The Day of Atonement is a day of fasting in which nothing is taken into the body for a full night and day. Fasting is often called “afflicting the soul [body]” and is meant to teach us to hunger and thirst after godliness in sincere repentance from all sin.
AN ALLEGORY: We ARE the bride of Christ
When we are in deep passionate love with our physical mates or spiritual espoused Husband as yesterday’s post described, we want to please our Lover, and our spiritual LORD with all our being.
Now if we have a spat or something comes that offends the one we truly love with all our hearts; what do we do? Why we stop at nothing to repair the relationship and reconcile to the one we love!
When we are separated by offenses from our lover we are heart sick, miserable; often we cannot eat or sleep, overcome by anxiety and severe pain of our mind and spirit, often we will set aside everything else to work out a reconciliation. In terms of our relationship with our spiritual Husband Jesus Christ; He is the perfect Husband and only our own sins can separate us from his profound love.
Romans 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
It is our own sins that separate us from our beloved Husband!
Isaiah 59:1 Behold, the Lord‘s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
Speaking of a woman as the spiritual Bride of Christ here [in physical relationships BOTH mates should seek reconciliation whole heartedly]: If a person who is called out as a part of the collective spiritual bride of Jesus Christ, a loving husband; should suddenly fall to a temptation follow another away from Him, committing spiritual adultery: What must be done?
When we come to our reason and realize that we are in error and sin on ANY point, thereby separating ourselves from our Beloved. Is it not incumbent on us to acknowledge the sin that separates us from our beloved and quickly and sincerely repent?
If we truly loved our spiritual Husband, if we truly loved Christ in deed and not just words: we would throw ourselves at the feet of her husband and beg for his mercy; his understanding, his forgiveness.
The same is true of our spiritual relationship with our spiritual Husband Jesus Christ. When we go astray and act contrary to his Word, when we follow others instead of him in spiritual adultery, when we set up men and false teachings as idols in our hearts and obey them instead of our Husband: When we see that we have sinned: Then we are to throw ourselves on his mercy and seek his tender mercies in sincere repentance with all our hearts.
When there is much true love and one’s foot slips and the other is offended; does it not immediately become our sole mission in life to effect a reconciliation? Do we not focus all of our efforts and attention on the one goal of repairing the relationship?
You who have loving and sound marriages understand what I am talking about and others will just have to imagine this; but when anything at all threatens a good loving marriage: both sides will not rest until the threat is past. I am talking about real genuine love here; something that is badly lacking in the Church and in our society at large.
Let us understand that the Covenant we have with Jesus Christ is a MARRIAGE COVENANT!
We are espoused to our Lord as a wife undergoing a period of testing to see if we will make a good wife for him. If our love for him should endure and we allow nothing to jeopardize our relationship: If we always put our espoused Husband first; before any other man or god: if we remain faithful to him alone: then we shall be chosen at the resurrection to spirit and become fully at one in spirit with our Lord!
Like a loving husband and wife; if we let absolutely nothing threaten that relationship. And if something does; if some sin enters in. We must quickly repent, throwing ourselves on the mercy of our Lord; seeking reconciliation and a renewing of the relationship. We must diligently seek his forgiveness until it is given: allowing absolutely NOTHING to interfere with our goal until the relationship is restored. We must throw ourselves at his feet in the same way that an erring spouse would repent and beg for mercy.
That is what fasting is all about!
When there is a marital fight; a true lover feels literally sick; he or she cannot eat; they cannot sleep, or think about anything else: Only about repairing the breach between them. That is what fasting is all about!
Fasting is about turning from sin [which separates us from our Lord]; it is about repenting from emotional and spiritual adultery: as we for a small moment were deceived to follow someone else. As we for a moment followed some leader away from him.
Brethren; to follow men instead of our Lord; is spiritual Adultery. As soon as it is recognized it MUST be repented of; and we MUST seek out our Lord and seek to repair the breach with ALL our hearts. That is what fasting is all about! Fasting is sincere repentance and the seeking of our God with all our hearts; to the exclusion of all else including eating and drinking.
The purpose of fasting is to humble ourselves and destroy our personal pride, to sincerely repent of sin; which comes between us and God, separating us from our spiritual Husband.
Fasting is to turn from our own ways and turn back to God. It is to seek God with all our beings to the exclusion of all else.
We should NEVER fast to try to get something until we have FIRST repaired our relationship with God and repented of our sin, reconciling to him. Once we have sincerely repented of being selfishly zealous for our own ways and neglecting zeal for the whole word of God; then we can make our petition to God and he will hear us.
1 John 3:21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. 22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
Let each person fast in sincere repentance to seek forgiveness and reconciliation with God will all their hearts; then the sin which is the fundamental cause of the problem will be rooted out and forgiven.
Only when each person has turned to our Lord with all his strength and heart will God correct the problem. It may well be as in the case of Job that God allowed the problem in the beginning to cause us to turn to him in repentance.
Fasting accomplishes nothing if we then continue in sin! It serves NO purpose; we are to fast in repentance from sin, committing to “Go and sin no more!” We are not to fast so that we may feel righteous about ourselves as we continue in sin.
Fasting should never become a matter of routine or self justification, after which we go on our way as before.
The job of any godly person who has the means, is to tell God’s people their sins and call them to repentance. That job begins with the Ekklesia and then spreads out to others. It is when the elders refuse to do this job and become lax themselves that others must step up and be counted.
Isaiah 58:1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
Today the brethren take delight in going to services and giving the appearance of seeking of godliness and of being righteous; but it is all appearance with no substance.
58:2 Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.
They fast and then ask why God does not see and help them; when they were fasting to get what they wanted and to have their own ways; instead of repenting and humbling themselves to abandon their false ways and turn to all the teachings and commandments of God.
Behold while many fast, you continue in your own false ways, taking pleasure in your worldliness and many abuse others.
58:3Wherefore 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.
Often we fast for our own advantage over others; and continue to smite out neighbor. We are NOT to fast to feel righteous in our own eyes and to seek advantage over others, or to continue on our own ways contrary to the word of God.
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. 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?
The godly acceptable fast is the fast of repentance of standing on our own ways and humbling ourselves before God.
58:6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness [to turn from our evil doings and humble ourselves before God to DO his will], to undo the heavy burdens [to repent of oppressing others, like Pack, Flurry, Meredith and other elders and brethren do], and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke [to repent and break the bondage and yoke of sin]?
We are to fast and repent and learn of the mercy of God, to begin to help others; and to bring our pride down to contrition and start eating and internalizing the whole bread of life, the whole word of God.
It is a disgrace that some even turn away from their own flesh and reject them, simply because they attend a different corporate church within the Ekklesia.
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?
When our pride is removed and we are repentant of following men, corporations and our own false traditions; when we follow the whole word of God: Then the light of our example will shine forth and we shall become like Christ. Our spiritual health shall become as a Mighty Man of Strength through the word and spirit of God that we follow and our reward will be to become like-minded and in total Spiritual Unity with the Father and Jesus Christ.
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.
God will answer us if we fast the fast of repentance to learn of his ways to DO them; casting aside our pride and the ways of our own imagination.
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 [burden of sin], the putting forth of the finger [falsely accusing], and speaking [the emptiness of false teachings] vanity;
If we preach the truth of the bread of life to the spiritually hungry and deliver the afflicted to the gospel of Jesus Christ; which is the whole word of God; and if we set the example of the mercy and righteousness of Christ: We shall shine forth the light of godliness and the righteousness of the whole word of God.
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 noon day:
The following is true SPIRITUALLY in this dispensation as it was physically in the Mosaic Covenant.
To make fat is a reference to the opposite of famine; it means to make strong and healthy; this is also a New Covenant reference to making spiritually healthy and full of the good things of the spirit, as it was to the physical blessings of keeping the Mosaic Covenant.
58:11 And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat [healthy] thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
The person who takes a stand for the whole Word of God, in its complete physical and spiritual sense; to learn it and to do it; is standing in the breach between God and the people, and shall build up those places that have fallen waste through sin and the correction of our Maker.
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.
Those who make the seventh day Sabbath [Fri sunset to Sat sunset] their delight and are zealous to keep it in its full sanctity; who reject doing their own pleasure like participating in sin by buying food and service in restaurants, cooking and doing any work or paying others to work [except for doing what God has commanded to be done on Sabbath, and acts of mercy to care for man and beast], are honoring their Father in heaven according to the commandments and shall reap a blessing for doing so.
Brethren we pollute the Sabbath by even speaking of business! We are to speak of the scriptures and holy things and we are NOT to speak of worldliness and our own words; and yes, we are not to gossip about family things either. Save your own words for other times, and use God’s time to speak of him.
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:
Deuteronomy 5:16 Honour thy father and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
When we think about, and hear, and speak of the whole word of God; we learn of the wondrous perfection of all his ways; and by following the Father and Christ and longing to be with them, learning of them both and keeping all the ways of God, doing all we can to please God and become like our Father and espoused Husband, on HIS Sabbath Day; they will bless for learning and keeping the whole Word of God.
To go to a service and then do our own thing, and speak our own words the remainder of the day; is to pollute the Sabbath and is SIN! It is dishonoring our Father and it is STEALING God’s time, which is NOT our time, to do as we want with!
To do our own thing and to speak our own words on Sabbath; is to demonstrate to Christ and the Father that we are only attending for social purposes and to experience an emotional feeling of righteousness, of thinking of ourselves as pretty good godly people!
That is SELF- righteousness and NOT godly righteousness; for godly righteousness would be focusing on the whole word of God and not on our own pleasures on GOD’S DAY!
Isaiah 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.
When we are rejected by Christ and cast into great tribulation, it is not that he cannot save us; it is that we have first rejected his ways for our own ways, toleration of false teachings and rejection of the knowledge of the whole word of God.
The truth is; We have rejected him and his ways for our own ways and he is just tired of pleading with us to learn and keep the way of life.
Isaiah 59:1 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
Again telling a partial truth for the purpose of deceiving about the whole truth is lying. This form of lying has become an art on the church of God groups. We are defiled with the blood of those we have not warned to repent and to zealously embrace the whole Word of God. We are full of sin and we have spoken to turn people away from any zeal for all the teachings and commandments of Christ.
59:3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.
There is no justice in the church of God and we persecute the zealous and speak false teachings instead of the truth of God’s word.
59:4 None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.
Many hide themselves behind a cloak of an appearance of worldly goodness, to strike out at those passing by and take them unawares into their deceptions.
59:5 They hatch cockatrice’ eggs, and weave the spider’s web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper.
We are spiritually naked, bereft of the garments of righteousness, as we try to hide ourselves behind a cloak of our own ways.
59:6 Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands.
Many religious leaders and elders are full of sin and run to teach their own evil ways to others, not being zealous not live by every Word of God
59:7 Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.
These men do not know the way to peace with the Father, or even peace among themselves; they each do what is right in our own eyes and seek personal exultation and advantage against the other.
59:8 The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.
The lukewarm for the whole Word of God in the Ekklesia; lack the light of God’s Spirit because they have quenched that Spirit; rejecting the Word of God and teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. We are spiritually blind and know it not (Rev 3:16 ).
59:9 Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness. 59:10 We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noon day as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men.
We have strayed from the whole Word of God and are filled with sorrows caused by our wickedness, and yet we count ourselves righteous.
59:11We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us.
The scripture is written, first; for those who are expected to understand it. This is about US personally, about those who call themselves by the name of God! Jesus Christ is about to reject us from his body for standing on our own false traditions and rejecting him and any zeal to live by every Word of God.
59:12 For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them;
We pollute the Sabbath and High Days, we idolize men and organizations, committing spiritual adultery against our espoused Husband by exalting our idols of men, organizations and false traditions above the word of God and then we dare to call ourselves by the name of God.
We lie against Christ by saying that we can do whatever we want and he will overlook it; when we are to live by every Word of God.
59:13 In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt [against the teachings and commandments of Christ], conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood [to deceive people away for Christ to gain a personal following].
59:14 And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.
59:15 Yea, truth [sound doctrine] faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey [the faithful to God have become victims of the wicked in the corporate Ekklesia] : and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no [godly] judgment.
Jesus Christ will repay us for all our many sins against him; he WILL reject us for we have rejected him; and he will correct us in the furnace of affliction that by the destruction of the flesh we may be humbled and spiritually saved.
59:16 And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. 59:17 For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.
Christ will humble spiritual and physical Israel and every nation, and will bring them to contrite repentance before him.
59:18 According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence.
Then Christ and all his teachings and commandments will be respected, learned and kept in the earth and when the enemy comes pouring into Jerusalem he will come and set his Banner in Jerusalem and save Jacob and all repentant persons.
59:19 So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. 59:20 And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.
Christ makes a personal covenant with all the sincerely repentant who are wholeheartedly dedicated to live in passionate Christ-like zeal by EVERY WORD of GOD!
59:21 As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.