Jan 23

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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

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