Pope Francis called for a day of fasting and prayer "against evil". God has His own day of prayer and fasting to protest against evil.
[Darris McNeely] This past Saturday Pope Francis made a call for a day of fasting and prayer for believers anywhere to stop and to take note about what is taking place in Syria, this dash and this lead up to war there in the Middle East. He said: "What's the point of fighting wars, many wars, if you're not capable of fighting this deep war against evil? There's no point. It's no good." It was an interesting call by the leader of the Roman Catholic Church and by reports tens of thousands of people filled Vatican Square in front of Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome and the Pope took part with them in prayer and in talks about this very situation and this statement against evil, and I found it to be very interesting as I read about the accounts.
What the Pope did no one is going to argue with in terms of wanting to make a strike against evil and to make a call for people to stand down at a time of war. Many popes have done that in the past in modern times. What I found fascinating, this call, this day of fasting was done one week before another day of fasting and prayer that the Almighty God calls on an annual basis and it is called the Day of Atonement. This coming Saturday is the Day of Atonement from scriptures, one of God's annual festivals. You may know this day by what the Jews call Yom Kippur.
Observant Jews and even not so many observant Jews honor Yom Kippur, which really is another way of saying the Day of Atonement. The Day of Atonement is one of God's Festivals that He gave to Israel in Leviticus chapter 23. And it is a solemn day. It is a day of fasting where a believer goes without food and water for a 24 hour period to afflict themselves during that period of time. There's deep meaning on the Day of Atonement. God calls that day. God sets that day. I found that interesting to consider that the leader of the Catholic Church called for the world to make a day of fasting exactly one week prior to God's call, which goes out to all mankind on the Day of Atonement and has for thousands of years since He gave these festivals to mankind.
In this Day of Atonement there is certainly a day and there is meaning to war against evil. When you understand what the Day of Atonement pictures, you realize that when that day is fulfilled in the plan of God, evil and the source of evil will be removed from all of mankind. Satan the devil who has deceived the entire world, Revelation 12 shows us, will be at that point removed.
In 20:1 of Revelation, we read of an event that will take place after the second coming of Jesus Christ where John writes, "I saw an angel coming down from heaven having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand and he laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old who is the devil and Satan and bound him for a thousand years and cast him into the bottomless pit and shut him up and put a seal on him so that he should deceive the nations no more until the thousand years were finished, but after these things he must be released for a little while" (Revelation 20:1-3 Revelation 20:1-3  And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
American King James Version×). This event of the binding of Satan into a bottomless pit for a thousand year period will take place when that Day of Atonement is finally fulfilled, and then, and on that day only, will evil and the source of evil through Satan be removed from influencing mankind all peoples in anywhere and there will be a true Day of Atonement, or bringing together between God and man.
And so when people fast on the Day of Atonement there's a far great meaning there. There is a far greater benefit to keeping what God calls on a fast day that He has set for mankind long, long before any other human called for fasting or starvation or going on a hunger fast to bend the will of man or a government to their own particular ideology. This day, this fast on the Day of Atonement opens up a whole new dimension of understanding when we address this issue of evil and war and suffering.
God's Day of Atonement brings an answer, the answer, the only answer to the time when peace will finally be available to mankind once Satan himself is bound.
We'll talk more about this in our next BT Daily. This is an important subject. And we're on the verge of the Day of Atonement just a few short days ahead of us (September 14, 2013) and it's important that you understand why that fast day that God calls is important.
That's BT Daily. Join us next time.