Fasting and Baptism
These two operations that the human race must act upon, to satisfy the
Lord God Almighty in their various actions before Him, have one common
Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people
their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. 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. Wherefore 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.
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
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? 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? 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? 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. 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; 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 noonday: 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. 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. 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: 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.
the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.
And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of
repentance for the remission of sins; As it is written in the book of the
words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall
be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked
shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;
And all flesh shall see the salvation of God. Then said he to the multitude
that came forth to be baptised of him, O generation of vipers, who hath
warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits
worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham
to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones
to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the
root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit
is hewn down, and cast into the fire. And the people asked him, saying,
What shall we do then? He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two
coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let
him do likewise. Then came also publicans to be baptised, and said unto
him, Master, what shall we do? And he said unto them, Exact no more than
that which is appointed you. And the soldiers likewise demanded of him,
saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no
man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.
You see the similarity don't you?
It's not talking about being a Christian to men, but being a Christian
It means that we must humble ourselves before our maker, place Him
first - that is, if we would like to be with Him one day. And we must
learn to consider others.
We must bear fruits worthy of repentance, fruits that show that we
have changed from being self centred to God centred.
We shall do this joyfully, in loving obedience to our Heavenly Father.
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love
the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all
thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is
like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments
hang all the law and the prophets.