Autumn/Winter 2017-18 Issue

Is Christianity a “white religion?”  In this issue, read topics about race and racism in the Bible, discover how to study the Bible effectively, and learn if you are a Christian racist.  Also, find out why it’s not that great to be a Barnabas, learn how the prosperity gospel hurts Christians, and why is it important for women to be shamefaced?  Plus, check out an article by contributing writer, Pat Jeanne Davis.

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Wrong Verses Right: Isaiah 58:5 KJV

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? ~Isaiah 58:5 KJV

Wrong Interpretation:

Many Christians think this scripture means that fasting is hypocritical and unprofitable.

Right Interpretation:

Notice the words in bold below. God is asking, “Is this the fast that I have chosen? Is it one day for a man to afflict his soul? Is this acceptable?”

This scripture is talking about weak and phony fasting; a man fasts for one day and acts as if he is afflicted by bowing his head and spreading ashes.

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? ~Isaiah 58:5 KJV

Through the prophet Isaiah, God explains that an acceptable fast must break yokes and bondage.

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? ~Isaiah 58:6 KJV

“One day” of fasting will not loose the bands of wickedness, undo heavy burdens, and break yokes. You can bow down and worship, but it must be authentic.

[12] “Therefore also now,” saith the Lord, “turn ye even to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: [13] And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.” ~Joel 2:12-13 KJV

Jesus Example:

Look to Jesus. He fasted 40 days and forty nights and then, He fasted often throughout His ministry.

In the mean while His disciples prayed Him, saying, “Master, eat.” ~John 4:31 KJV

He also fasted three days before calling Lazarus from the tomb.

Jesus also tells how to cast out the devil from the lunatick.

Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. ~Matthew 17:21 KJV

David’s Example:

Look to David as he tells us that God is not pleased with certain sacrifices, which in the Old Testament was sacrificing animals on an altar.

For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it : thou delightest not in burnt offering. ~Psalm 51:16 KJV

David tells us that our spirit and heart must be broken. This shows us that sacrifice without repentance, humility, and suffering is not an acceptable sacrifice.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. ~Psalm 51:17 KJV

David tells God to build our walls and do His good. Having been chastized by God, I can tell you that “His good” will help us to learn repentance, brokenness, and the fear of the Lord through chastisement. Then, we can tap into that brokenness through fasting. Then, God will accept our righteous works.

[18] Do good in Thy good pleasure unto Zion: build Thou the walls of Jerusalem. [19] Then shalt Thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon Thine altar. ~Psalm 51:18-19 KJV

If you’ve ever heard preachers tell you that fasting from chocolate or snacks or movies is an acceptable fast, now you know what God thinks about that.

Read more about interpreting Isaiah 58 here.

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