Abstinence as a discipline
Most Relevant Verses
The Lord spoke to Moses: “Tell the Israelites: You are not to eat any fat of an ox, a sheep, or a goat. The fat of an animal that dies naturally or is mauled by wild beasts may be used for any purpose, but you must not eat it.read more.
If anyone eats animal fat from a fire offering presented to the Lord, the person who eats it must be cut off from his people. Wherever you live, you must not eat the blood of any bird or animal. Whoever eats any blood, that person must be cut off from his people.”
“You are sons of the Lord your God; do not cut yourselves or make a bald spot on your head on behalf of the dead, for you are a holy people belonging to the Lord your God. The Lord has chosen you to be His own possession out of all the peoples on the face of the earth. “You must not eat any detestable thing. read more.
These are the animals you may eat:the ox, the sheep, the goat, the deer, the gazelle, the roe deer,
the wild goat, the ibex, the antelope,
and the mountain sheep. You may eat any animal that has hooves divided in two and chews the cud. But among the ones that chew the cud or have divided hooves, you are not to eat these:the camel, the hare, and the hyrax,
though they chew the cud, they do not have hooves—
they are unclean for you; and the pig, though it has hooves, it does not chew the cud—
it is unclean for you.You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses. “You may eat everything from the water that has fins and scales, but you may not eat anything that does not have fins and scales—it is unclean for you. “You may eat every clean bird, but these are the ones you may not eat:the eagle, the bearded vulture,
the black vulture, 13 the kite,
any kind of falcon, every kind of raven, 15 the ostrich,
the short-eared owl, the gull,
any kind of hawk, the little owl, the long-eared owl,
the white owl, 17 the desert owl,
the osprey, the cormorant, 18 the stork,
any kind of heron,
the hoopoe, and the bat. All winged insects are unclean for you; they may not be eaten. But you may eat every clean flying creature. “You are not to eat any carcass; you may give it to a temporary resident living within your gates, and he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner. For you are a holy people belonging to the Lord your God. You must not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.
The next day, as they were traveling and nearing the city, Peter went up to pray on the housetop about noon. Then he became hungry and wanted to eat, but while they were preparing something, he went into a visionary state. He saw heaven opened and an object that resembled a large sheet coming down, being lowered by its four corners to the earth. read more.
In it were all the four-footed animals and reptiles of the earth, and the birds of the sky. Then a voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat!” “No, Lord!” Peter said. “For I have never eaten anything common and ritually unclean!”
Then Moses came down from the mountain to the people and consecrated them, and they washed their clothes. He said to the people, “Be prepared by the third day. Do not have sexual relations with women.”
“This is to be a permanent statute for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month you are to practice self-denial and do no work, both the native and the foreigner who resides among you. Atonement will be made for you on this day to cleanse you, and you will be clean from all your sins before the Lord. It is a Sabbath of complete rest for you, and you must practice self-denial; it is a permanent statute.
The Nazirite VowThe Lord instructed Moses: “Speak to the Israelites and tell them: When a man or woman makes a special vow, a Nazirite vow, to consecrate himself to the Lord, he is to abstain from wine and beer. He must not drink vinegar made from wine or from beer. He must not drink any grape juice or eat fresh grapes or raisins. read more.
He is not to eat anything produced by the grapevine, from seeds to skin, during his vow.
The Israelites must observe the Sabbath, celebrating it throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign forever between Me and the Israelites, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, but on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.”
“You are to hold a sacred assembly on the tenth day of this seventh month and practice self-denial; you must not do any work.
They said to me, “The remnant in the province, who survived the exile, are in great trouble and disgrace. Jerusalem’s wall has been broken down, and its gates have been burned down.” When I heard these words, I sat down and wept. I mourned for a number of days, fasting and praying before the God of heaven.
In the church that was at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius the Cyrenian, Manaen, a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work I have called them to.”
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil. After He had fasted 40 days and 40 nights, He was hungry.
Then Jesus returned from the Jordan, full of the Holy Spirit, and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for 40 days to be tempted by the Devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when they were over, He was hungry.
Then John’s disciples came to Him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?” Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests be sad while the groom is with them? The time will come when the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.
Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. People came and asked Him, “Why do John’s disciples and the Pharisees’ disciples fast, but Your disciples do not fast?” Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot fast while the groom is with them, can they? As long as they have the groom with them, they cannot fast. But the time will come when the groom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day.
Then they said to Him, “John’s disciples fast often and say prayers, and those of the Pharisees do the same, but Yours eat and drink.” Jesus said to them, “You can’t make the wedding guests fast while the groom is with them, can you? But the time will come when the groom will be taken away from them—then they will fast in those days.”
There was also a prophetess, Anna, a daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well along in years, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and was a widow for 84 years. She did not leave the temple complex, serving God night and day with fasting and prayers.
Whoever observes the day, observes it for the honor of the Lord. Whoever eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; and whoever does not eat, it is for the Lord that he does not eat it, yet he thanks God.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.
Summoning the crowd along with His disciples, He said to them, “If anyone wants to be My follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.
Then He said to them all, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
Let us walk with decency, as in the daylight: not in carousing and drunkenness; not in sexual impurity and promiscuity; not in quarreling and jealousy.
Therefore, in my judgment, we should not cause difficulties for those among the Gentiles who turn to God, but instead we should write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from eating anything that has been strangled, and from blood.
It is a noble thing not to eat meat, or drink wine, or do anything that makes your brother stumble.
“Whenever you fast, don’t be sad-faced like the hypocrites. For they make their faces unattractiveso their fasting is obvious to people. I assure you: They’ve got their reward!
“Why have we fasted, but You have not seen?
We have denied ourselves, but You haven’t noticed!”
“Look, you do as you please on the day of your fast,
and oppress all your workers. You fast with contention and strife
to strike viciously with your fist.
You cannot fast as you do today,
hoping to make your voice heard on high. Will the fast I choose be like this:
A day for a person to deny himself,
to bow his head like a reed,
and to spread out sackcloth and ashes?
Will you call this a fast
and a day acceptable to the Lord?read more.
Isn’t the fast I choose:
To break the chains of wickedness,
to untie the ropes of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free,
and to tear off every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
to bring the poor and homeless into your house,
to clothe the naked when you see him,
and not to ignore your own flesh and blood?
This is what the Lord says concerning these people:Truly they love to wander;
they never rest their feet.
So the Lord does not accept them.
Now He will remember their guilt
and punish their sins. Then the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for the well-being of these people. If they fast, I will not hear their cry of despair. If they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. Rather, I will finish them off by sword, famine, and plague.”
Now the people of Bethel had sent Sharezer, Regem-melech, and their men to plead for the Lord’s favor by asking the priests who were at the house of the Lord of Hosts as well as the prophets, “Should we mourn and fast in the fifth month as we have done these many years?” Then the word of the Lord of Hosts came to me: read more.
“Ask all the people of the land and the priests: When you fasted and lamented in the fifth and in the seventh months for these 70 years, did you really fast for Me? When you eat and drink, don’t you eat and drink simply for yourselves?
The Pharisee took his standand was praying like this: ‘God, I thank You that I’m not like other people —greedy, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenthof everything I get.’