” here is what Paul wrote on this subject: “the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth … For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith” (Rom.1:16-17). Therefore, the law of Moses was totally unable to bring righteousness, salvation! Once this truth is learned, it needs never to be brought up again! Remembering that truth never contradicts itself! Therefore, moving on with our subject: From faith to (unto) faith!”
Now here is the second most natural question: “Wherefore then serveth the law?” Gal. 3:19). So, why serveth the law?” Let Paul answer the second question: “It was added because of transgressions.” Here Paul continues: “The third question how long would the old law continue, Paul answers: “till the seed should come to whom the promise was made.” Remembering “the seed” is Christ Jesus! Paul now writes: “and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.” Before continuing, allow me to make a point that is so often totally overlooked? Who are the “angels” who “ordained” the law of Moses? The Greek word for “angels” is “aggelos” and means, “messenger” (Strong). So, who are the “messengers?” The messengers” are the Old Testament prophets! How else did the Hebrews and ourselves get the words of the Old Testament, wherein was “the promise?” Just for the fun of it, this question: “How do you know about the promise?” The law, as a “schoolmaster” gently took the hand of the Hebrew and put in the “hand” of Jesus who is the “mediator” of verse 19.
Here is verse twenty-one: “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” Just here, let us answer another question dealing with the word “faith” (pistis).” What “faith” does Paul have in mind here as he uses the Greek “pistis?” Is it our faith, or is it “the faith?” We can say that there is no finite article before the words “faith.” This by itself does remove the question, that Paul is not writing about “the faith,” as the context is the final word on the meaning of how a word is used. Read the text once more: “the faith of Jesus Christ” is not his personal faith but that which he delivered, “the teaching of Christ.” Read the next verse twice: “But before faith came,” “before faith came.” The “faith” that Paul is writing of, is one that “came;” once it was not but now it is here! Do not pull out your deep “thinking caps” just let Paul help us here, as he writes: “That the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” Here we have “the faith” that “came” put with “believing;” thus, from the body of faith to our believing. Therefore, it is as we conclude the article, “from faith unto faith – believing!”
“But before faith came” (verse 23). “the faith” has come and is what we live under today, as they did, to whom Paul is writing directly. Keep in mind, that Paul is continuing his thought of verse twenty-two, “that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” It is “from faith to (unto) faith! “But before (the, frw) faith came.”
More is coming in the next article!

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/from-faith-unto-faith-5/

Feb 26

FROM FAITH TO FAITH (4)

You may have noticed that words under which we have been writing have changed from article to article. Why is this? It is because the Greek word translated “to” and “unto” is “ace” and may be translated to the English “to,” “unto,” “by” “for,” as it often is, such as in Acts 2:38, “for the remission of sins.” The context may determine which is the best English word to convey the thought in the text. Through for the most part, all four may do so, while the English “for” may be the weakest.
We need to back up just a little in this article on the subject “from faith unto faith” in order to make a point or two. Starting with verse eighteen: “For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.” (chapter 3). Here the Greek word translated “for” is “gar,” which is one of my favorite little Greek words. This word gives the reason why the preceding verse is truth. Therefore, notice verse seventeen: “And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.” Here is the reason for verse eighteen being true; it is because of: “For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.” “The “promise” God gave to Abraham way before the law was. In one respect, we might see it this: “the promise” of a blessing coming through “the seed of Abraham” was given before the law of Moses came into being, before it was! It leap “frogged” over the law and landed in Christ! The three people who received the promised, were all three: 1) Abraham, 2) Isaac, and 3) Jacob, each one before the law; thus, no part of the law of Moses. Therefore, Paul wrote: “For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.” This is an important point; therefore, the Holy Spirit made here is Galatians.
Paul now asked a most natural question: “Wherefore then serveth the law?” (verse 19). The law of Moses had a most important purpose, as Paul now answers: “It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made.” It was “added,” the Greek “prostithemi” which means: “to place additionally, that is, lay beside.” In other words, there was “the promise” and running with it was the “law of Moses.” The law aided “the promise” to run its course and arrive at Jesus, the Christ, who is the promised “seed.” Now notice as Paul completed his point: “to place additionally, that is, lay beside. The point here “the promise” ran a long side of the law but was not part of it. Just for your information, let me make this point that is so often just read over; the pronoun “it” refers to the words “the promise.” “It was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.” The word “angels” means messagers, the prophets. One more point just here as the Holy Spirit said: “it was in the hand of a mediator.” We know what a “mediator” as it is used today; however, it is the Greek “mesites” and means, “go between.” This “mediator” would to serve. The “promise” and the law of Moses ran along side of each other until “the seed” should come. “The seed” was Jesus Christ!
Now, let us get back to our point of these artricles, as Paul now makes a most important point, and it is a natural point: “Is the law then against the promises of God?” Was it? Here Paul used two of my favorite, “God forbid,” which is the Greek “ginomai” and means: “to cause to be.” As you can see, the Greek word does not carry the idea of the English, however! God “caused it to be! What did God cause to be? Paul answers: “for if there had been a law given which could have given life.” The Greek word “gar” is the Greek used by Paul, which is a reason that it is true: “if there had been a law given which could have given life.” Was there such a “law?” Here Paul writes: “verily righteousness should have been by the law.” Was there such a law? No! As in “God forbid!” The apostle continued with: “verily righteousness should have been by the law.” Is this not reason? Yes, it is in every way! However, we already know that Paul had written in Romans: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16-17). The “righteousness of God” is in “the gospel of Christ which is God’s power unto salvation or righteousness!” Here the apostle makes the point: “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” Here our question is: is this “the promise of the faith,” or is it “the promise of faith?” I do believe you can see that even without the article “the faith is the intent but lo and behold” the article is “the” in the text! The word translated “by” is the Greek “ek:” we know it is “out of the,” and in the case here, “out of the faith!? The “promise” of the faith, and what else could it be, but by “the faith” as it was not through the law of Moses, as the promise ran beside the law of Moses and was not within it! Paul is addressing “the faith once for all time delivered unto the saints (Jude 3). Before concluding this article, let me point out, that, “the faith” was so that we might “believe!” There is our “From faith to (unto) faith!!

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/from-faith-to-faith-4/

Feb 20

FROM FAITH UNTO FAITH (3)

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also the Greek, For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” (Rom. 1:16-17)
This is the full text from which our subject is taken: “From faith to faith:” It is “from faith” that was once delivered (Jude 3) to our faith; that we believe. One is objective, never subject to change; while the second, our personal faith is subjective and is necessarily subject to change. The more we learn of the Bible the greater our faith; the more we learn, the greater our faith has to grow, as Peter wrote his last inspired words: “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever” (2 Pet. 3:18). It is a requirement that our “faith” grow, if we are to be pleasing to God. All that I write is in this vein of thought!
First, as we continue to look at Galatians chapter three. The “faith” is not a word pointing at our personal faith, but the faith by which we are saved, when we obey the gospel. Therefore: “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through (the, frw) faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed” (verse 8). The word, “through faith,” refers to “the faith” once delivered to the saints as Jude wrote. Second, “So then they which be of faith,” refers to “the faith” once delivered to the saints as Jude wrote. And they are “blessed with faithful Abraham” (verse 9). Once more the words “faith” refers to the faith, the written faith! And this is the way to be blessed with faithful Abraham (verse 9). Third, “But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, It is evident: for, The just shall live by faith” (verse 11). Here Paul wrote “the just,” which is the same as “The just shall live by faith,” of Romans chapter one seventeen: “The just shall live by “the, frw) faith” Then, the apostle writes: “And the law is not of (the, frw) faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them” (verse 12). Here the words are “the law (of Moses, frw) is not of (the, frw) faith but, The man that doeth them shall live them.” If one is going to live by the old law, he is bound to do all of it, not just a part of it! No one living today, follows all of it, no, not even the Jews in Israel!! The blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive “the promise of the Spirit through (the, frw) faith” (verse 14). It is here, that Paul pointed out, that those who receive “the promise of the Spirit,” which is a reference to the promise God made in Genesis, generally speaking, this is a reference to “the promise” God made to Abraham, that through his seed would all, both Hebrews and Gentiles, receive “the promise God made to Abraham. This is seen when Paul wrote in verse fourteen: “That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit” which the Gentiles’ could now receive by “the faith!” Now, notice what the apostle writes: “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made!”
Now, turning our attention to verse eighteen, which reads: “For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise but God gave it to Abraham by promise.” The inheritance” is what God promised Abraham and it is received through the gospel, which is “God’s power unto salvation.” (Rom. 1:16) and it is “from the faith to faith.”
Here let us conclude by saying, that “from (the, frw) faith to faith (our personal faith, our personal belief The argument is that salvation is through Christ by means of “the faith. “This is the same as we wrote in the last article. Therefore, “Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.” God is elevating Christ, the gospel, the “faith!” (verse 21).
We shall continue this study in the next article; if God’s wills!

Frank R. Williams

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Feb 13

FROM FAITH UNTO FAITH (2)

It is understood that there is disagreement about the word “faith” and how it is used in the New Testament. A brief look at a few statements will help us see this. Having identified “the faith” as used by Jude when he wrote: “… it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Noticing the words “the faith,” is used here just as Paul did in Romans one and verse seventeen in the first part, “from faith,” is here, referring to “the faith,” which once for all time was delivered, as Jude wrote! When this is understood, it requires us to see the same thing in other passages!
It will in fact, change the way we should see a text. Before getting into another passage, let us notice a few things that we all need to understand. First, the words “objective,” and “subjective. Objective is never changeable, while the second one “subjective” is changeable and in fact, it must change, and we must be willing to change. The first being never changing while the other is ever subject to change, as we learn more of “the faith!” ‘This basically defines the word “subjective,” otherwise we would never grow, as growth means change. Here we have Paul’s “from faith to faith;” “the faith” is not subject to change, but it continues to produce “faith” in our hearts/minds which must change. That is unless you know all there is to know, but as Peter wrote: “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever.” (2 Pet. 3:18). If our faith never changes, then, it means we will never grow, and we stand opposed to Peter’s inspired words and this we must never do! In Peter’s words we have found how our ever-changeable faith must continue to grow by means of the never changeable words, here we have Paul’s “from faith to faith!”
Let us now look at another text, one of the favorite verses the denominational folks just love! It is used by the denominational people to teach “faith only,” it reads: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” However, neither this text nor any other teaches “faith only!” So, just what does it teach? First, the text then, the Greek word that needs our attention, The text is: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” The words that have our attention are “through faith.” The Greek word translated “through” is “dee-ah,” and Strong gives this: “A primary preposition denoting the channel of an act.” The channel is “the faith!” Now, notice this, our faith is not the channel by which God’s grace is reached but “the faith” is.
In this text you can see what difference this would make in the text and what Paul is teaching! One difference is that what I believe, my personal faith, is subject to change, whereas “the faith,” ‘the teaching of Christ,” (2 John 9) is not subject to change! Even what I hold to be truth, is subject to change and must be as I learn more of the inspired scripture; on the other hand, no matter how little I know of the scripture, the Bible is not subject to change; at same time, no matter how much I know of the Bible, scripture is still not subject to change. As I learn more and more of the Bible, the more I must make the necessary changes in what I believe, I must make the necessary changes in my personal faith!
Truth never changes! Take the words Jesus said: “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:24). The words are clear, “if ye believe not,” then we will die in our sins! In another place Jesus said to the disheartened disciple: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me” (John 14:1). Though these words were spoken to the men who would be apostles of Christ, nevertheless, it is a universal truth, it was true then and it is true now! Jesus also said: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16).
Truth never changes but what we think is truth may change as we learn more and more as we go “from the faith” to our faith!

Frank R. Williams

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Feb 06

FROM FAITH UNTO FAITH (1)

Those who study the Bible, could tell you that the above words are found in the letter written to the church at Rome, the first chapter, in verse seventeen; or that they are found in the book to the church at Rome; or that they could be found in one of the letters to the churches; or that they could be found in the New Testament; or that they could be found in the Bible. In other words, the words under which we write are so well known that they are quickly identified! However, there is debate as to what they mean; or how they should be interpreted. Therefore, let us tackle these four little words!
Context is the first place to start as this is always true! That these words are found in the New Testament makes them important to our faith, as to our belief system. It is important to our believing, as part of our faith. Believing is a verb, while faith is a noun. One is active, subject to change; as who among us, has never changed some point, be it large or small, what we believe, as part of our body of faith. Believing is an activity, as in on going; while faith is subject to change only after we have studied to some degree on the subject. When we have completed our activity of believing; it becomes a part of our faith. If you will, please notice the line of thought, we study, as we are in the learning business; thus, we are believing as we are forming a body of belief, faith! “Faith” is the result of believing!
However, in what Paul has written, the second word “faith” should only follow the first word “faith;” which is the of word of origin, as a body of faith, of truth! The Greek word Paul/the Holy Spirit used is “ek” is “A primary preposition denoting origin (the point whence motion or action proceeds)” (Strong). Just here, allow me to inject the thought, that if our “faith” does not come from the right “origin,” the “faith,” it can never be acceptable to God!
Therefore, as Paul wrote, “from faith to faith,” the first word “faith” denotes origin, and the second word “faith” is the result of the first! You can never have “faith” as in the second word “faith” without the word “faith,” as in the first word “faith!” The second word “faith” is our body of “faith,” which we have arrived at “from’ the “origin of faith!” Sadly, many people do not have their “faith,” which has come from the right source, divine origin but their “faith” comes from something written by man! The conclusion is, the words “from faith to faith,” is simply, that our “faith” must come from the right “origin, the faith!”
He is telling us, that “faith,” our faith, is giving thought to what you are reading, we must not forget the “from” in Paul’s phrase: “from faith to faith!” The “from” is most important in our study of the phrase, “from faith to faith!” The second word “faith” comes from the first word “faith;” as the action is “from faith;” as in that which is stational, to the another “faith” that has been formed!
Jude, our brother in Christ, in his one-chapter epistle wrote very powerfully: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). The words that have our attention are, “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Jude, in using the words, “the faith” is not our personal faith but the “delivered” faith!” The Greek expresses “once for all time deliver.” When the last word, or as we might say, when the last “period” written, or had been posted, inspiration in man ended!
Jude is addressing a point, that, at the time, were more needed than what we might call the plan of salvation itself! This is not to say, that the words he did write are not part of our salvation, but Jude is addressing the part of salvation, that ears are not always glad to hear, as in “earnestly contend”, which is the Greek, “epagonizomai,” and means that we are “to struggle for the faith!” It expresses effort, to keep “the faith” and is not just for ourselves but for all mankind!
Jude used the word “faith” in the same manner that Paul did, when he wrote “from faith.” The “from faith” is “the faith which was once for all time delivered unto the saints!” Meaning once “the faith” had been completed, totally delivered, inspiration in men ended and inspiration in the book and is where “the faith” is found! Therefore, it is “from faith to faith!”

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/from-faith-unto-faith-1/

Jan 29

DID JESUS HAVE SUPERNATURAL HELP IN FASTING (5)?

This closing article under the above heading, we will deal with subject question: “Can humans’ live without food and water for forty days and forty nights?” Do we have accounts of such? Would it surprise you to read of such? Would such make your faith stronger in Jesus’ “forty days and forty nights fast? Allow me here to answer that last question with a strong, “No!”
Our faith does not rest upon earthly evidence, such as science, archeology, space-ology, or any “ology!” These “ologies” may or may not go hand-in-hand with the Bible, but the Bible is proof enough! These “ologies” are more for the “un-believer!” I confess, they may give the “believer” a boost. Yet, as has been the case several times, the “ologies” have been wrong. Let Paul answer this question of where does our faith/believing come from; as he wrote in Romans 10:17: “akoe” which means: “the thing heard; Thayer also says the word is a noun and not a verb! If one would take the time, to look at the Greek word,” which is used in verse sixteen, which reads: “But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report (akoe)?” It is easy to see here that the word is a noun, and the same thing is true of “akoe” in verse seventeen! In the book of Hebrews, the writer said: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb. 11:6). These words were written long before these “so-called” evidences were discovered.
Now let us return to our main subject, “Can a person live without food and water “forty days and forty nights?” Here we will move outside the Bible, and no this is not a contribution of the above! We are not questioning Jesus’ fasting “forty days and forty nights!” We simply ask if people have lived “forty days and forty nights,” from the stand point of a nonbeliever. Can we prove to him/her that a person can truly live for “forty days and forty nights” without food and water? The answer to our question is, yes! But let us look at a case or two. Here I will use an article from “Reason and Revelation” written by Jeff Miller PH.D. and Kyle Butt M. Div, the date of November 2020; thus, the following is here given: 1) there is documented cases of people surviving for 40 days (and longer) with water but no food, (Michael Peel (1997), (British Medical Journal. Hunger Strikes, The British Medical Journal). 2) “With body weight (especial if the content, genetic makeup, gender, and age affecting survival times. “Dr. Peter Janiszewski wrote: Generality appears as though humans can survive without any food for 30-40 days as long as long as they are properly hydrated.” Here I continue to quote from the article: “Several symptoms of starvation begin around 35 – 40 days, and as highlighted by the hunger striker of the Maze Prison in Belfast in the 1980,’ death can occur at around 45 -65 days.” (ibid). One of the more remarkable fasts was undertaken by Terence MacSwiney. In a hunger strike, MacSwiney went more than two months without food, dying of starvation after 74 days.” (ibid) This means nothing to the case of Jesus fasting “forty days and forty night!”
Here we give a little information on how a person can survive without food for a long period. Once more quoting from the article listed above. “How is that possible for the human body to go so long without food? One reason is that the body was designed with the ability to adjust its metabolism when energy is scare.” Continuing to quote from the article by Miller and Butt, “After your body converts its food into glucose and its glucose supply is exhausted (within 24 hours), our body begins accessing energy in different ways. First the liver is stimulated to make more glucose. After two or three days, fat tissues become the main energy source, and finally, your body enters into ketosis, where fatty acids are used by the liver to form ketones which fuel the brain.” You maybe reading more than you want to know, but I must quote this type of information is over my “paygrade.” Continuing to quote, “After fatty acids in the body have been depleted, the body switches to muscle protein as its main energy source, until the muscles in the body (including the heart) have been depleted. Again, the length of time that this process takes hinges on many factors. It is ironic that the most up-to-date reach puts the general limit of fasts at 30 – 40 days.” (ibid).” With this information in our hands, it is easy to conclude, that though it was hard for Jesus, to fast the “forty days and forty night,” we have seen others have done the same, though for different reasons.
Here we conclude from the article as it brings us to a good conclusion. “Thus, not only is there nothing about the 40-days fast of Christ that calls into question the Bible’s accuracy, but it actually coincides perfectly with modern research, adding yet another piece of evidence that is of the Bible’s truthfulness, (ibid). With this the series of articles on fasting is concluded!

-Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/did-jesus-have-supernatural-help-in-fasting-5/

Jan 23

DID JESUS HAVE SUPERNATURAL HELP IN FASTING (4)?

This is our fourth article written under the above title. In this article we will look at Jesus’ “forty day and forty night” fast! Of course, the subject comes from the text of Matthew and Luke, as they cover the event. The overriding subject is twofold: 1) Did Jesus have “supernatural” aid in this fast? And 2) Is it possible for a person to go without food and water, or water and no food? Thus, we will use this article on the above subject to tackle the two questions. In the last article (#3) it was pointed out that great Bible scholars believed that Jesus did have “supernatural aid during his “forty days and forty nights fast.” There are two things in my mind that must be addressed, in doing our best to answer the two questions.
First, did Jesus have “supernatural” help – aid, to get him through this fast? There are no words that bring me to reach the conclusion that Jesus had such aid, during the “forty days and forty nights.” However, there was a case where a man was aided during a “forty days and forty nights” and this was Moses! The text reads as follows: “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” (Ex.34:28)
Notice that the text reads: “he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights.” when Moses questioned who shall I say sent me? God answered, tell them that: “I AM THAT I AM …sent me” (Ex. 3:14). This leads God to say to Moses and this is the greatest verse in all the Bible! God said to Moses tell them, the children of Israel, “I AM hath sent me,” we must not pass over the word “LORD” in Exodus 3:2 it is the Hebrew “yeh-ho-vaw’.” Every time you read the word “LORD,” it is this Hebrew word (To the best of my memory.) and is in all “Capital letters,” it is this word. This Hebrew word is always translated “LORD!” meaning, as we know the subjects included in this word are God! I would translate the word into English as Godhead, meaning all that is God. “The LORD” appeared to Moses in the “burning bush,” that did not burn up! It was here that the “LORD” introduces himself to Moses! I would love to get into this subject, but it is not our subject at this time; Thus, we must move forward with Moses and his “fasting!”
Was Moses aided in his “fasting?” He was in the presence of God, the LORD! Where he remained for “forty days and forty nights?” Sometimes we look at a text without regard to all Bible contexts. Meaning what does the Bible say, on the subject elsewhere. Therefore, our question: “Did Moses really see God?” This question can be answered with the words of Jesus, when he said: “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:18). Save this debate on your own time, as I have no time to debate with Jesus! Therefore, Moses did not truly see God. We reach this conclusion, as we look at the Greek word used by Jesus, which is “oo-dice” which means: “not even one (man, woman or thing), that is, none, nobody” (Strong). Do the words of Jesus answer the question as to whom Moses saw? I will stand with Jesus every time! Now, did Jesus have “aid” or “help” from the supernatural, as in God?” There is little to be gained from Jesus’ fast of “forty days and forty nights,” if he had supernatural aid. It is not really a demonstration of Jesus’ self-control, if he had such aid!
The above truth does not end our study of the subject of “fasting,” however, we can learn more with a study of the early church and fasting. The one that stands out in my mind is the event when elders were appointed, Luke wrote: “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” (Acts 14:23). Fasting here is used to show the seriousness of appointing elders! It is the most solemn positive act a local congregation may do. I would point out, that with the “fasting” with “prayer,” once more showing the solemn event of appointing elders! There is no indication that “fasting” was a requirement but a freedom. It is also pointed out just here, how long did the church fast, one or two days?
Let me point out, that there is no spiritual gain in fasting, no matter how long one may fast, if it is not paralleled with prayer! Never to my mind was the local church commanded to fast! Also, the fasting is to be tied to prayer, as not eating while one is praying. It is hard to eat while praying!

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/did-jesus-have-supernatural-help-in-fasting-4/

Jan 15

DID JESUS HAVE SUPERNATURAL HELP IN FASTING (3)?

This third article, on the subject of the different kind of fasts; they are: 1) The Absolute Fast, 2) The Partial Fast, and 3) The Normal Fast. The type of these “fasts” can be seen in the words by which they are identified, by how they are described. the key words are: 1) Absolute, 2) Partial, and 3) Normal. Lets get our “thinking caps,” on about this question: what type of “fasting” did Jesus do as recorded by Matthew. The text reads, “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred” (Matt. 4:1-20). Did you note that there is nothing to identify what kind of “fasting” Jesus did and this is also true of the other “fasts.”
With the above set in our minds, let us get to the third of the “fasts,” identified by “The words “The Normal Fast”. One would except to read more of this type in the scriptures than the other two “Fasts.” Here are a few of them. First, 2 Samuel 12:16-20, which reads: “David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted (the Hebrew word: tsoom or tsome), and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them. And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead? But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead. Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread (Notice here the words, “they set bread before him.” The “fast” ended. The word “bread” may be a synecdoche, where the part is put the whole’, a complete meal.), before him, and he did eat.” Nothing is said about not drinking water, or otherwise. This “fasting” would fall under the words, “The Normal Fast.” Here we will note the Hebrew word “tsoom or tsome” which means: “to cover over (the mouth), that is, to fast” (Strong).
Second, let us read the following: “Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD, Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come. Is not the meat cut off before our eyes, yea, joy and gladness from the house of our God? (Joel 1:14-16). Notice the words, “Is not the meat cut off before our eyes.” Here too is the Hebrew word “tsome” is used in the text and still means “to fast.” This also would be “The Normal Fast.” This brings us to Jesus and his “fast.”
Mathew recorded the event, so: “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit (Allow me to point out the word “Spirit,” though it is capitalized, this is only the work of the translator of the King James Version. However, when looking at Luke chapter four, the word: Holy Spirit appears; therefore, the conclusion could rightly be perceived that Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit. Yet, this is something that one should study.) into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.” Matt. 4:1-2)
For the sake of honesty, and we must always be so, I call attention to the fact that J. W. McGarvey (A Bible scholar known round the earth in his day.) argued that Jesus’ temptation fast was an example of a super-natural fast.” McGarvey played on the words, “afterward he was hungry.” Of course, would you not be “hungry” if had you fasted for forty days and nights? Yes, of course, you would and so would I; and so did Jesus!
We are now set for the next article: “DID JESUS HAVE SUPERNATURAL HELP IN FASTING.” My objection to McGarvey is that, if Jesus was aided by the Holy Spirit to endure the fast, what about the rest of us? Even in the time of miracles, between now and next article, study Matthew and Luke’s account of Jesus’ temptation. Was it then, and is it now, impossible to go without food, without food and water, without water for forty days and forty nights!
This will be the subject of the next article on the fasts!

— Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/did-jesus-have-supernatural-help-in-fasting-3/

Jan 07

DID JESUS HAVE SUPERNATURAL HELP IN FASTING (2)?

If Jesus used the aid of supernatural power to aid him in getting through the “fasting” of Matthew, four, verses one and two, which reads: “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered?” This is a most interesting point to ponder!
If Jesus had supernatural power to aid him, in time of temptation, and we are to go through the same type of “temptation,” without the aid of “supernatural powers,” does this make us stronger than Jesus when facing temptation? Now, really give some thought to this question!
With the above thoughts in our mind, let us notice a second type of “fasting,” than was noted in the first article. There are at least three types of “fasting’ and they are: 1) The Absolute Fast, 2) The Partial Fast, and 3) The Normal Fast. In the first article we covered, maybe in an incomplete manner, but it was written with the hope the reader would come away with a better understanding the fasts in the Bible.
In looking at the “Partial Fast,” we will look at Daniel, chapter one, verse 8, which reads: “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore, he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” Now read with me verses 9 – 12: “Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs. And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king. Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.” Now, why would we call this “fast” a” Partial Fast?” It might be, in the simple answer, it fit the circumstances! It was not too much nor was it too little for the occasion!
Continuing with Daniel, attention is called to Chapter ten: “In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing and had understanding of the vision. In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled” (verses 1-3). The circumstances called for this type of “fast,” the “Partial Fast!” Here a longer time was called for. This also helps us understand that it was not the number of days and nights, but the circumstances which called for what we are calling “The Partial Fast.”
You may have heard of someone making a vow, to drink no coffee for a week. This would be a “partial fast.” A person may vow to give up chocolate for a whole month. At which time the person would eat enough chocolate, as though he would have eaten during the month, had they were not been in a “partial” fast. If this were done as a religious act, would we call it an honest “fast”? No!
Now, we are not writing on the subject of “fasting, just to fill space in our bulletin. No, as the subject of “fasting” comes up in the religious world in general but also at times within the Lord’s church but to have a better understanding of the subject. To this point, we have briefly covered the “Absolute Fast,” and now “the Partial fast.” This means that we have one to go, which here is being called “The Normal Fast.”
As we bring this article to a conclusion, the question often comes up among Christians who believe in “fasting” as a religious act, or should we say, non-religious act? We do know that the early church, the church revealed upon the pages of the New Testament. I have pointed out in the past, that the early church at times did fast, while we eat “pot-luck” meals together! Is the church today better off in this act of eating? While I do not know this about the church, but the waist line has gone to “pot,” as in “potbellied!”

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/did-jesus-have-supernatural-help-in-fasting-2/

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