Warfare: Make No Provision For The Flesh
February 28, 2001

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I felt led of the Lord to write and post the 3/1 article before I wrote this one because this one will be very hard on the flesh. By writing the 3/1 article first, I have given preparation and explanation to those who are too exhausted, at this time, to join the warfare through fasting and praying that some members of this group are currently engaged in. As for the rest of you, put on your seat belts. This is going to be hard on your flesh.

The scripture tells us in Romans 13:14--

"But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof."

Scripture clearly teaches us that one of these lusts involves the eating of various kinds of foods and that many people carry this to a great extreme, so that Paul writes in Phillipians 3:18-19 that:

"For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things."

The context is clear: Paul is speaking of people who are in the Church and who have a "saved" reputation, but their walk always veers away from any death to self. They refuse to deny self, take up their cross and follow Jesus. This refusal makes their belly their God.

Just exactly where might the greatest denial to self come in? What might the greatest challenge be? For most, if not all, the greatest challenge is found in fasting, for almost all people find their life in what they eat, but we are called to find our life in Christ.

There are three voices that speak to the soul of a man, and two of them: the flesh and the devil, absolutely detest fasting. They will do anything and say anything to a man to get him to avoid a fast or to cut a fast short before it is complete. I think I have heard my flesh and the enemy say just about all of them to me, but there are probably more.

In times past of say, fifty years ago, my Grandfather had one bible: An Authorized Version. Known today as a King James Version, it delivers the word of God in a style that is not easy on the flesh at all. A quick five hour read of the authorized version new testament will devastate the flesh if the principles are obeyed as they are taught. Not so with the new bible versions.

Today, it is harder to convince people that they need to fast because the bible has been changed. Changed you say Stephen? Prove it! OK, I will.

I own a copy of "New Age Bible Versions", by G.A. (Gail) Riplinger, obtained from the Prophecy Club. You need this book as a reference book in your library. I don't agree with all of Gail's opinions, but you cannot argue with her scholarship. The book is filled with tables, comparing hundreds of verses that differ among the versions. My conclusion regarding the NIV, NAS, Living Bible, New Century Version and any other Alexandrian text based English translation is that they are soft on the flesh.

Page 71 has a table that documents the watering down of the doctrine of fasting. The NIV and NAS omit fasting from Matthew 17:21, Mark 9:29, Acts 10:30, 1 Corinthians 7:5, 2 Corinthians 6:5 and 2 Corinthians 11:27. In a few of these passages, the context demands the inclusion of fasting with prayer, but the word has been omitted.

This has been explained to me on this wise. The new versions were based on the Alexandrian text and the church Father who was primarily responsible for this text: Origin, was no fan of fasting. So, it appears that this tendency to be soft on the flesh has been with the church from very early times. That is no surprise.

So......here we are in a time when the word of God has been watered down in this area for many people. My grandfather did not have this problem. His bible, and everyone else's in his church, read the same....."this kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting."

So, what do we do? Put the Lord to the test on it. Fast and pray and see what happens. I have done it and I'll tell you what happens. The miracle power of God is released by fasting. The nine gifts of the spirit are activated in your life by adding fasting to your prayers. I don't believe it is possible for anyone who has not fasted at some time in their Christian life to manifest one of the nine gifts of the holy spirit as they are explained in 1 Corinthians 12. There are things....evil things...that won't move until you add fasting to your prayers. And, there are callings and anointings that you cannot move into until you have added fasting to your prayers. This is what I have found, and I testify to you that it is true.

There are many other places in the bible where men have fasted and gained victory. The new versions leave the Old Testament verses intact. The truth is that Jesus fasted and so should we. If I want to walk in Jesus' footsteps, I will fast too.

Fasting is not fun, it hurts. Fasting is not some glory filled time of spiritual high all the time, it is hard and sometimes, it seems as though nothing good is happening at the moment. There is every excuse and reason offered to quit fasting.

Saints, cast off soft living in this hour and accept the will of God for your life. Join us in these times of fasting and prayer in the coming weeks. Take up the battering ram of the Lord with us and smash the gates of hell, in Jesus' name.

Stephen L. Bening
a servant and prophet of our Lord Jesus Christ

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