Epistle of Barnabas Thread 1
Epistle of Barnabas Thread 2
He speaketh again therefore to them concerning these things;
Wherefore fast ye for Me, saith the Lord, so that your voice is
heard this day crying aloud? This is not the fast which have chosen,
saith the Lord; not a man abasing his soul;
---In the last chapter, we learned what God desires from the heart. In this opening verse, Barnabas discusses the true meaning of fasting. Fasting
is not deprivation of food. This is merely a symbolic act that represents a broader picture. Like the others two chapters, Barnabas has been setting
up a standard showing the true meaning behind the ritual. A good example of this symbolic meaning is with Baptism, which is the ritual of immersion
in water, but is really our immersion into the waters of life. We are literally born into the water for one reason: to repent. If you alive, you
have been baptized.
not though ye should bend your neck as a hoop, and put on sackcloth
and make your bed of ashes, not even so shall ye call a fast that is
---Here again, he is outlining the incorrect reason for fasting. The true meaning comes below.
But unto us He saith; Behold, this is the fast which I have chosen,
saith the Lord; loosen every band of wickedness, untie the
tightened cords of forcible contracts, send away the broken ones
released and tear in pieces every unjust bond. Break thy bread to
the hungry, and if thou seest one naked clothe him; bring the
shelterless into thy house, and if thou seest a humble man, thou
shalt not despise him, neither shall any one of thy household and
of thine own seed.
---Even here, each of the items on this list are symbolic of something else. Partly, this is breaking the bonds with the Jubilee laws. Partly, it is
the loosing of what is tied. Laws instituted by God tie what they bind. They are restrictions. Here, the coming change to the hearts of men will
loose these bonds as a byproduct of the changed heart that is within us all. The first will be last (pride) and the last will be first (humility).
Then shall thy light break forth in the morning, and thy healing
shall arise quickly, and righteousness shall go forth before thy
face, and the glory of God shall environ thee.
---Morning here is the new day when the wrath of God has passed. Compare this to the dew and rain of rebirth that falls on the land in the morning.
Here, the morning also represents the Day of the Lord. This is a day when the righteous rise to new life on Earth free from the wicked. Examine this
19 But your dead will live, Lord;
their bodies will rise—
let those who dwell in the dust
wake up and shout for joy—
your dew is like the dew of the morning;
the earth will give birth to her dead.
20 Go, my people, enter your rooms
and shut the doors behind you;
hide yourselves for a little while
until his wrath has passed by.
21 See, the Lord is coming out of his dwelling
to punish the people of the earth for their sins.
The earth will disclose the blood shed on it;
the earth will conceal its slain no longer.
Compare this to John 6 and Revelation 20. There is a coming day of peace for 1000 years. The wicked must be removed first.
Then shalt thou cry out and God shall hear thee; while thou art
still speaking, He shall say 'Lo, I am here'; if thou shalt take
away from thee the yoke and the stretching forth of the finger and
the word of murmuring, and shalt give thy bread to the hungry
heartily, and shalt pity the abased soul.
---The key to showing fruit of righteousness is a changed heart. This was discussed in the previous chapters. The fruit of that spirit is outlined
in Galatians 5, which is the key to unlocking our own righteousness. We must give and put away selfishness. Giving is the key to God's will for our
lives. Taking makes us a thief. This is not associated, necessarily, with money. This is the servant attitude of a changed heart.
To this end therefore, my brethren, He that is long-suffering,
foreseeing that the people whom He had prepared in His well-beloved
would believe in simplicity, manifested to us beforehand concerning
all things, that we might not as novices shipwreck ourselves upon
God is long-suffering. The well-beloved is Christ. The people prepared is the church and body of Christ. Believing in simplicity is doing away with
materialism and getting back to the basics of true life. Right now, tyranny is the shipwreck of the law. Why is there a need for tyranny now?
Because the hearts of people are selfish. The changed heart is one based on Altruism and not Objectivism. Objectivism can only take for self. The
thief is marked by his debt. Altruism can only give. Those who give are marked by surplus.
See this thread: Global Financial Meltdown is a Prophecy
What is the true meaning of fasting? Withholding your desires for the betterment of others. For instance, what is lost to a family when a father
smokes, drinks or uses income for drugs? What have the kids lost in this case? What would it mean if a true father or mother decided to live simply,
avoiding wasted income? Who would benefit from the extra income? This is a simple example, but it illustrates what Barnabas is saying here. True
fasting is doing without so others can have what they need.
It is selflessness. This entire chapter can be summed in this one word. With true fasting, we serve others by denying ourselves first. Surplus is
given to others in the form of time, quality of life and met needs.
edit on 6-11-2013 by EnochWasRight because: (no reason given)