The Apple Of God's Eye

January 31, 2010

The Truth About Fasting And Healing!

What is fasting? No one seems to know the real truth about this subject. Some call it the fast way to health, and others call it a starvation diet. If you miss a meal or two, will you die or be in serious health danger?

On the one hand sensible fasting is not a “starvation diet,” and those who have the “starvation fear” are at one erroneous extreme — whether ignorant layman or professional physician. Most doctors, incidentally, have studied medicine, not fasting as an aid toward elimination of disease.

In the “healing arts” — (an unfortunate and incorrect term) — professional men have tended to specialize each in his one field only. The medical physician seeks the cure almost exclusively by drugs, or surgery. The Chiropractor seeks to cure everything by manipulating the spine — perhaps with the aid of prescribed diet. The Naturopath by “natural” means. Medical doctors generally ridicule fasting in the case of sickness or disease, just as they would avoid recommending chiropractic treatments, or any other method outside their one field of medicine. Fasting is simply outside their field. A few medical doctors have advocated fasting, but certainly they are in the minority.

But to look on sensible fasting as “starvation” is an untrue extreme, based on plain ignorance. On the other hand, some go to the opposite extreme of regarding fasting as a cure-all. Neither extreme is the truth!

Wise fasting, under proper conditions,is beneficial, not dangerous. On the other hand, “there is not a cure in a carload of medicine,and neither does fasting heal!

Fasting Never Heals

Healing is a divine miracle. Healing is the forgiveness of sin — and none can forgive sin but God. Fasting is self-inflicted — a human effort, not divine miracle — and fasting cannot forgive sin.

Jesus Christ healed the sick. It was always His will. He healed the sick in ancient Israel, long before His human appearance, born human of the virgin Mary. One of His names is Yahweh-Ropheka — which, translated into English, means our God Healer.

To the griping, complaining Israelites in the arid lands approaching Mt. Sinai, He said, “I am the Lord that healeth thee.” And in the original Hebrew language, in which Moses wrote this, His name was given as “Yahweh-Ropheka.”

David knew God heals, as surely as He forgives sin:

“Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases” (Psalm 103:3).

Isaiah explained how. When Jesus was spending a whole night healing all that were sick, we read, in Matthew 8:16-17: “… and healed all that were sick; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet (Isaiah 53:4), saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.”

How, then, did Jesus “take them” — that is, bear them — or pay the penalty in our stead? Peter explains it: “by whose stripes ye were healed” (I Peter 2:24).

Sickness Is A Penalty

What is sickness — disease — debility — pain and suffering? It is the penalty being paid for the violation of the physical laws of the human body.

It is not natural to be sick — it is unnatural! God so designed the mechanism of the human body that, given proper food (and few know what that is!); drinking the right amount of pure water; breathing properly of pure air; getting sufficient exercise — and that is not necessarily a great amount; obtaining sufficient rest, recreation and sleep; maintaining normal regularity of elimination, which includes more frequent bathing and rub-downs than many realize; and keeping the mind in a positive, cheerful, active and peaceful state, the body would never be sick!

Of course, it is true that even many if not most doctors know so little about proper food and diet that they are unable themselves to observe the dietary law of health. That law is the one most frequently broken. Violating that law, is the cause of 90% to 92% of all sickness and disease!

Most people think they can put anything that pleases the palate into the mouth and call it “food.” That’s not true. An excess of starchy “foods,” sugars, and greases, kills you — slowly, gradually over a duration of years — setting up dozens of diseases and ailments along the way!

few know they ought to breathe more deeply, and to obtain fresh air during sleep — even by leaving a window partly open. And so millions upon millions of people violate this simple health rule.

Almost no one knows the value, to health and long life, of regular daily rub downs — a daily shower of bath followed by a good, brisk, vigorous rub-downs, with a bath towel, brush, or other means. Some people still have the “every Saturday night” bath tub idea! Your body eliminates poisons through the skin. It needs bathing to cleanse it of these wastes daily, or almost daily — and, in some kinds of work or sports, possibly more than once daily. Yet most people on earth are so ignorant of God’s laws respecting physical health that they take a bath once a week.

The food we eat passes through the alimentary canal, with needed elements being absorbed into the blood stream on the way, and the waste then expelled. God has given every normal human a very plain signal to know when elimination time arrives — and this can be regulated into an established habit at regular convenient times of day. Yet a large portion of society suffers from constipation — due to pure neglect, and, probably, faulty diet and in some cases lack of exercise!

Your Responsibility

The point is this: Obeying these health laws is the responsibility of each individual. This knowledge is available to all and there is no excuse for human ignorance. Such knowledge always has been accessible. Jesus Christ never broke a single one of these laws, and consequently He was never sick. Yet His body was just like our bodies! He set us the example. He demonstrated that, if we obey the laws God has given as our responsibility to obey, the body itself will function regularly, in perfect health, strong vigor, vitality, energy and strength — and never get sick!

It is a precision-designed mechanism which won’t just break down or get sick — of itself! It functions automatically, if properly taken care of. The trouble is, most people treat their cars better than their body.

Now what is the Bible definition of sin? Sin is the transgression of law (I John 3:4). Of course it means the law of God — but it includes these physical health laws, which were set in inexorable living motion by God.

Sin, spiritually, is the transgression of the spiritual law of love — divided into the two great commandments, Love toward God and Love toward neighbor — enlarged into the ten commandments, and magnified by Jesus, and all through the Bible — especially the New Testament. This law is a spiritual law! It can only be fulfilled — or kept — by spiritual love, which is the love of God, which one can have only by God’s grace, through His Holy Spirit — which is that spiritual love! The penalty for violation of that law is the second, and eternal, death!

When you are sick, the physical laws that regulate the human mechanism have been violated! Of course, there can be injury from accident or violence. You, yourself, may or may not be responsible for that. Accidents nearly always result from carelessness — but of course it could be the other fellow’s carelessness! Perhaps you drank a germ in drinking water — supposing it was pure water. It’s entirely possible that the sick or injured one did not, himself, violate the physical law. But, regardless, nature’s laws were violated, in every case.

So, sickness, disease, injuries, are the penalty of physical sin! Jesus Christ Himself said so! Healing is forgiveness of the sin, and miraculous removal of the penalty.

Healing Is Forgiving Sin

Once Jesus Christ was in a house in Capernaum. Crowds flocked in. The house became jam-packed, many unable to enter. Then came four men carrying on a pallet a man sick with palsy. Unable to get through the crowd, they climbed on the house-top, tore off several tiles, and let the man on the pallet down through the roof in front of Jesus.

“When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.”

Immediately the Pharisees and doctors of the law among the crowd began to accuse Jesus of blasphemy — claiming to forgive sin! He said to them:

“Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee: or to say, Arise, take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins (he saith to the sick of the palsy), I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house” (Mark 2:1-11).

Jesus Christ performed this healing in order to show that healing is the forgiveness of physical sin — and, by divine miracle, the removal of the penalty being suffered.

How is this penalty removed? By the power of the Holy Spirit, because Jesus Christ was flogged — beaten with stripes — scourged — He was beaten so that He was disfigured, or marred, more than any man (Isa. 52:14). He, who never broke nature’s physical health laws — who never was sick or diseased, paid the penalty of our physical transgressions in our stead. Thus, if we accept His sacrifice (of being so scourged before being nailed to the cross) God, by divine miracle, has promised to remove from us the penalty we are paying in the form of sickness or disease.

All humans have sinned — spiritually. Sin is the transgression of God’s law. All have broken the spiritual law. The penalty is the second death — and it is eternal punishment. But we can have this penalty removed. How? By the fact that Christ paid the death penalty for us — He bled to death — His blood was His physical human life. The law took His life instead of ours. If we repent, and believe, then by divine miracle God’s Holy Spirit removes the death penalty from us. Our sins are forgiven by the blood of Christ, and we are saved from the second death!

God heals by precisely the same principle! Not by Christ’s blood — but by His stripes we are healed (I Peter 2:24). He paid the penalty in our stead. He did the suffering for us, so God can remove it from us!

God revealed this dual truth about spiritual forgiveness and physical forgiveness through David: “… Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases” (Psalm 103:3). It is as much God’s will to heal as it is to save!

What Then, Is Use of Fasting?

Now it ought to become crystal clear that fasting is not healing. Fasting does not forgive sin. Fasting is not a miracle. It is good, for certain things — many things — when intelligently and properly used. But what happened is this: the sickness in these instances was brought on by faulty diet. It was the penalty of putting improper things (usually excess starch, sugar and grease) into the stomach. so the first thing that happens when one fasts is that he stops sinning, stops putting more of these poisons, not foods into his stomach.

Secondly, fasting tends to speed up the elimination of toxins and poisons. Fasting is not pleasant. The Bible refers to it as “afflicting the soul” — that is, the body. So, they suffered the penalty of having eaten that poison. In fact, the fasting intensified the penalty by speeding up the elimination.

In a word, what happened in fasting was this: 1) they stopped the sinning that caused the penalty they were suffering; 2) they paid the penalty in full themselves, in a speed-up intensified form. And 3) when it was paid, they simply didn’t have the sickness or disease any longer.

But that is not healing!

Should We Fast, Then?

The answer is, yes, always — provided you understand it is not a means of healing — it is not a substitute for healing — it actually has nothing to do with healing! But it does have a lot to do with stopping the sin of eating wrong things!

When Jesus healed, He said, “Go, and sin no more!” (Mat. 5:14.) One of the conditions to being healed is that we stop sinning — stop breaking nature’s laws. We need to learn what we can about God’s dietary laws, and about proper nutrition and diet.

In fasting, we do stop the physical sinning of eating wrong things. We let our stomachs rest from the effects of improper food. And, in the case of a cold or fever, any kind of food is merely pouring more kerosene on the fire!

You should emphatically NOT “feed a cold.” That old saying, “feed a cold, and starve a fever” is a maxim of Benjamin Franklin. What Franklin meant was: “IF you feed a cold, you will soon have to starve a fever.”

To prevent sinning, always stop eating the very moment you feel the first warning signs of a cold or fever — those little pains around the back of the neck, or down the spine. In fasting, you will start paying the penalty you have incurred in intensified and speeded-up manner. But, to have the penalty removed, obey God’s command of James 5:14-15, and rely on Christ, not on the fasting!

How Long to Fast

Jesus never put sick people on fasts for healing. In every case He healed them by divine miracle — and in most cases the healing was immediate. The Apostles healed through the miraculous power of God’s Spirit in the name of Jesus Christ — but they did not use fasting as a means of healing. Healing is a miracle.

Then why do I recommend fasting from the very moment of the first signs of sickness, disease, or even a cold or fever? NOT FOR HEALING, but merely to immediately stop sinning. Then discontinue fasting as soon as you feel and see that you are healed. Rely on God for the healing.

But get this straight – seeing and feeling is not faith — and God heals according to your faith. Faith must precede the healing — and remain firm until you are healed. Faith is your evidence that God is healing you. But after the healing has taken place, then you will see and/or feel that you are healed, and then stop fasting.

Most today, don’t have the faith for immediate healing. True Christians should have — and this faith is actually Christ’s  faith, imparted to them — given through God’s Spirit as His gift. However, if that Christian is so far from contact with God, and so close to the material interests of this world, that he  does not have this faith, then it is better that he continue the accelerated paying of the penalty, and continue to prevent further violation of nature’s laws by continuing the fast — until there is the physical evidence of healing.

However, even then, fasting must not be continued too long! Unwise, over lengthy fasts can prove fatal. It is true that both Moses and Jesus Christ fasted 40 days. But they were physically in far better and stronger condition basically than any of us today, and besides, they were fasting only for spiritual reasons, to draw closer to God in prayer — not to cleanse the body of toxic excesses. Such a fast would be unwise for most people today!

Unless one is under the constant daily observation and supervision of a competent physician who is fully experienced in fasting, I would advise, with strongest emphasis, never fast longer than two weeks — 14 days, and that only if you are in normal good condition while fasting, and if you are under 55 years of age. Between ages 55 and 65, I definitely would limit any fast to seven days — and over 65, to three days.

Never go to extremes! If necessary take a series of shorter fasts!

Source: The Plain Truth, September 1962

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