God Said Man Said

Fasting and Prayer--The Power that Breaks the Yoke

For many years, health activists have pointed to the major benefits of fasting, such as the resting of the heart and digestive systems, the cleansing of one’s blood, and as an overall general healer. The research concerning the supernatural wisdom of the God-commanded fast continues to pour in.
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Fasting and Prayer--The Power that Breaks the Yoke

Article#: 1466

There is a place called “the secret place of the Most High,” a place of safety and quietness where the blood-bought are privileged to reside.  This is a place where everything is working for our good in spite of the obvious contradiction that plays out before us.  This is a place where the joy of the Lord is our strength and not because of the  abundance of things.  Habakkuk 3:17-19:

17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:

18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

19 The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds'' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.

I Thessalonians 5:18 gives the redeemed this glorious commandment:

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Whether in death or in life, whether for richer or poorer, the redeemed of the Lord tread upon their high places.  This powerful place of confident peace and Godly joy was purchased for the born-again by the blood of the precious Christ, Jesus of Nazareth, God’s only begotten Son.  This Jesus is the only way—the only truth and the only life. 

Have you been born again?  Can you point to a time and a place where you believed upon the Lord Jesus, repented and turned from your sins to follow the risen Lord of Glory?  Would you like to do it today?  Would you like all your sin and shame washed clean: forgiven and forgotten?  Would you like to reside in God’s secret place?  If yes, today is your day of salvation.  Click onto “Further With Jesus” for childlike instructions and immediate entry into the Kingdom of God.  What are you waiting for?  Today will be the best day of your life!  NOW FOR TODAY’S SUBJECT.

GOD SAID, Matthew 9:14-15:

14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?

15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.

GOD SAID, Isaiah 58:6:

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?

MAN SAID:  My philosophy of life will lead me.  If it feels good, do it!  I won’t allow outdated Biblical morality to restrict my pleasures. 

Now THE RECORD.  The inerrancy of God’s Holy Word, discovered in the majority-text Authorized King James Version, is confirmed daily by the world’s academic disciplines—miracles and all.  Never have the truths of Holy Writ been countermanded by true discovery—never—and that’s after 6,000 years of Satan’s best efforts to discredit. 

Welcome to GodSaidManSaid feature article 694 that will once again confirm the inerrancy of God’s Bible.  All of these features are archived here for your edification and as ammunition in the battle for the souls of men.  Every Thursday eve, God willing, they grow by one.  Thank you for coming today.  May God’s face shine upon you with Light and Truth. 

When God’s Word endorses, men and women of wisdom stand up to embrace it, and so it is with the Biblical principle of fasting.  Thousands of years before man begins to understand the reason, God has already staked out His position.  Several pivotal paragraphs from the GodSaidManSaid feature “God Calls for Fasting” follow:

God’s Word places heavy emphasis on fasting.  Moses twice fasted for 40 days (a supernatural fast) before the Lord.  Exodus 34:27-28:

27 And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.

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.

The Lord Jesus Christ began His ministry with a supernatural 40-day fast.  Matthew 4:1-2:

1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered.

Fasting is power to access God.  The supernatural, bondage-breaking power of the faith is unlocked by the holy fast.  Isaiah 58:6-11:

6 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?

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?

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.

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, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;

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:

11 And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

When the prophet Jonah prophesied judgment over the city of Nineveh, which is now found in the country of Iraq, the king of Nineveh proclaimed a national fast of repentance, and God heard from Heaven.  Jonah 3:5-8:

5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.

6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.

7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:

8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.

When the Jewish people were doomed to die as a result of the stealthy hand of the wicked Haman, Queen Esther called for a fast as she prepared to approach King Ahasuerus and entreat him for mercy.  Esther 4:16:

Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.

Jesus Christ declared the power of fasting in Mark 9:25-29:    

25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.

26 And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.

27 But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.

28 And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?

29 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.

The holy fast breaks the strongholds of Satan

For many years, health activists have pointed to the major benefits of fasting, such as the resting of the heart and digestive systems, the cleansing of one’s blood, and as an overall general healer.  Ben Franklin said, “To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.” 

The research concerning the supernatural wisdom of the God-commanded fast continues to pour in. 

Dr. Sinatra, in his newsletter The Sinatra Health Report, writes:

Why would caloric restriction slow aging?  It appears that a little starvation actually boosts endocrine (i.e. hormone) regulation.  In fact, the more balanced your hormone levels—from your pituitary, adrenal, and thyroid glands to your hypothalamus, pancreas, and gonads—the less oxidative stress you’ll have (oxidation is what oxygen does to iron, resulting in rust), and the more you’ll stabilize other cellular processes. 

For instance, we know that imbalances in growth hormone and insulin accelerate aging, setting the stage for all kinds of systematic shifts, from weakened muscles to diabetes.  Lower growth hormone or higher insulin levels lead to sub-optimal mitochondrial function.  In other words, your cells’ tiny furnaces will burn more and more slowly and then eventually sputter and die if they’re overwhelmed by insulin or can’t get enough growth hormone. 

So the goal is to promote hormone production, which you can do by fasting.  Not only does fasting eliminate an incredible free radical load in the form of food, restricting caloric intake for 24 hours makes your body secrete more growth hormone, the precursor for numerous endocrine activities.  And if your endocrine system is balanced, it jump-starts your whole immune system.  [End of quote]

WebMD, in an article titled “Skipping Meals Keeps Rodents Healthy,” cites new research concerning fasting:

Skipping meals once in a while might help you duck diabetes, brain disorders, even heart disease—at least, that’s what it does for rodents. 

Two new studies from the Institute on Aging shed more light on the effects of a calorie-restricted diet, an issue that has received increasing attention. 

A handful of studies have shown that eating fewer calories can—over the long haul—lower your risk of cancer and kidney disease and protect brain cells from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases as well as stroke, says Mark P. Mattson, PhD, chief of the neurosciences lab at the National Institute on Aging.  [End of quote]

In his research, Dr. Mattson wanted to establish whether the health benefits were a result of fewer calories or a result of fasting.  The results weigh in the favor of fasting.  The article continues:

In his study, one group of mice fasted every other day but was allowed to eat unlimited food on the intervening days, thereby making up for missed calories.  A control group of mice fed freely.  A third group was fed 30% fewer calories every day than the control group received. 

At the study’s end, the meal-skipping mice as well as the calorie-restricted mice had lower blood sugar and insulin levels than the free-feeding mice. 

To test the diets’ effect on brain cells, mice were given a neurotoxin called kainite which damages nerve cells in a brain region called the hippocampus—an area critical for learning and memory.  In humans, nerve cells in the hippocampus are destroyed by Alzheimer’s disease.

The meal-skipping mice had nerve cells that were more resistant to neurotoxin injury or death—more so than the other mice.  [End of quote]

Of course, God knew it all the time.  He did, by the way, create all things. 

Another article reporting on Dr. Mattson’s research was published by the Associated Press (AP) and printed in the Beaver County Times on Tuesday, April 29, 2003.  The following excerpts are from that feature article titled, “Regular Fasting Gains New Merit as Healthy Ritual:”

Mattson said an earlier study found that mice that fasted every other day had extended life spans and the new experiment found the mice also did better in factors involved in diabetes and nerve damage in the brain similar to Alzheimer’s disease. 

In the new report, the researchers said both the fasting mice and those on a restricted diet had concentrations of blood sugar and insulin that were significantly lower than mice allowed to eat whenever they wanted.  Indeed, insulin levels in the fasting mice were even a bit lower than the dieting ones.  [End of quotes]

The headline in the feature written by science correspondent Sarah Knapton in the June 5, 2014 UK Telegraph Online reads, “Fasting for three days can regenerate entire immune system, study finds.”  Excerpts follow:

Fasting for as little as three days can regenerate the entire immune system, even in the elderly, scientists have found in a breakthrough described as “remarkable.” 

Although fasting diets have been criticized by nutritionists for being unhealthy, new research suggests starving the body kick-starts stem cells into producing new white blood cells, which fight off infection. 

Scientists at the University of Southern California say the discovery could be particularly beneficial for people suffering from damaged immune systems, such as cancer patients on chemotherapy.  

It could also help the elderly whose immune systems become less effective as they age, making it harder for them to fight off even common diseases. 

The researchers say fasting “flips a regenerative switch” which prompts stem cells to create brand new white blood cells, essentially regenerating the entire immune system. 

“It gives the ‘OK’ for stem cells to go ahead and begin proliferating and rebuild the entire system,” said Professor Valter Longo, Professor of Gerontology and the Biological Sciences at the University of California. 

“And the good news is that the body got rid of parts of the system that might be damaged or old, the inefficient parts, during the fasting.”

“Now, if you start with a system heavily damaged by chemotherapy or aging, fasting cycles can generate, literally, a new immune system.” 

Prolonged fasting forces the body to use stores of glucose and fat, but also breaks down a significant portion of white blood cells. 

During each cycle of fasting, this depletion of white blood cells induces changes that trigger stem cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells. 

In trials, humans were asked to regularly fast for between two and four days over a six-month period. 

Scientists found that prolonged fasting also reduced the enzyme PKA, which is linked to aging and a hormone which increases cancer risk and tumor growth. 

“We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the hematopoietic system,” added Professor Longo. 

Fasting for 72 hours also protected cancer patients against the toxic impact of chemotherapy.

“While chemotherapy saves lives, it causes significant collateral damage to the immune system.  The results of this study suggest that fasting may mitigate some of the harmful effects of chemotherapy,” said co-author Tanya Dorff, assistant professor of clinical medicine at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital. 

“More clinical studies are needed, and any such dietary intervention should be undertaken only under the guidance of a physician.” 

“We are investigating the possibility that these effects are applicable to many different systems and organs, not just the immune system,” added Professor Longo.   [End of quote]

Note: This feature doesn’t outline details, but it is likely a medical fast of this nature would prescribe plenty of water.  The article recommends the guidance of a physician.

Again, from “God Calls for Fasting:”

Several years ago, a young man visited my office and the concept of fasting arose.  He said the church he attended in his youth never taught fasting.  It should be no surprise when a vast percentage of churches are preaching out of the minority-text New International Version (NIV), which has removed key passages and/or words concerning fasting.  Matthew 17:15-21 in the Authorized King James Version of the Bible states:

15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is a lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.

16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.

17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.

18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.

19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?

20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

Note the supernatural power of prayer coupled with fasting.  The NIV simply omits Verse 21 entirely.  [End of quote]

The final excerpt is from the GodSaidManSaid feature “Which Bible:”

Believers have a secret weapon against the Devil that has phenomenal power to break down his strongest strongholds.  That weapon is fasting and prayer.  Isaiah 58:6:

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?

Westcott and Hort have expunged the record of this powerful weapon against the Gates of Hell!  When Jesus was asked by His disciples why they couldn’t cast out the evil spirit, He replied to them in Mark 9:29 (KJV) by stating: “…This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.”  However, the NIV states: “…This kind can come out only by prayer.”  Note that the secret weapon, fasting, is conveniently omitted by the NIV in Mark 9:29, and also in Matthew 17:21, Acts 10:30, and I Corinthians 7:5.  Does it make sense that Satan would want this weapon to be destroyed? [End of quote]

Fasting and prayer break the yoke and set the captive soul free. 

GOD SAID, Matthew 9:14-15:

14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?

15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.

GOD SAID, Isaiah 58:6:

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?

MAN SAID:  My philosophy of life will lead me.  If it feels good, do it!  I won’t allow outdated Biblical morality to restrict my pleasures.

Now you have THE RECORD.

 

 

References:

Authorized King James Version

GodSaidManSaid, “God Calls for Fasting

GodSaidManSaid, “Which Bible

Knapton, S., “Fasting for three days can regenerate entire immune system, study finds,” UK Telegraph Online, June 5, 2014 

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