1. From an Old Covenant mind-set to a New Covenant mind-set
1-1 How you enter the Kingdom of God, is how you live in the Kingdom of God.
1-1-A) Repentance as constant renewal of the mind.
Paul said: I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shown you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:20-21). The way we enter the kingdom of God, is by repentance toward God because we broke His Word. Many people think that we only repent once, and do not repent anymore. That is not true. Repentance is not merely being sorry and remorseful for what we did wrong, but it is also renewing our mind to the Word of God; so that the things we used to do, we do them no more. It is making a decision to turn our life around. Unfortunately some Christians want to stay baby Christians. Hosea said: he is an unwise son because he should not stay long where children are born (Hosea 13:13). Remaining a baby Christian is unwise, God wants us to grow up and leave childish things behind. Some Christians wonder why they are not victorious in their life. The answer is they decided to stay baby Christians, an unwise decision.
My people perish for lack of knowledge because they have rejected knowledge (Hosea 4:6). Some Christians do not want to study the Word of God because they know: the more of the Word of God they know, the more they will have to be separated from the world; for they will have to make a decision to renew their mind according to the Word of God, or to reject it altogether! The renewing of the mind according to the Word of God is the repentance lifestyle of the kingdom of God. As you and I read the Word of God, we will find that there are many things we are doing that are not pleasing to God, so we make up our mind to become doers of the Word of God, not hearers or readers only, deceiving ourselves (James 1:22). To the degree your mind is renewed to the Word of God, and you walk in that revelation, is the degree to which you will rise above people around you, and be victorious in every arena of your life. Nell says God loves everybody; but is not pleased with everybody. He is pleased or delighted in those who do His commandments (Psalm 119:77, Psalm 119:174, Psalm 37:4 and Matthew 17:5).
If you see people living a victorious life over sin; it is simply because they have renewed their mind according to the Word of God, and are walking in that revelation as far as sin is concerned. If you see Christians who are prospering financially; it is because they have renewed their mind as far as the biblical prosperity is concerned, and they are now doers of that word. If you see Christians who are successful in winning souls to Christ, healing the sick, casting out devils and raising the dead; it is because they have renewed their mind in those areas according to the Word of God, and have become doers of that word.
Many people will receive the materials of the perfect redemption plan and its application, some will not even read them, so they will be destroyed for lack of knowledge like Hosea said. Some will read it and decide to reject it, because it is foolishness to them. So they will be destroyed because they have rejected knowledge like Hosea said. Some will read it, believe it, but not become doers of that word. They are deceiving themselves like James said for faith without works is dead or useless. The fact that they have the knowledge and faith will do them no good until they act on that knowledge. But some will read it, believe it and become doers of that word, and they will experience the promises of God, for God is not a man that He should lie.
1-1-B) Live by Grace through Faith
The way we enter the kingdom is repentance toward God, and faith toward Christ Jesus. We have explained repentance is not just being sorry and remorseful for what we did wrong; but also a renewing of the mind according to the Word of God: forsaking our old ways, old life and lies of the world, to following the way, the truth and the life of God, who is Jesus Christ (John 14:6)! Paul tells us: God showed the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace you are saved [sozo: saved, delivered, prospered, healed, made whole] through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift [doron: sacrifice on the altar] of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:7-9).
So according to Paul it is not faith alone that gave us the perfect redemption plan, and it is not grace alone either that gave us the perfect redemption plan; but grace through faith, a balance of grace and of faith. Grace is the part God has played to get you the promises, and faith is the part you play to have the manifestation of those promises. Grace is the unmerited favour and the empowerment of God. Nobody merits the grace of God; it was given to all humans: past, present and future; when God offered His only begotten Son on the cross to die in order to redeem the whole human race. That is why Paul says it is a doron, not a mere gift like charis [a present]; but this kind of gift is the human sacrifice of Jesus Christ. So God by His grace has provided everything for us that we have seen in the perfect redemption plan by the death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Just like Jesus said: it is finished (John 19:30). Whatever you ask God, as long as it lines up with what Jesus has provided for us though His perfect redemption plan, God has already given it to you, and in fact God has already given it equally to the whole human race.
Peter tells us: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as His divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who has called us to glory and virtue or power (2Peter 1:2-3). You see God by His grace has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness. It is finished! Everything you will ever need in your spiritual life and in your natural life has already been given to you by the grace of God, when He sacrificed Jesus on the cross. As long as what you are asking is in line with what Jesus has provided for you on the cross, God has already said yes; for all His promises in Christ Jesus are yes and in Christ amen, to the glory of God by us (2Corinthians 1:20). Paul tells us: the grace of God that brings salvation [soterion: salvation of the soul, deliverance from the oppression and possession of the devil, healing and health, wholeness, prosperity] has appeared to all men and all women (Titus 2:11).
So there is not a single man or a single woman on earth to whom God has not extended His grace. The thing is, you need to have the knowledge of what God has provided through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Now you need to receive by faith that grace of God that brings salvation of the souls, healing of the bodies, deliverance from the oppression and possession of the devil, prosperity and wholeness that has appeared to all men and all women, including you; as detailed in the series of Perfect Redemption Plan. Faith is just your positive response to the grace of God, so that you can have the manifestations in your life of what God has already given unto you by Grace, when Jesus was sacrificed. Faith is just taking what God has already said was yours anyway!
That is why God prophesied through Isaiah, saying: it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear (Isaiah 65:24). Isaiah was talking about the time of the New Covenant. How can God answer before you call upon His name? The answer is: when God sacrificed Jesus on the cross, buried Him and raised Him on the third day; that is when God gave you all things that pertain to your physical life and your spiritual life, and as long as what you are asking Him, is lining up with His perfect redemption plan; He has already say yes to give it to you, before you even were born or before you ever thought about it; for the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world, was manifested 2,000 years ago and God rested from all His works (2Corinthians 1:20, 2Peter 1:2-3, Revelation 13:8, Hebrews 4:4). So while you are yet speaking in prayer, God will hear, and your faith will materialize, for what you are asking from God, is already yours anyway!
That is why Jesus tells us: have faith in God, and have also faith in Me Jesus (Mark 11:22, John 14:1). Believe God the Father and Jesus Christ, because they have already made the provision to redeem you, or ransom you in full, in their perfect redemption plan, by the power of the Holy Ghost. Everything is already yours, whatsoever you desire that lines up with the perfect redemption plan of God. Therefore I Jesus say unto you, whatsoever things you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them (Mark 11:24). How can you believe that you have already received whatsoever you are asking in prayer? The answer is: because you have the knowledge of the perfect redemption plan of God that was given to you by grace when Jesus died, was buried and rose on the third day. It is not a future thing, but a past thing, it was finished 2,000 years ago.
So if you do not believe right, you will not have the right results for your heart desires. God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost are not your problem; they have already given you all things that pertain to life and godliness. Believe that you have already received whatsoever you desire when you are praying, even as Isaiah taught us: believe that even before you ask God for your heart desire, He already answered you, yes when He sacrificed Jesus for you. Paul tells us: Truly God who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things (Romans 8:32)? So believe it when you pray, and your faith will determine how fast you see the manifestations of your heart desires you prayed to God!
So if the Godhead is not our problem, then who is our problem? Once we believe it is a done deal, God is not trying to make up His mind, but He already said yes 2,000 years ago. God gave us all things that pertain to life and godliness; the devil is our only problem. Yet we know according to the Perfect Redemption Plan that he is a defeated foe, and we already overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony, even the promises of God in Christ Jesus (Revelation 12:11).
James tells us: therefore submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7). How do you submit yourself to God? It is by agreeing with what He has already done for you, by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and acting accordingly. God will not force anybody to believe what He has already done for them, by His grace when He delivered up His Son Jesus. You either take it, or leave it! Some Christians will even only take the salvation of the soul deal, and reject the other things freely given to them. The choice is entirely yours! Then resist the devil! How do you resist the devil? It is by standing on the promises of God, and commanding that demon or your situation to line up with the perfect redemption plan of God. And the devil will flee from you, and you will have the manifestations of your heart’s desires!
Let us take the example of sickness. Let us say a born again Christian is sick. Jesus, by His stripes, already healed that born again Christian 2,000 years ago (1Peter 2:24). So in your mind, you should not see yourself as the sick, trying to get your healing. You ought to see yourself as a healed and healthy person, who is fighting the attack of the enemy. So when you pray you should thank God for already healing you 2,000 years ago, and then you should speak to your sickness. Command that sickness to leave your body in the name of Jesus! For instance in finances, you should not see yourself as a poor person trying to become rich, even if you are presently living in a rubbish dump. For it is written: you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, for your sakes He became poor, in order that you might be made rich through His poverty (2Corinthians 8:9).
So you see it is by grace through faith that you have the manifestation of those riches or prosperity. Jesus, by His grace, already provided everything included making you rich. So you are the rich man or rich woman fighting the attack of the devil, even poverty which is part of the curses listed in the Law (Deuteronomy 29). These things says the first and the last, who was dead, and is alive; I know your works, and tribulation, and poverty; but you are rich and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan (Revelation 2:8-9). My prayer is that you will quit listening to the report of the synagogue of Satan that says you are poor, and believe the report of the Lord that says you are rich!
The synagogue of Satan always negates the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross! Even when you show them from the scriptures what is written about them, what has been freely given to them by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, they refuse to receive it. They want to remain in self-imposed religion, false humility and traditions of men that have made the word of God of no effect (Mark 7:13, Colossians 2:23). That way they can blame God for doing nothing in their life; whereas God has already done and provided everything by His grace; and He is expecting us to respond to His grace by faith, so that we will have the manifestations of His promises. All those promises given to us by grace are in the heavenly realm, and by faith they materialize in the earthly realm. Paul tells us: we are blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3). Now you understand why Jesus tells us to pray that the will of God be done on earth as it is in heaven (Luke 11:2).
Jesus does not ignore our works and tribulations, he does not belittle the fact that a person is in rubbish dump. Yet He is telling us: remember my grace that brings salvation, wholeness, healing, prosperity that has appeared to all men and all women; by My death, burial and resurrection according to the scriptures. You are already rich, for I became poor so that through My poverty you might be made rich. So you are the rich man or rich woman fighting the attack of the devil on your finances. Resist Satan in your finances, command him to remove his hands from your finances, command prosperity; and the devil will flee from you. As you read the epistles of the New Testament you will notice the majority of the promises are either in the past tense or present perfect [something that started in the past and continues in the present]. It is finished! Do the same thing for all the other promises found in the perfect redemption plan of God: spiritual promises and physical promises; for by grace they are already yours; receive them in prayer by faith, and you shall have their manifestations.
Now since it is by grace through faith that we have the manifestation of the promises of God in our life; we need to put our faith in Christ Jesus. Our faith is not in our good works of the law, or good deeds of the law, but in Christ Jesus, in His finished work on the cross. Habakkuk said: the just shall live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4). We live by faith in Christ Jesus; by faith in His perfect redemption plan. For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). Some Christians still do not get it, that it is based on what Jesus did for us, and not what we have done for Him. The Jewish believers in Christ had a problem with faith in Christ Jesus, His perfect redemption plan and living by faith and not by works.
Paul was trying to help them, so he said: what shall we say then? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; but Israel pursuing the law of righteousness has not attained to the law of righteousness. Why? Because they did not seek it by faith but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumble at the stumbling stone (Romans 9:30-32). Let us not be like the Jewish believers in Christ. In the Old Testament, under the law, people were treated based on how they performed. But the truth is none of our performances are good enough, only the finished work of Jesus is perfect in the sight of God.
Our faith should be in Christ Jesus, what He has done for us by His death, burial and resurrection. Should we still pray, fast, do good deeds and works? Of course, we should do them; yet God receives us not based on them, but based on what Jesus did for us; that is grace, even the unmerited favour of God and His empowerment to become whatsoever He is in us. Faith is credit as we have explained in the perfect redemption plan, God credited us with what we have not done, because we are in Christ Jesus; now He will empower us to walk out who we are in Christ Jesus.
Grace finds you in the rubbish dump, but never leaves you there! It empowers you to walk away from that rubbish dump to green pastures God has prepared for you. In other words, grace finds you in the rubbish dump of sin, but never leaves you there, it empowers you to rule over sin and practice righteousness. So when we put our faith in Jesus, everything is imputed to us like we have seen in the series of the perfect redemption plan. The Jews stumbled at that revelation that the just shall live by faith in Jesus, and not by their works. May we not stumble at that revelation too. Faith does not mean that we do nothing, no good deeds. No, on the contrary, we become labourers together with God (1Corinthians 3:9). We no longer rely on our own power to obey God’s work; but He works in us both to give us the willingness and the ability to obey His word for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).
Even in the Hebrews who came out of Egypt, God already gave them the land of Canaan. In fact, even before they ever went to Egypt to spend 430 years there, God already made that promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. As far as God was concerned the Land of Canaan was already theirs. It was already theirs by grace; they needed to receive it by faith. We are co-labourers with God to see the manifestation of the promises of God given to us by grace (1Corinthians 3:9). So after the Lord has spoken to us, and told us that He has already given us all things that pertain to godliness and life [including our promised land flowing with milk and honey (Exodus 3:8)]; He expects us to go after what He said was already ours, and He will work with us as co-labourers to confirm His word (Mark 16:19-20). Faith is agreeing with God concerning His word, and acting on what we have believed. That is the only part we have to play to have the manifestations of His promises; for faith without works or actions is useless, worthless and dead (James 2:20).
But the children of Israel did not believe God that the land was already theirs. They thought within themselves: how can the land possibly be ours when other people are already living there? If that is how you think; then you will have guilt and condemnation going to war against the people of the land of Canaan; for you will think you are the aggressors. But if you think that the land was already yours and the current inhabitants of Canaan are the aggressors, for they have attacked you when they took the land that God gave you. Then you will not have any guilt or condemnation when you go after those inhabitants of Canaan, to evict them from your land. Also when they went to spy out the land, they saw giants; so they saw themselves as grasshoppers. So they refused to conquer the promised land (Numbers 13:33).
They forgot that God promised to work together with them as co-labourers, and confirm His word of promise with mighty signs and wonders. They refused to see themselves the way God saw them. Isaiah tells us: Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is God who sits on the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in (Isaiah 40:21-22). You and I are seated in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, at the right hand of God (Ephesians 2:6). We should see all the inhabitants of the earth, including the giants as grasshoppers; for that is how God sees them from where he sits together with us.
God will not work independent of your belief and actions. God says: I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none (Ezekiel 22:30). God found Moses who believed Him; that He could deliver the Hebrews from the bondage of Egypt. Moses believed God and acted on the Word of God by going to Pharaoh and telling him: let My people go! As a result of his actions the Hebrews were set free. But the people in the wilderness refused to believe the report of the Lord and refused to act on the report of the Lord. So they died in the wilderness though the land flowing with milk and honey was already theirs. You must be willing to fight, if there is something good it means other people want to have it too. You are not the only one! So fight for what is already yours!
Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it (Hebrews 4:1-2). My prayer is that we will rest in the finished work of Jesus. May we mix the promises contained in the word of God with faith in our heart. May we believe that all things are already ours. Paul says: Therefore let no man glory in men [except in the Man Christ Jesus]. For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; And you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God (1Corinthians 3:21-23). The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 1:3).
So all those things that pertain to life and godliness, which have already been given unto you, are in heavenly places; the fact that you do not see their manifestation yet does not mean that they do not exist. They exist and are already yours, for by faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God (Hebrews 11:3). So when we believe in our heart the promises of God, we confess them with our mouth and we act according to promises of God; we will have their manifestations (Romans 10:8-10, James 2:20, 2Corinthians 4:13). Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief (Hebrews 4:11).
My prayer is that we will labour to enter that rest of Jesus. It is not easy to believe that God by grace had already provided all things that pertain to life and godliness, and your part to play is to only receive it by faith or mix it with faith, which means: to believe it in your heart, confess it with your mouth and act accordingly; that is why Paul talks about labouring to enter into that rest! But when you do so, it pleases God; for many have rejected that knowledge. Faith is what we do that brings pleasure to the heart of God, as it is written: without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). Your love for God and obedience to His word will be rewarded according to Deuteronomy 11. Let us trust and obey God.
Some people have good intentions, like the Jews of the days of Paul; for they were zealous for God, but not according to knowledge. For they were ignorant of the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own righteousness by so doing they had not submitted to the righteousness of God; because Christ Jesus is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes in Him and in His perfect redemption plan (Romans 10:2-4). The Old Testament mindset is: I am not good enough, I am not worthy, I am not able to do what God is asking me to do, I have not done enough good deeds of the law for God to use me, I have not fasted enough, I have not prayed enough, I have not tithed for long enough, etc.
But the New Testament mindset says: it has nothing to do with me, with what I can do, or what I have done; it has to do with Jesus who did it all for me, it has to do with the grace of God and by faith I receive all things freely. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). He has made me worthy to be His minister; He has equipped me to do all things. He has made me rich. He is the righteous One. I do not have to rely on my works or will power; God who now dwells in me, will work in me, both to give me the willingness and the ability to obey His word (Philippians 2:13). Everything Jesus has, has been imputed unto me. I lack nothing, I am complete in Jesus (Colossians 2:10).
I-1-C) Righteousness of the Law versus righteousness of faith
Paul explains the difference between the righteousness of the law and the righteousness of faith in Christ. Moses describes the righteousness which is of the law, That the man who does those things shall live by them (Romans 10:5). Moses who gave the people the law understood it better than anybody. And he told them, if you try to establish your own righteousness by the things you do; you will have to live by them. Let me explain it. Many Christians for instance who have the Old Testament mindset will think in their hearts: God will heal me when I do everything right.
They set that rule for themselves; God did not set it for them. That is why many Christians who have been in a church for a long time, struggle to receive their healing, because they want to establish their own righteousness, which is of the law. They say: God is not healing me because I am being disobedient in one area, God is not healing me because I have not read my bible enough, God is not healing me because I am not tithing, God is not healing me because I am not witnessing enough, etc. They based their healing on their own righteousness, which is of the law, based on their performances.
But God is saying: the righteousness of faith is based on the finished work of Jesus; it was given to us by grace, and we received it by faith, then we have its manifestations. Jesus bore our sicknesses and diseases and by His stripes we were healed (1Peter 2:24). If a sinner walks into a church and is sick, he knows that he has lived a bad life, and knows that he has performed none of the works of the law. But he says: Jesus I heard You forgive all our iniquities, and heal all our diseases (Psalm 103:1-3). I ask for Your forgiveness and your healing, and he is healed! People who have been in church for a long time and are now trying to establish their own righteousness, which is of the law, will for instance say: God will prosper me when I have tithed long enough! But a sinner who walks into a church says: Jesus I am bankrupt You can have my life if You bail me out of this bankruptcy, I do not meet any standards of Christianity yet; but I know you are able to do anything by your grace and mercy. And God bails them out of their bankruptcy. Are we supposed to pray, fast, read our bible, tithe, stop sinning and do good deeds? Yes, and again yes, yet our faith should be in the finished work of Jesus, not on our performances.
The righteousness of the Law is a debit system, whereas the righteousness of faith is the credit system, as we have explained in the Perfect Redemption Plan, Part I. Please revisit My Weekly Milk. God delivered the people out of Egypt, the house of bondage, by grace through faith. It was not because they were better than the Egyptians. It was because of His great name sake; for He swore to Abraham their father, to deliver them from the hand of their oppressors, and bring them to the promised land. God believed that after he had delivered them, they would worship Him in Spirit and truth. How can you worship God if you do not know what it means to worship Him in Spirit and truth?
So in the wilderness God gave them His law; so that they would learn His ways and His thoughts to be able to worship God acceptably. And if they chose to love God and obey His word, they would be rewarded; the Lord would cause them to inherit the promised land, flowing with milk and honey. Unfortunately they refused to obey the word of God and they did not love God; for if we love God we will keep His commandments and words (John 14:15 and John 14:23). Therefore that generation that came out of Egypt with Moses did not enter the promised land, to enjoy the flow of milk and honey, or even the blessings of the Lord promised to their father Abraham.
These things are shadows for us in the New Covenant. God saves us by grace through faith. Paul tells us: if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not (2Corinthians 8:12). God knew that they did not know His ways and thoughts yet; but when He sent Moses to them to tell them: God wants to deliver you from your house of bondage, so that you can serve Him or worship Him. They were of a willing mind; they did not say to Moses we do not want to serve or worship I AM WHO I AM; go away with your God. No, on the contrary they were so happy that finally they were going to be delivered. And God said: the God whom people serve or worship is the one who must deliver them (Judges 10:13-14).
The people in their minds were willing to serve the Lord if He delivered them from their captors. God believed in them that they would fulfil their word once delivered. The wilderness experience is to receive the word of God that teaches us how to serve the Lord acceptably, even in Spirit and in truth. It is to make disciples. Moses was told by God: Go and say to them, Get you into your tents again. But as for you, stand here by Me, and I will speak unto you all the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which you shall teach them, that they may do them in the land which I give them to possess it. You shall observe to do therefore as the LORD your God has commanded you: you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. You shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess (Deuteronomy 5:30-33). God reminded Joshua of these things and the generation that entered the promised land to possess it (Joshua 1:7-8).
And Jesus came and spoke unto His disciples, saying, All legal authority to exercise power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go therefore, and teach all nations, make disciples of nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen (Matthew 28:18-20). So if you want to enjoy the promised land flowing with milk and honey, you will need to become a disciple of Jesus and observe whatever He commands us, and teaches us; just like those Hebrews were to be disciples of Moses if they wanted to enjoy the promised land flowing with milk and honey.
If you want to prolong the days in that promised land, or have enduring manifestations of the blessings of the Lord in your life, you will need to become a disciple of Jesus Christ. Christians who deliberately refuse to leave their spiritual infancy are unwise; for they will not experience all that God has for them. They will have a physical experience of the wilderness, when spiritually they are in the promised land. God’s plan has always been; salvation of souls, discipleship and then enjoying the manifestations of all the promises of God pertaining to our life and godliness. If we deliberately refuse to become disciples of Jesus, we will rob ourselves from experiencing the land flowing with milk and honey. The church needs to go back to discipleship, and not having church membership. Church membership is not discipleship!
People want to rise from church membership to church leadership! Therefore we appoint people in church leadership, because they have been members of the church for a long time, not because they have exhibited characteristics of the disciples of Jesus in their lives. Church membership is not in the bible; but discipleship is! If you want to have church membership, help yourself; but we must all become disciples of Jesus Christ. Paul tells us: I say, Over so long a time the heir is an infant, he does not differ from a slave, though being lord of all; but he is under guardians and housemasters until the term appointed before by the father (Galatians 4:1-2). Let us grow into the full measure of the stature of Christ Jesus; so that our Father will entrust us with all our inheritance (Ephesians 4:13).
I used to think God would provide all my needs when I had tithed enough. So some months I did not have enough, so God spoke to me. How long should you tithe before I provide all your needs? I said: I do not know! So on a particular month God gave me an amount of a thousand times my tithes, so I said to God that it was more than a hundredfold! And He told me, you are the one who put a limit on the manifestations of My blessings, of course you ought to tithe; yet I covenanted to provide all your needs according to My riches in glory by Christ Jesus, not according to your tithes (Philippians 4:19 ). God saw the willingness of my mind to give financially; therefore He entrusted it to me that if He gives me more, I will continue to give back to Him; it is credit; that is the righteousness of faith.
There is a teaching out there that says: you will receive the blessing of the Lord, especially financial blessing, when you have given enough of your tithe, and your spiritual cloud is full, and then it will empty itself by pouring financial rain down on you. Also you will receive the answers to your prayers when you have prayed long enough, and you have filled your spiritual cloud with prayers, then it will empty itself by pouring down the answer. The scripture they use to support their belief is: If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth (Ecclesiastes 11:3). The problem is: how do you know that your so-called spiritual cloud is full? Their answer is: you will just know, it is a feeling inside you! The truth is we do not walk by feelings or emotions but we walk by faith (2Corinthians 5:7).
Faith only agrees with the finished word of Jesus on the cross. You are already blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places according to the scriptures (Ephesians 1:3). So in other words your spiritual clouds are already full! You want to receive a credit from the bank of heaven; for faith is credit. God who searches the hearts knows that you have a willing mind to continue to be a giver, even after He has blessed you financially; for you have come to believe that it is more blessed to give, than to received as Jesus taught us (Acts 20:35). The same thing for prayer; God sees the willingness of your heart; that you have believed what Jesus said: man always ought to pray and not lose heart (Luke 18:1). He trusts you that you will not fellowship with Him only when you are in trouble, but even when He has delivered you, you will continue to have fellowship with Him.
Paul tells you that Isaiah told us: God has heard you in an acceptable time, and in the day of salvation God has helped you: But in the New Testament Paul tells you: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation [salvation of the soul, healing, deliverance, prosperity, wholeness] (2Corinthians 6:2). Even the Psalmists in the Old Testament understood that God wanted to save and prosper them now! It is written: Save now, I beseech You, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech You, send now prosperity (Psalm 118:25). May we understand and believe that all things that pertain to life and godliness have already been given unto us by grace through faith. Therefore whatsoever things we desire, when we pray, let us believe that we receive them, and we shall have them (Mark 11:24).
God wants to do everything in our life now, but He wants us to believe according to the scriptures, so that He can confirm His word, with mighty signs and wonders following (Mark 16:19-20). Whatever spiritual cloud you are chasing after, or you are trying to fill; it is already full and ready to empty itself now! It is by grace through faith that we have all the redemptive promises of God; not through you giving, through your prayer, through your fasting, through your good deeds of the Law; these you ought to have done, but it is all about what Jesus has done for you by His death, burial and resurrection. God has seen your willingness to obey His word after you are delivered; so He wants to deliver you. Now if you are a hypocrite and have no intention of serving Him after you are delivered; He might still deliver you, so that His goodness will lead you to repentance and mind renewal. But if you have an impenitent heart, even after He has shown you His goodness; next time you come to him in hypocrisy, it might not work (Romans 2:4-6).
The righteousness of the law is based on performances, and if you decide to rely on them, you will live by those performances of righteousness of the law. Do not blame God for that, you and I are the ones who set those conditions for us to receive what God freely gave to you by grace through faith. The righteousness of the Law is a debit account. So you can only withdraw what you have deposited. Whereas the righteousness of faith is a credit account, you can withdraw more than what you have deposited. Just like with an earthly bank, if you have a good credit history with that bank, they will be able to give you a bigger credit. Therefore Jesus tells us: He that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least, is unjust also in much. If therefore you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches (Luke 16:10-11)? Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord has made ruler over His household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his Lord shall find him so doing when He comes. Truly I say to you that He shall make him ruler over all His goods (Matthew 24:45-47).
This works in all aspects of spiritual life. If you are faithful with the little God gave you as a revelation of the word of God, He will give you more revelation of the word of God. If you are faithful in winning souls, He will entrust you with more souls, etc. Trust is built over time, when the two parties have seen the faithfulness of the other party. The bible is a book of God’s credit history. Everybody can go and check God’s credit history; His Fear, dealing with people; His faithfulness is unto all generations (Psalm 119:90). God also will gradually check our faithfulness in order to be able to entrust us with true riches, as Jesus explained to us.
We are the ones who limit what God can do through us; God said to the people: Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel (Psalm 78:41). All the mighty men of God started with very little, and they were faithful in what was little, and God entrusted them with much, with true riches. If you despise the days of little beginnings, you will never act on the word of God; you will think I will wait until I have a bigger opportunity to act on the word of God, I will wait until I will be standing before crowds, to act on the word of God. No, God sees in secret and rewards openly (Matthew 6:4-6). He sees your personal prayer life, your personal fasting, your personal study of the word of God, your personal witnessing to souls, when no one else is watching. He saw in secret how David fought against the lion and the bear that came against the few sheep of his father. If David could be a shepherd after God’s own heart for the few sheep of Jesse his father, surely he would be a shepherd after God’s own heart to Israel the flock of God (Jeremiah 3:15, Acts 13:22).
God, the very day you were born again, put His Spirit of life in you, from the very day you were born again you could heal the sick, cast out devils, cleanse lepers and raise the dead, for Christ Jesus is in you. If God can use inanimate objects like aprons and handkerchiefs to heal the sick and cast out devils (Acts 19:11-12), those handkerchiefs and aprons will never pray or fast, but God uses them because He puts the power of His Spirit upon them; how much more you, who have His Spirit of life in you, and upon you. Truly as a man thinks in his heart so is he (Proverbs 23:7). God does not put limits on us, we put them on ourselves, God looks at what Jesus did and it is perfect, and He also looks at the willingness of our hearts and minds to obey Him.
Should we to pray and fast, yes we ought to; yet what we are, who we are, and what we do in the kingdom of God, are not based on our performances of the law, but based on what Christ did for us and who He is in us. Jesus gave us the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25:1-13. Five of them were foolish, they had their lamp and oil in their lamp, but did not bring extra oil with them. The other five were wise, they had oil in their lamp and took extra oil with them. The oil here is the Holy Spirit; we are the light of the world and are supposed to shine the light of God in our generation.
Virginity speaks of righteousness; all who are righteous are waiting for the coming of the Lord Jesus, who is the Righteous One. Though the parable is talking about what will happen in the end of days; yet we can apply it in our understanding of righteousness of the law, versus righteousness of faith. For the five foolish virgins represent the Jews who pursue the righteousness which is of the law, and have not made Jesus Christ their Lord and Saviour. Paul said of himself before he was converted to Christianity: concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless (Philippians 3:6).
The Jews who are pursuing the righteousness which is of the law and are sincere like Paul was; they are blameless or can be likened to spiritual virgins, according to the standard of the law, but in the standard of God, all our self righteousness which is of the law, is but filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). Paul explains in 2Corinthians 3, that though the righteousness which is of the law had some glory or light, when Moses came down from the mountain his face was shining, but Moses put a veil on his face because that glory was fading away, he did not want people to see that that glory was passing away. Moses had to go back on the mountain for a period of time to refuel, and have the same glory.
Moses had to live by those rules to have that glory; if he did not go up to the mountain he would stop glowing. That is what happened to the five foolish virgins; they ran out of oil and they had to go back to buy some more just like Moses ran out of glory, and had to run back to the mountain to get it back (Exodus 34:29-35). Moses himself did not want to live with that limitation in his life; he did not want that righteousness, which is of the law, for all those performances had to become his lifestyle (Romans 10:5). But God told him a day is coming when I will do away with the righteousness which is of the law, and establish the righteousness of faith. So Moses speaks of the righteousness of faith in this way: “do not say in your heart who will ascend into heaven? That is to bring Christ down from above. Or who will descend into the abyss? That is to bring Christ up from the dead”. But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” that is the word of faith which we preach (Romans 10:6-8).
In other words: everything is available right now, Jesus died, was buried and rose from the dead according to the scriptures, and it is finished! The glory of God in the New Covenant exceeds that of the Old Testament, which Moses experienced. The five wise virgins who had oil in their lamps and with them, they did not need to go anywhere to refuel. In the New Covenant, not only do we have the Spirit of God upon us, but we also have the Spirit of God in us. Christ Jesus who is the king of glory dwells in us (Psalm 24:7-10). You and I have received Christ Jesus into our life, our lamp is burning but let us have the understanding that we have oil with us, and within us, the light and power is available 24/7. When people call me and ask me to interpret their dreams or visions, I do not tell them, let me first go and pray and fast like Daniel did, and I will come with the interpretation later. I understand that the Spirit is with me, upon me and in me. I believe that in my heart, and open my mouth to speak by faith, the interpretation of that vision or dream, according to the Word of God.
When people call me at 1am because someone has swallowed a toxic substance, though I am half asleep and wake up like the ten virgins did in Matthew 25, I do not tell the people: let me go and pray first and I will call you back, or let me pray in tongues for one hour first, to “refuel spiritually”. I understand that I am numbered among the five wise virgins, I have oil with me, and in me. I just wake up and command healing in the body of that person, or cast out that devil, and it is done in Jesus’ name! Once more should we fast, pray, tithe, read scriptures and do all those good deeds and good works? The answer is yes.
But everything we do in the name of Jesus or everything God performs through us, or what God does for us, is not based on our performances; but on what Jesus did for us by His death, burial and resurrection, and who Jesus is in us. It is by grace through faith. Our faith should be in Jesus, not on our performances of the law. Even when we act on our faith to receive the manifestation of God’s promises given to us by grace, it is always God who works in us, both to give us the willingness and the ability to do it for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).
The truth is, the more you place your faith in Jesus, and not in your performances, the more you will perform well in the kingdom of God. Basically you learn to ascribe all the glory, power, might, majesty, righteousness and holiness in your life, to God. When you believe in the righteousness of faith instead of the righteousness which is of the law, you will achieve more for the kingdom of God; for that is what the disciples of Jesus understood, including Paul, and they carried out mighty exploits in the name of the Lord.
Paul tells us: O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you (who has cast a spell upon you), that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ has been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now made perfect by the flesh (Galatians 3:1-3)? Let us not be foolish like the five foolish virgins in Matthew 25, we started this Christian walk in the Spirit, what God does is perfect, and His redemption plan is perfect. Everything in the salvation package is freely given to us by grace, and we have their manifestations through faith in Jesus, and His finished work on the cross.
People asked Jesus: what shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them: this is the work of God, that you believe on Jesus whom God has sent (John 6:28-29). We must be very careful and always probe our hearts, because the more we stay in Christianity, the easier it is to switch back to the righteousness, which is of the law based on our performances, instead of abiding in the righteousness of faith, which is based on the perfect redemption plan of God, which He executed by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, according to the scriptures. Our works, good deeds in the righteousness of faith, is not done by our own efforts, but it is God who works in us, both to will and do for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). People are afraid of this teaching because they think people will stop working, and it will make them lazy Christians.
It is not true; because when you understand it, your life will be full of gratitude, you will ascribe everything in you, and everything you do and have in life, to God. You will always praise and worship God, and be so happy to work in the field with your Father and your elder brother Jesus in the vineyard. This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that you affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men (Titus 3:8), because it is God who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). Paul says: by the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me; for it is God who works in me both to will and do for His good pleasure (1Corinthians 15:10, Philippians 2:13).
When you understand the grace of God that has been bestowed upon you; that God has freely given you all things, and you are what you are and who you are; not because of what you have done personally, but by the grace of God. Furthermore whatever you now do for His kingdom, He is the one who works in you, both to will and do for His good pleasure. You will not take it for granted, or receive that grace that was bestowed upon you in vain; but you will labour more abundantly than them all; for God will be working in you, by His grace through faith, to give you the willingness and the divine empowerment to accomplish whatsoever He requires of you, for the furtherance of the kingdom of God. Believing that God has already given you all things that pertain to
life and godliness, and has already blessed you with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places by grace; takes most of the responsibility off your shoulders, because you understand that God has already done the major part, and you just need to do your little part of faith to receive it!
Paul defends His gospel of grace by faith when people think that it makes people lazy Christians. Paul takes his own personal example to prove to people that it is a lie from the devil to make people believe that Christians will become lazy, if they believe in the gospel of grace through faith. He says: are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths often. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which comes upon me daily, the care of all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is offended, and I burn not? If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities (2Corinthians 11:23-30).
I-2 The disciples did not fast often while Jesus was physically with them
Matthew 9:14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples fast not?
Matthew 9:15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.
Matthew 9:16 No man puts a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the rent is made worse.
Matthew 9:17 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles or wineskin: else the bottles or wineskin break, and the wine runs out or is spilled, and the bottles or wineskins are ruined: but they put new wine into new bottles or wineskin, and both are preserved.
The disciples of John the Baptist and the disciples of the Pharisees were complaining about the disciples of Jesus; because they were not fasting as often as they were. Jesus told them: as long as He was with them, they will not fast. First of all Jesus wanted His disciples to walk in a different covenant, and not in the Old Covenant like the Pharisees and the disciples of John the Baptist. When Jesus was on earth with them, His disciples performed many miracles; they healed the sick and cast out demons. When Jesus had called unto him his twelve disciples, He gave them authority and power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease (Matthew 10:1). And as you go, preach, saying: the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely you have received, freely give (Matthew 10:7-8). Then Jesus called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases (Luke 9:1). And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing everywhere (Luke 9:6).
After these things the Lord appointed other seventy two also, and sent them two and two before His face into every city and place, whither He himself would come. Therefore He said unto them: the harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray therefore the Lord of the harvest that He would send forth (ekballo: cast out, eject) labourers into His harvest (Luke 10:1-2). And the seventy two returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through Your name (Luke 10:17). So Jesus was expecting them, to just believe in His word and in His name; use the name of Jesus and the authority and power invested in that name of Jesus to cast out all devils, to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease, to cleanse the lepers and to raise the dead.
Many times when we are around men of God who are walking in signs and wonders, we have the tendency of relaxing and letting them do all the work of ministry. We say to ourselves: the man of God or the woman of God will pray for me, the man of God or the woman of God will give me a word from the Lord, the man of God or the woman of God will fast for us: after all, we are the sheep! So that was also the attitude of the disciples of Jesus, and we can even see in Matthew 26, Jesus tells them to watch with Him in prayer for at least one hour, and when He came to them, they were sleeping. So just like in the wilderness the people said to Moses: you go and talk with God and come back and talk to us! Moses did all the fasting and the praying, and came to them with the word of God. But God’s plan was for all of them to be priests. So that is what Jesus meant about the attitude of His disciples, about fasting and prayer.
When the disciples could not cast the epileptic spirit out of the little boy, Jesus rebuked them because of their unbelief. Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you (Matthew 17:20). The power and authority is invested in the name of Jesus, when we believe what Jesus has done for us, and what He has freely given us in His perfect redemption plan, nothing shall be impossible for us.
So the first thing Jesus is telling us is to have the right understanding of what Jesus has done for us, and then Jesus tells us: However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:21). People may argue with this verse that it was added by men, I will leave it to God; in Mark 9:29 it is not added, but is in the original writing of Mark when he narrates the same story. I decided to believe every word recorded in the bible as being the Word of God. So Jesus told them, there are some kinds of demons that on top of the right understanding of the authority and power Jesus has given us; we must add prayer and fasting. But the disciples could not perform the deliverance of the boy; because they did not have a lifestyle of prayer and fasting.
David, who was a man after God’s own heart, tells us: as for me, when they were sick, My clothing [was] sackcloth; I humbled myself with fasting; And my prayer would return to my own heart (Psalm 35: 13). So David fasted and prayed when people he cared for were sick. To humble oneself is first of all believing the Word of God and acting on it, and sometimes humbling oneself also involves fasting and praying. Jesus came to the disciples and found them asleep. And He said to Peter, What! Could you not watch with Me one hour (Matthew 26:40)?
I do my best everyday to have a quiet time of prayer for at least one hour; because Jesus commanded all believers to do so, saying: what I say to you, I say to all. Watch (Mark 13:37). Paul tells us: now it was not written for their sake alone, but also for us who believe in God, who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead (Romans 4:23-24). The will of God for us is, first of all that we find out what is written in the bible concerning a particular subject; second that we have the right understanding of those written scriptures, in the light of His perfect redemption plan, which is His finished work on the cross; third that we go and become doers of those scriptures that we have rightly understood; and fourth we will experience the result promised in the scriptures.
People ask, Gery, what about believing? Do you not think that we need to believe that God wants to remove the burden of belief from your shoulders? It has nothing to do with you, but with the one who said those words. Even if you do not believe that word, do it, and you will experience the same results promised in the bible. That is why Mary told the servants at the wedding: whatever Jesus tells you, do it (John 2:5). The servants only followed the instructions of Jesus, and the miracle of water turned into wine happened. Paul explains it to us, saying: what if some people did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? The answer to that question is: certainly not! Whether they believe or not it does not matter, as long as they are acting on the word of God, God will be faithful to perform His word. Indeed, let God be true and every man or woman a liar (Romans 3:3-4).
Why? Because God promised that even when we do not believe His word, or are faithless, but if we do whatever He tells us to do concerning our situation, He remains faithful to perform His word, because He cannot deny Himself (2Timothy 2:13). Many times it is your conscience accusing you, that you do not believe a promise of God. James tells us: I will show you my faith by my works (James 2:18). In other words: when you are acting on the word of God, you have demonstrated that you believe that word of God by your actions. So if your heart and your mind are condemning you that you do not believe; do not listen to them. God is greater than your heart and mind, and He has seen that by your actions you have demonstrated that you believe His word. The more you act on the word of God, the less your heart will be condemning you and you will have confidence toward God (1John 3:20-21). That is why it is easier to act yourself into believing, than to believe yourself into acting!
God told Isaiah to speak to them about fasting, and He said that if they humble themselves and decide to obey the word of God; then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard (Isaiah 58:8). So God said to the people through Isaiah, that first of all they need to repent, which means to be remorseful for their evil ways, to turn their back and forsake their old ways, and renew their mind according to the Word of God, and act on it. Then as they fast, their healing process would speed up. King Ahab who was a wicked king, married to Jezebel who killed the prophets of God, God said that he would die a cruel death. So it was, when Ahab heard those words, that he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his body, and fasted and lay in sackcloth, and went about mourning. And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, See how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the calamity in his days. In the days of his son I will bring the calamity on his house (1Kings 21:27-29).
So you see even this wicked man, Ahab, when he repented and humbled himself in fasting; God delivered him from that cruel death. Not everybody we pray for is born again, and even if he or she is born again, you do not know what the evils he or she has committed to bring those demons or that disease on themselves are? I take it upon myself to live a disciplined life of prayer and fasting; so that no matter who comes my way, or how wicked they are, it does not matter! I know if God spared Ahab He can spare anybody. The disciples of Jesus being devout Jews would have fasted at least on the Day of Atonement, for it was compulsory for all the Jews (Leviticus 23:26-28). But while Jesus was with them they were not fasting as often as the Pharisees, and the disciples of John the Baptist were.
Jesus took seventy two other disciples, and sent them to heal the sick, cast out devils, raise the dead and preach the kingdom of God; and they went and used the authority and power invested in the name of Jesus, and got the job done. Only after Jesus had ascended to heaven and the disciples had received the Holy Ghost upon them, which was the promise of the Father, the disciples started to fast often in the book of Acts, and in the epistles. Jesus wants us to know that everything we have received in the New Covenant, is based on what He did for us, and not based on our works or good deeds. And then He wants us to be co-labourers with Him in humbling ourselves according to the Word of God, and also in prayer and fasting, as He exemplified it for us throughout the gospels. And whatever we do, whether it is prayer or fasting, or reading the Word of God, or becoming a doer of the Word of God; it is God who works in us, both to will and do for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).
You and I must believe like the disciples believed in the words of Jesus, and in the power and authority invested in the name of Jesus. Paul says: God who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall God not with Jesus also freely give us all things (Romans 8:32)? There is nothing we can do as far as works or good deeds are concerned, that can qualify us to receive anything from God, Jesus freely gave us everything by His death and resurrection. Peter tells us: grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, according as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who has called us to glory and virtue, through which He has given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, so that by these you may be partakers of the Divine nature (2Peter 1:2-4). We need to acknowledge every good thing which is in us in Christ Jesus, so that the communication of our faith will become effectual (Philemon 1:6).
If the miracles the disciples did were based on their good deeds or their works, or how they much fasted; they could have said to Jesus: the demons are subject to us because we fasted or prayed, or we healed all manner of sickness all manner of disease and cast out all devils because we fasted. But they said it was because of the name of Jesus and faith in His name. Peter says: why do you look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we have made this man walk (Acts 3:12).The Prince of Life, Jesus, whom you killed and God raised from the dead of which we are witnesses and His name through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him perfect soundness in the presence of you all (Acts 3:15-16). Not the faith which comes through our fasting, through our long prayers or through our good deeds, or through our offerings; but the faith which comes through Jesus.
My friends we must believe Jesus and His disciples who heard His teachings first hand, and recorded them for us in the bible. If Jesus expected them to first of all believe the written Word of God, and become doers of the Word of God; and then to also humble themselves in prayer and fasting; let us learn to put our faith in the name of Jesus, in His authority and power. Many would ask, Jesus should we not pray? Should we not fast? Should we not do good deeds, should we not work? Of course we ought to be doing them; yet the authority and power are not in them, the authority and power are in the name of Jesus and the Word of God; believe the Word of God and believe in Jesus. Paul says: I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes; to the Jews first, and also to the Greek (Romans 1:16). But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God (1Corinthians 1:24).
It does not say our good deeds or our works or our prayers or our fast are the power of God, no; but Jesus and His gospel are the power of God when we believe His perfect redemption plan, and use the authority and power invested in His name, we will have the manifestations of everything God freely gave us, in His salvation package. When we pray or fast or read the bible or do any good deed of the law, it is our positive response to what has already been freely given to us, by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. By those actions we have shown or demonstrated that we truly believe in what we have heard, and we want to be co-labourers with Christ Jesus to bring to manifestation, what is already ours in the heavenly places. By grace God has already provided all things that pertain to our life and godliness, all blessings; they are in heavenly places. We need to know them, acknowledge that they are already ours, and then act accordingly and see them become true in our physical life.
It is as if you were given a car, and the keys by a car manufacturer. What He is asking you to do is just to learn how to drive, to learn the basics of how to maintain the car in good running condition, and then you go and open the door of your car, and drive it wherever you want to. The biggest job has been done by the car manufacturer, you are only asked to do the smallest part. We have explained the concept of impartation in this series of the application of the perfect redemption plan. We have explained how the car can be jump started. When Jesus called His twelve and then His seventy two disciples, and gave them the legal authority to exercise power to cast out all demons, and heal all manner of sickness and disease; it can be likened to impartation or jump starting them into signs and wonders.
Just like when God took the Spirit that was upon Moses and poured it upon the seventy elders (Numbers 11:24-30). We explained you are that car, even that new creation of God. It is your responsibility to maintain that car. You are complete in Christ Jesus (Colossians 2:10).
The car manufacturer placed everything in that car; you need to learn how to use everything you were born with, and how to maintain that car in good condition and how to drive it. Do you want the car manufacturer to also send you a driver? Come on! Let us take our responsibilities!
1-3 Read the word, pray and then worship God.
Nehemiah tells us: now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, in sackcloth, and with dust on their heads. Then those of Israelite lineage separated themselves from all foreigners; and they stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the LORD their God for one-fourth of the day; and for another fourth they confessed and worshiped the LORD their God (Nehemiah 9:1-3).
So according to Nehemiah when we fast, we must first of all separate ourselves from the world or sanctify ourselves. Then we read the bible. They spent one-fourth of the day reading the bible which is three hours reading the bible. As they read the bible they discovered what the will of God was, what the ways of God were, and they repented of their sins and iniquities. Then they decided to renew their minds according to the Word of God they had read; for a greater sanctification or separation from the world, and they worshiped God.
Prayer which included repentance, renewing of the mind and confessing the Word of God in prayer, and worship took one-fourth of the day which is three hours. So you see, the time spent reading the word of God was more than the time spent praying and worshiping. For to pray effectively, we need to know the will of God. Unfortunately some Christians spend hours praying and singing, and do not even read their bible. To be able to praise and worship God effectively, we must know the scriptures, read the bible study on the seven Hebrew words for praise, and to be able to pray effectively and confess the Word of God in prayer, you need to know the word of God.
You notice here when they came together, it was to share the word of God or hear the preaching, pray and worship. The prayer was linked with the revelation of the word of God they received that day. God said His house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations (Isaiah 56:7, Matthew 21:13). Prayer must come back into the church. I am not talking about having a prayer group that meet during the week, I am talking about during the church service. I am not talking about having a group of people praying before the church service in a small room. I am talking about everybody in the church praying. I am not talking about someone making an opening prayer for the service and the preacher pronouncing the blessing over the people after his sermon and dismissing the service.
My house shall be called a house of prayer. We preach, we worship but we have not time to pray about what we have heard in the sermon. The people in Nehemiah’s day prayed about what they heard from the reading of the bible. If they had to repent, they repented, if they had to renew their mind, they did so. My prayer is that God’s house will once again become a house of prayer for all nations. May God pour out upon each one of us the spirit of grace and supplication or prayer (Zechariah 12:10).
We are already blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus; and God by His grace and divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness. So if we do not know the things that have already been freely given to us, and do not acknowledge them, we will spend our time in prayer asking for things that God has already given us, instead of thanking Him for those things, believing that we receive them when we pray, and commanding their manifestation in the physical realm in Jesus’ name.
I did not know this revelation before, and I used to spend hours praying in my quiet time and God told me to read the bible more in my quiet time. I did not know this scripture in Nehemiah; but I obeyed God, and I started seeing tremendous results, and I was becoming more Christ like. It was an effortless transformation in my life. I am not telling you to stop praying in your quiet time, no. What I am telling you is: in your quiet time, if you spend one hour in your quiet time, spend 30 minutes reading the word and the other 30 minutes confessing the word in prayer, and praising God. As you go out of your house continue to pray without ceasing, and meditate on the Word of God, confessing the Word of God in your heart, pray in tongues in your mind. In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1Thessalonians 5:17-18). Even in a church service, since God’s house is a house of prayer, if we have a two hour service, I believe half of the time should be spent in prayer, and the other half in the sharing of the word and praise.
God and His power can only invade the world when human vessels get involved in the plans of God. We are labourers together with God, always remember that (1Corinthians 3:9). Moses wrote in Genesis in the account of the flood in the days of Noah: In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, in the seventeenth day of the month, in this day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened up. And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights (Genesis 7:11-12). The fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and rain from heaven was restrained. And the waters returned from off the earth continually. And after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters had gone down (Genesis 8:2-3). The same Moses said to the people of God: the land into which you go to possess it, is not as the land of Egypt from which you came out, where you sowed your seed and watered it with your foot, like a garden of herbs. But the land which you are entering to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, drinking water from the rain of heaven. It is a land which the Lord your God cares for. The eyes of the Lord your God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even to the end of the year (Deuteronomy 11:10-12).
Now from the two scriptures of Moses let us try to understand what he is telling us spiritually. Let us talk about Egypt. In Egypt there is the Nile River. Egypt is a desert, so they do not have a lot of rainy days, Pharaoh King of Egypt raised a labour force to dig seven channels to bring the water of the Nile River everywhere into Egypt, and reference to those seven streams of the River of Egypt is made in Isaiah 11:15. So we remember that in the days of Joseph, the entire world came to buy seed in Egypt. Like Moses said, the people sowed their seed and watered it with their foot, using the irrigation system they dug, like a garden of herbs or a vegetable garden. Water is water, whether it comes from the river and a man dug irrigation system, or it comes from the rain that descends from heaven, as far as the seed is concerned it is water, and it will cause the seed to grow the same way. We are the ones who need to do some extra work by digging those irrigation systems, to bring the water from the river to the seed.
Moses told them that in the promised land, it would not be like in Egypt, where they had to dig irrigation systems to bring the water to the seed; but the land and the seed would receive water from the rain sent from heaven. But truly as far as the seed is concerned, water is water it will grow the same way, whether the water is coming from the river or from the rain. In the promised land we will have less work to do. Later in David’s days, he discovered an underground river in Israel, and he dug channels to develop irrigation systems in Israel, and even in the days of Solomon he made vegetable gardens and swimming pools (Ecclesiastes 2:6). David did not have to always wait for the rain. If the rain came down from heaven, praise the Lord; but if not he still watered his vegetable garden with the water from that underground river through the irrigation systems that he dug. So what is the spiritual significance of these three scenarios?
Many Christians are always waiting for God to send the rain, which is symbolic of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit like He promised. God wants us, in the New Covenant, to be co-labourers with Him. He will pour out His Spirit upon all flesh; yet meanwhile He wants us to water people around us with the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the moment we received Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. As Jesus told us: whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him, a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life (John 4:14). He who believes on Me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water (John 7:38). So the fountain of living water is deep inside us, there are actually rivers of living water stored up under that fountain, so it is actually a great fountain! God wants every born again Christian to break up his God-given fountain of living water of the great deep, and that is what we saw in the days of Noah, when the flood happened, each fountain of the great deep broke up, as Moses explained to us in (Genesis 7:11-12).
Now if we remember the tsunami that happened in 2004, it was an earthquake in the ocean that occurred close to Indonesia. It only lasted ten minutes, but it caused the entire planet earth to vibrate as much as one centimetre. It affected many countries and flooded many cities and destroyed many buildings. There was no rain, only an earthquake at sea. Without rain or the windows of heaven being opened to pour out rain, just the fact that the fountains of the deep broke up, shook the entire planet and caused much destruction. If Christians take their responsibility to break up the fountain of the great deep that is in each one of them, the entire world will be shaken by the power of the Holy Spirit, much destruction and great damage will be caused to the kingdom of darkness.
In the days of Noah it was not just the fact that the windows of heaven were opened and it rained for forty days and forty nights, but Moses started by telling us it was first the fountains of the great deep that broke up (Genesis 7:11-12). And when the fountains of the deep closed up, and the windows of heaven where also stopped; the waters receded continually from the earth (Genesis 8:2-3).
Deep calls to deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; all Your waves and Your billows have gone over me (Psalm 42:7). As you break up the fountain of the deep in your belly, God will also open the windows of heaven to pour out the rain from the fountain of His great deep. If the fountains of the deep were not stopped, even though the windows of heaven were stopped, the waters on earth would not have receded continually. God wants us to work hand in hand with heaven. Habakkuk prophesied saying: the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14). The water is symbolic of the Holy Spirit (John 7:38-39).
And in the New Testament whenever the glory of God is mentioned it has a lot to do with healing, casting out demons and dead raising (John 11:40). At the bottom of the sea there is not a single spot that is dry; the smallest spot and remotest spot at the bottom of the sea are profusely wet. So Habakkuk prophesies that it shall be the same thing on the earth: every single place on the earth, even the remotest place of the earth, will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God. People will know that Jesus is truly the one to come, and they should not look for another one. The glory of the Lord Jesus will be made manifest to all people by mighty signs and wonders. We will give witness of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. As it was in the days of the early disciples of Jesus: with great power the apostles gave witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all (Acts 4:33). The grace of God was not just upon few of them, but great grace was upon them all!
On April 8th 2015 at 6am I was in the Spirit and saw a vision. In that vision I was in a meeting. An 80 year old prophetess from the USA came to Glasgow to the church of her disciple, a pastor friend of mine. In the natural I have ministered with her on one occasion during one of the healing services in 2014. In that vision she said: there is one person that has been praying on earth, and I have seen a tidal wave so high that is coming, and that tidal wave that is so high, is a mega-tsunami that will start in Glasgow Scotland, and flood the whole continent of Europe.
When I came out of that vision I understood what the Lord was prophetically saying to me. And I wrote it in my diary.
Now how does one break up his fountain of the great deep so that his deep or her deep can call to God’s deep? As we have explained in the bible study on “The Power of Confession”: it starts with the Word of God. God says: Is not my word like as a fire? says the LORD; and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces (Jeremiah 23:29)? And again God says: you are My battle axe and weapons or instruments of war: for with you will I break in pieces the nations, and with you will I destroy kingdoms (Jeremiah 51:20).
So the word is the hammer or pneumatic drill God uses to break up the fountain of the deep in you. You are the battle axe of the Lord and His instrument of war, so God wants to use you to create spiritual earthquakes, which will result in a spiritual tsunami that will utterly destroy the kingdom of darkness. It is our responsibility as Christians to plough in the word of God and dig those spiritual channels, so that we can release the rivers of living water contained in our belly. People around us will be watered; salvation of souls and healing will spread round about us, and even far abroad. In that tsunami they needed the wind to blow the waves of the sea to the shore. The same way spiritually, when the rushing mighty wind of the Holy Ghost from heaven came at Pentecost in Acts 2, and Christianity spread like a wave all over the world. People were being healed and saved in thousands and multitudes without number.
As you read the Word of God, discover the things that have been freely given to you, acknowledge that they are already in you, since the Godhead dwells in you. You start speaking in line with that revelation of the Perfect Redemption Plan: who you are in Christ Jesus and what has been invested in you and imputed unto you, and then you start acting on that revelation of the Perfect Redemption Plan of God. It means that you are using the hammer of the Word of God to break the fountain of the great deep in you, and you are digging spiritual channels so that the underground rivers of living waters that are in your belly can be brought to the surface and quench the spiritual thirst of many souls, even of nations.
The next step is to have a down pouring of rain from heaven and the rushing mighty wind. Prayer and fasting will do that spiritually. God said: If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways (which is repentance); then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (2Chronicles 7:14). We humble ourselves in fasting and in obeying the word of God.
The word of God according to Jeremiah is a hammer and fire. In my own personal experience when I coupled prayer and fasting to the confession of the word of God, that word of God became like a pneumatic drill and a flamethrower. A flamethrower is a mechanical incendiary device designed to project a long controllable stream of fire, they were first used during World War I, and widely used in World War II; they were also used by the US soldiers during the Vietnam War. I remember fasting one day and an angel appeared to me in a vision, he gave me a gun and that gun was projecting a long stream of fire.
Moses told us that the windows of heavens were opened and it rained for forty days and forty nights (Genesis 7:11-12). Moses also went on Mount Sinai to pray and fast for forty days and forty nights in Exodus 24, Elijah also fasted for forty days and forty nights in 1Kings 19:8, Jesus also fasted and prayed for forty days and forty nights in Matthew 4. So we have the Word of God, prayer then fasting, these are the main keys to both breaking up our fountain of our deep, to call to the deep of God and have Him send the rushing mighty wind and the rain. We can do a lot with a good irrigation system; we can basically water our vegetable garden and our crops. But at a certain moment we will need the rain from heaven; for you cannot water trees for a long period of time with an irrigation system. It is too much work, but when the rain falls from heaven it is all the land or the kingdom that is watered.
In the bible trees represent kingdoms and nations, that is what Daniel said to Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4, and God said the same thing to Ezekiel in Ezekiel 31 where the cedar tree represented Lebanon. If we want God to save and heal our land, nations and kingdoms, we need to go about it the way He instructed us; not just in spending time in the word and doing the word; but also in prayer and fasting as He instructed us in 2Chronicles 7:14. Daniel also understood it, after he had read the books of the prophets and understood that the time of the captivity of Judah in Babylon was not over; he then humbled himself in prayer and fasting as we see in Daniel 9 and Daniel 10.
God delivered Judah in the days of Cyrus who decreed that the Jews could go back to Judah. Now we understand why after the departure of Jesus into heaven, the apostles gave themselves continually to the ministration of the word and prayer (Acts 6:4). And we also see that they were fasting often, no wonder that they turned the world upside and down in such a short period of time (2Corinthians 11:27). Paul says that everything we do for the kingdom of God is sanctified or set apart or made holy by the word of God and prayer (1Timothy 4:5).
In 2011 God gave me a word cedar tree. I thought it was about the church in Glasgow that was a cedar tree. So I read Ezekiel 31:1-9 over and over thinking it was about the church in Glasgow. And on August 3rd, 2012 the Lord again gave me Ezekiel 31:1-9 but this time He also gave me Daniel 4:20-22. Then as I read Daniel, I understood that I was the cedar tree God was talking about, like Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar that he was the oak tree that God was talking about. When God delivers the 50 European nations into my hands, and the hands of my disciples, I need to watch out for pride in my heart according to the scriptures, and see that I always turn the glory, power and achievement back to the Lord God; for both in Daniel 4 and in Ezekiel 31, the king of Babylon and the king of Assyria ascribed the glory, conquest, expansion, power to the works of their hands, not to God. May God help Gery and his disciples to always ascribe everything unto Jesus, and Jesus alone, according to the scriptures!
Spiritual things are birthed with the revelation of the will of God, acting on that revelation and in prayer and fasting. God prophesied the coming of Jesus Christ. So people had the knowledge of that prophecy. When the time of the manifestation of the prophecy was at hand, God revealed it to some individuals, and asked them to pray and fast until the manifestation of the birth of Jesus. We know at least two of those people that God revealed His will to and asked to pray and fast until the birth of Jesus: Anna and Simeon.
There was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ (Luke 2:25-26). And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day (Luke 2:36-37).
God will not call everybody to pray and fast for such a long time. Most of the time it is prophets, prophetesses and apostles that He calls for a long period of prayers and fastings; because He has revealed unto them the plans He has for a group of people, for a nation or a continent and He wants to involve them in His plan, so that they will stand in the gap to bring it to pass. The Lord says: I sought for a man or a woman among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none (Ezekiel 22:30).
God found Simeon and Anna who believed the prophecy of Isaiah, and were willing to pray and fast for the coming of Christ Jesus. Even if God has asked you to pray and fast for a particular thing, keep on sharing the gospel, healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out demons and cleansing lepers, making disciples. Some “intercessors” spend their whole life in their prayer closets and never share the Word of God with anybody – that is not what God told them to do. We must share the gospel.
For people to be born again they need to hear the Word of God, they do not just need prayers! We are all called to share the gospel, to heal the sick, cast out devils, raise the dead, and make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-20). Do not give us false excuses that you are an “intercessor”; you only pray and fast. The truth is you are a coward and ashamed of the gospel of Christ which is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16)! Every born again Christian has the debt to pay which is sharing the gospel to the people around him or her, none of us is exempted (Romans 1:14-15). Paul fasted often and prayed too (2Corinthians 11:27). The apostles gave themselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word (Acts 6:4). They were not just praying and fasting continually; but they were also ministering the word of God continually. Nowhere in the book of Acts or in the epistles will you see a person who is only called to prayer and fasting, but never share the word of God, never make disciples and never heal the sick, never cast out devils.
There is more to fasting than just dying to self, or mortifying the deeds of the flesh. We will all agree that Jesus the Son of God was not born with our sinful nature. Though He was tempted by the devil to sin and walk in the flesh; it was not his nature; for he was sinless. So when Jesus went into the wilderness to fast for forty days and forty nights, it was certainly not to die to sin, or mortify the deeds of the flesh (Matthew 4)! He went to fast for forty days and forty nights in the wilderness, and Satan came to tempt him and He defeated Satan as a son of God, filled with the Holy Ghost, equipped with the word of God. But He returned, after those forty days and forty nights of fasting and resisting Satan using the written word of God, not only filled with the Holy Ghost, but full of the power of the Holy Ghost (Luke 4:1-14).
A pastor told me: “God sometimes asks some of His children to fast more than other children, because they are strong willed so that they will obey God”. He said: “it is like when you have for instance three children; two obey you promptly, and one is always causing trouble. So the one always causing trouble you will punish and cane him more than the two others that obey you promptly!” The first part of his answer is partly right; sometimes we fast to mortify the deeds of the flesh or die to self, so that we are no longer led by the dictates of our fleshly desires, but by the written word of God! But what is wrong in the way he viewed it! In his eyes, fasting was God punishing you or caning you for not obeying Him! If it were the case I, Gery, would never fast a single day in my life!
Why? Because when I was living in my parents’ house they never punished us by not feeding us because we did something that was wrong. They never said to me: Gery because you have been a naughty boy, we will not feed you for three days and three nights, or Gery because you have been very bad this time we will not feed you for 40 days and forty nights! If parents do it to their child; social services will put them into jail, and take that child away from them. Jesus says: what man is there of you, if his son asks a loaf, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks a fish, will he give him a snake? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father in Heaven give good things to those who ask Him (Matthew 7:9-11)?
When Moses fasted 40 days and 40 nights, it was not a punishment from God because Moses did not obey Him. Moses had just obeyed God and delivered His people from the hands of the Egyptians, and set them free. The Lord said to Moses, Come up to Me in the mountain, and be there. And I will give you tablets of stone, and the Law, and commandments which I have written, so that you may teach them (Exodus 24:12). God called Moses to go and fast for 40 days and 40 nights to receive the revelation of the word of God, not because God was punishing him for disobeying Him, for Moses obeyed God! Sometimes when we fast we receive the revelation of the word of God like Moses did! When Gery went to fast for 40 days and 40 nights God gave him the majority of the revelation of the Perfect Redemption Plan so that he could teach it to God’s people.
Jesus was not living a sinful life, He was obeying God! As you read the bible: Moses, Esther, Ezra, Elijah, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Hannah, Jesus and Paul were seriously obeying God when God asked them to fast. So it was not a punishment and caning from God, because they were disobedient to God. God corrects us with His word! God is not an evil God but a good God! My prayer is that you will believe that God is better than your earthly parents and stop thinking that fasting is His punishment and caning!
You also are an adopted son or daughter of God through Christ Jesus, filled with the Holy Ghost, when you received the baptism of the Holy Ghost with evidence of speaking in tongues. You need the word of God to abide in you richly in all wisdom, and you need to go and resist the devil and have your own personal victory over Satan. We know we are in Christ Jesus and everything is under the feet of Jesus, according to Paul in Ephesians; but God wants to put everything, including Satan, under your feet too. Paul says: the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly (Romans 16:20).
Meaning Satan is under the feet of Jesus, but he is not yet under your feet. God wants to put Satan, his vassal demons, his principalities, dominions, rulers of darkness, his evil works: sin, all manner of sickness, all manner of disease and premature death there, so that they will say Jesus I know and now Paul I know also (Acts 19:15). In other words let who you are in Christ Jesus in the heavenly places, be done on earth; you are far above all those demons in the heavenly places, let it be so in your life here on earth too. The same way Jesus destroyed the works of the devil when He walked on earth, you go and do the same in Jesus’ name!
I remember before going to Glasgow to preach the gospel in 2011, the Lord showed me in a vision, the two principalities who were blindfolding the eyes of the people of Scotland from receiving the light of the gospel. They looked liked twins, they were like the Gemini brothers, and they were over the waters of Scotland. They were more than 13 feet tall. And the Lord asked me to fast for four weeks and to pray every day from 12 noon to 2pm, so I obeyed. As I was fasting and praying, I had a vision one morning, in that vision I was in the upper room reading my bible, and an angel appeared to me, he was about 13 feet tall. And he gave me a gun. I have never seen such gun on earth, it was awesome! It was projecting a long stream of fire when you pulled the trigger. And he told me to stay in this upper room praying in tongues, reading my bible, writing the My Weekly Milk letters, and fasting while they, the angels, were fighting the two demons.
So in the physical I kept on fasting, praying in tongues, reading my bible, writing the My Weekly Milk letters, and praying from 12 noon to 2 pm. About two weeks into that fast I had another vision. In that vision there were demons and there were angelic troops. The troops of the Lord were fighting the troops of demons, and the demons were losing ground. I saw a lion with wings of an eagle flying away from the battle field. Now that lion with eagle’s wings is also one of the beasts that Daniel saw in Daniel 7:4. When we read Daniel 10, we see that the Archangel Gabriel was dispatched from the throne room of God, to bring the message to Daniel, as he was fasting for 21 days. From the very first day Daniel prayed, God sent the answer, but the prince of Persia or the principality over Persia, withstood Archangel Gabriel. God dispatched the warring archangel Michael to fight that principality over Persia, and Gabriel could break through and come to deliver the answer to Daniel.
There are some principalities over some nations that are resisting the message of the gospel, so that people can be saved in multitudes. And at times God will reveal unto us what is happening in the spirit realm. And since we are sons and daughters of God, equipped with the word of God, and are filled with the Holy Spirit, God wants us to be co-labourers with Him to bring to pass His will over a certain group of people. We are not just talking about leading one person to Christ every month, or every year here, we are talking about thousands even millions of souls a month! We are talking about 300,000 families in Glasgow and millions of families in the 50 European nations. Go and search, even in this 21st century, the fastest growing churches and ministries that lead thousands or millions of souls to Christ every month, they have these keys: they are born again sons and daughters of God, they are filled with the Holy Spirit, they are equipped with the word of God, and have a disciple programme, and then they pray and fast more than the average churches or ministries.
Soul winning is warfare and healing and dead raising are warfare too. Many other churches or ministries only recycle the souls won by the other ministries. And when their members are sick, they send them to get prayers of faith for healing to other ministries; because they are not willing to pay the price for souls to be saved, for bodies to be made perfectly whole and perfectly sound of all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. My prayer is that we will do what is right according to the scriptures, so that shortly the God of peace will crush Satan, all his vassal demons, sin, sickness and disease under our respective feet (Romans 16:20).
We have read : In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights (Genesis 7:11-12). The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained; and the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated (Genesis 8:2-3).
God reveals His plan of salvation of nations unto us, His plans of reviving the unsaved people and the awakening of His saints to righteousness, so that they will stop sinning (Habakkuk 3:2, 1Corinthians 15:34). So we write the vision or the will of God and make it plain on papers or tablets [Ipad, Android tablets], that God wants to revive the unsaved, in the 50 European nations and awaken His saints to righteousness, so that they will have the knowledge of God and stop sinning; so that anyone who runs for the Lord may read what is the clear cut will of God for the 50 European nations. For the vision or will of God for the 50 European nations is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie [for everyone shall witness the mighty move of God in the 50 European nations]: though it tarry, wait for it [not passively but actively in equipping ourselves with the knowledge of God and His Word, in prayer and fasting in order to sanctify ourselves]; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Behold, the soul of him is lifted up, and is not upright; but the just shall live by his faith (Habakkuk 2:2-4).
As we read the story of Noah and the flood. First God revealed to Noah that He wanted to destroy the earth with a flood (Genesis 6). In our case God revealed to us that He wants to destroy the works of darkness in the 50 European nations, so that Christ may be enthroned Lord over the lives of the people in these 50 nations. God wants us to be actively involved in His plan for the salvation, not just of our small family, but of the world, and in our case of the 50 European nations. As it is written of Noah: By faith Noah, having been warned by God of things not yet seen, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith (Hebrews 11:7). We also since we have been divinely warned of the revival of the unsaved and the awakening to righteousness of the saints so that they will stop sinning in the 50 European nations; we have not prepared an ark, but bible studies, even My Weekly Milk, to disciple those 50 European nations and give them the knowledge of God.
And for the sake of those disciples and 50 European nations, we have sanctified ourselves by the word of God which is the truth, and by prayer as Jesus sanctified Himself, or set Himself apart from this sinful world, to practice holiness and be holy as our Father in heaven is holy (1Timothy 4:5, Acts 6:4, John 17:16-20, 1Peter 1:16). So that they will be able to imitate and follow us, as we also are imitators and followers of Jesus Christ (1Corinthians 11:1). In prayer and fasting we have humbled ourselves, not just to die to self and mortify the deeds of the flesh, but also so that the word of God that comes out of our mouth will not only be a small hammer, but a pneumatic drill and a bulldozer! That the word of God that comes out of our mouth will not only be a small fire like the fire on a candlestick, but a fire coming out of a blowtorch or flamethrower!
The word of God also works like a shovel to dig a well, and remove the dirt until we reach the water table. What I have noticed is that whenever I couple prayer and fasting with the reading, meditation and confession of the word of God, it seems like I have been spiritually equipped, not with a gardener’s shovel, but with a front shovel of a loader, that I have been using to dig an irrigation system, where the rivers of living water will be flowing out of my belly. We want to water the life of the people around us with the living water of the Holy Spirit in us. God will not dig up that irrigation system for you, you will have to do that. God gave the Egyptians the Nile River, they had to dig up their irrigation system to bring water to their land and their garden. God caused David to discover the underground river in Jerusalem, it was David and Solomon’s responsibility to dig up channels to irrigate their vegetable gardens, and fill up their swimming pool.
Now a loader is a heavy equipment machine used in construction and sidewalk maintenance, to move aside or load materials, such as asphalt, dirt, demolition debris, snow, gravel, logs, rocks, sand, woodchips, etc. In our life and in the lives of people, Satan has planted some evil seeds and those evil seeds have sometimes grown into trees in our life. And Jesus says: every plant, which My heavenly Father has not planted, shall be rooted up. (Matthew 15:13). In my own personal life, when I couple prayer with fasting and confessing the word of God, it works like the front shovel of the loader, and it makes it easy to break forth the fountain of the great deep in me, and dig up the irrigation system that will water the people around me.
At times people will ask, why did the revival stop? Why did the revival of Azusa Street stop? As we have read in Genesis 6, God told them what He wanted to do, in Noah’s case to bring the flood, in William Seymour’s case, to bring the revival of the restoration of tongues and other gifts of the Spirit. They decided to break up the fountain of the deep in each one of them. Seymour went to study in the holiness movement, for he understood that God would not bless lawlessness. They wanted to be holy and sanctify themselves as God their Father is holy. And Seymour went to a bible school that believed the bible to the letter, and believed that everything the apostles of Jesus and the church in the first century experienced, was for them. And then Seymour read his bible and prayed for hours, sometimes 5 hours a day, and sometimes 8 hours a day! Few people joined him in that prayer meeting and they decided to fast for 10 days, after those 10 days of fasting that is when the revival of Azusa Street started.
In the days of Noah in Genesis 8; when the fountains of the great deep were closed, the heavens were also closed, and the water receded. Deep calls to deep at the noise of God’s waterfalls(Psalm 42:7). What people do not understand is, that rain from heaven will come in seasons, so even when the windows of heaven are closed, we can maintain the flood of the Holy Spirit, if we keep our fountains of the great deep open. In Genesis 26 we read the story of Isaac and the Philistines. The bible says: the Philistines envied him. For all the wells which his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped them, and filled them with earth or dirt. And Abimelech said to Isaac, Go away from us, for you are mightier than we are (Genesis 26:14-16).
Whenever there is a move of God and God is mightily using you, people will envy you. Get ready to have some opposition, because of the move of God in your life. We have some spiritual Philistine Christians, they are envious of what God is doing through you, and all the wells or fountains your father dug, they will fill it with dirt or earth. That is why many times after a man of God who brought the revival dies, the revival also dies with him or her, because of the Christians who act spitefully like the Philistines did with Isaac. The servants of our Father in heaven, who brought the revival in times past, broke up all the fountains or wells of the great deep; but at their death, the Christians who are the spiritual Philistines, filled all those fountains or wells with dirt or earth.
They envied your Father and His servants, who had dug all those wells or fountains, but they could never stop your Father and his servants, because the whole world went after your Father and his servants, who preached about Him. As you read the four gospels and the book of Acts, the Jewish leaders envied Jesus and the disciples, because they revived the unsaved, brought the knowledge of God to the people, and the whole world had gone after Jesus and His disciples (John 12:19).
So when you come onto the scene and you want to walk in the same steps of the servants of your Father, who broke up all the fountains of the deep, in the steps of Jesus and of His disciples in the book of Acts, those Christians who are spiritual Philistines tell you, that it is not for you to have those wells your father’s servants dug! They will kick you out of their fellowship, because you believe the bible literally. Notice in Genesis 26:15, the Father did not dig the wells or fountains, but the servants did. Abraham is a type of God the Father. So it is not Father God’s duty to dig the well or break up the fountain of the deep, but it is yours and my responsibility, as sons and daughters of God who are serving in His field, to dig the well in each one of us, or to break up the fountain of the deep in every one of us. Christians who are spiritual Philistines want you to be like them, but you want to be like Jesus and like the apostles who served Father God. Now the dirt with which they have filled all the wells or all the fountains of the deep, which the servants of our Father God once dug, is the tradition of men that have made the word of God of no effect. They have filled all the wells our Father’s servants dug with dirt, even with their traditions of men (Mark 7:13).
They will say: those people who brought revival were not doctrinally sound! We need to correct their doctrinal errors! If anybody wants to correct, let him correct in line with the written word of God; for the written word of God is our final authority. They will say in our church, we do not believe what you are saying! The sad thing is, even after you have shown them from the written word of God; they will still refuse and hold onto their tradition of men that has no scriptural foundation. You will immediately see the difference in their speech: they will say things like: my opinion is, or the opinion of this pastor is this, or the opinion of our denomination is this. But someone who speaks as an oracle of God will say like Jesus: you have heard the opinion of so and so, but I say unto you: it is written…it is written and it is written.
The tradition of men will always lift up a man or a group of men, and his or their opinion above the written word of God! They will say things like: those servants of our Father, who broke up their fountains of the deep, or dug their well, were so special in the eyes of God! Which is not true, for God is no respecter of persons; if we choose to fear Him by hating evil and departing from it, and then practice righteousness; He will also work through us the same way (Acts 10:34-35).
If God treats some of His children better than He does others, then God will be partial and thus breaking His own covenant! The truth is from the very mouth of God Himself, He says to every son and daughter who is serving Him in His field: the LORD said unto Cain, Why are you wroth or angry? and why is your countenance fallen? If you do well, shall you not be accepted (Genesis 4:6-7)? People want to have the same results or manifestations Jesus had, the early disciples had, but they are not willing to pay the price those people paid! They do not want to embrace the sanctified life of Jesus, His way and truth.
It is so easy to say that those people God mightily used were so special! That way it removes any responsibility from their shoulders, and can blame God; unwittingly saying: it is because I am not that special in the eyes of God that I am not experiencing what they did. How more special do you want to be? God loves you as much He loves Jesus, He made you heir of God and Joint heir with Christ Jesus, as Christ Jesus is so are you in this world (1John 4:17, Romans 8:17).
The truth is we do not want to take responsibility and be co-labourers with Christ Jesus. God is always willing and always able; we are His representatives and He wants to partner with us to bring His will on earth as it is in heaven (Luke 11:2). Jesus says about the scribes and Pharisees, who filled the hearts of the people with spiritual dirt that blocked their wells like Philistines did to Isaac, whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he who shall humble himself shall be exalted. But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither do you suffer or allow those who are entering to go in (Matthew 23:12-13).
Some religious Christians get mad at me because I refuse to accept their sayings about me being “anointed” or being so special! I tell them: I am not special, I am a child of God and so are you; I am adopted by God as his heir and joint heir with Jesus, and so are you; the Holy Spirit dwells in me and the Anointing of the Holy Spirit abides in me, since I received the baptism of the Holy Ghost with evidence of speaking in tongues. You have received the same Holy Spirit and His Anointing. The Holy Spirit in me came complete with all the gifts of the Spirit, and He also came complete in you, not fragmented.
Jesus Christ is the Anointed One and He dwells in me and He also dwells in you. You and I have the same access to the throne room and the promise of God by the blood of Jesus! Scribes and Pharisees are teachers of the word, they have their school of thoughts. And what they teach there, does not necessarily agree with the written word of God, but agrees with the opinion of the founder of their school of thoughts. They are hypocrites, because deep inside them they want to experience what Jesus and His disciples experienced, and they envy them as we read in the four gospels and in Acts; but because they are not willing to do what Jesus and the disciples say and do, they are not experiencing what Jesus and His disciples experienced.
So since they want to keep their reputations as spiritual leaders; they purposely refuse to teach people the truth of the written word of God, for fear that some will experience what they are not experiencing. William Seymour was the last person to receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost with evidence of speaking in tongues, among the people who first came into his prayer meeting. But he was humble enough to preach Acts 2 and tell everybody that it was for today, not just for the disciples in the days of Jesus. He could have been proud and said, since I am not entering that kingdom experience of the baptism in the Holy Ghost, I will change my message to say that it is not for today, or it is only for a few people who are so special in the eyes of God! Some people who used to tell me that God used only special people to have the manifestations of the Spirit like the early disciples of Jesus; it was to save their religious reputations, thus unwittingly blaming God for being partial! The same people are the ones asking me to cast out their demons, pray the prayer of faith to heal their loved ones. I am glad I did not listen to their traditions of men and refuse to allow them to hinder me from experiencing what I read in the bible!
The grace [which is the unmerited favour and the empowerment] of God that brings salvation [even salvation of the soul, healing, deliverance, prosperity] has appeared to all men and all woman (Titus 2:11). Therefore whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved [even saved in his soul, delivered, healed, prospered] and also be used to save souls, heal the sick, cast out devils, cleanse lepers and raise the dead (Romans 10:13, Matthew 10:7-8). Peter opened his mouth and said, Truly I see that God is no respecter of persons; but in every nation he who fears Him, and works righteousness, is accepted with Him (Acts 10:34-35).
The truth is every person on planet earth is appointed to receive the salvation of soul; for Jesus died for the whole world; every born again Christian is appointed to win souls, heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease, to cast out demons, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, prosper, disciple other people, and be a disciple of Jesus, and grow into the full stature of Christ Jesus (Matthew 10:7-8, 3John 1:2, Ephesians 4:15).
Peter says they stumble and were offended at Christ and His message, that qualifies everybody, and they rejected that message. Therefore also it is contained in the Scripture: “Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner Stone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him shall never be ashamed.” Therefore to you who believe He is precious. But to those who are disobedient, He is the Stone which the builders rejected; this One came to be the Head of the corner, and a Stone-of-stumbling and a Rock-of-offense to those disobeying, who stumble at the Word, to which they also were appointed (1Peter 2:6-8). Isaac refused to give up, though the Philistines had filled all the wells the servants of his father dug with dirt. They contended with him over and over, but eventually he prevailed, the bible says: they dug another well, and they strove for that also. And he called the name of it Opposition. And he moved from there, and dug another well, and they did not strive for that. And he called the name of it Rehoboth, and he said, For now the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land. And he went from there to Beer-sheba (Genesis 26:21-23).
As we dig our individual well or break up our individual fountain of the great deep, remove all the dirt the enemy filled it up with; the Lord will make room for each one of us and our disciples, and we shall be fruitful in the land, even in the 50 European nations. We will lead 300,000 families to Christ in Glasgow Scotland, and millions of families in these 50 European nations. If you and I abide in Jesus, and His Words abide in you, you and I shall ask what we desire, and it shall be done to us. In this His Father and our Father is glorified, that you and I bear much fruit, so you and I shall be disciples of Jesus (John 15:7-8). The day will come when those spiritual Philistines who contended with us, and the spiritual scribes and Pharisees who tried to hinder us from entering into the experience of the Kingdom of God, will stop striving and contending with us; for God will make room for us and the torrent of water coming out of our broken up fountain of the great deep, will sweep away their traditions of men, that make the word of God of no effect, in Jesus’ name. Amen!
2. Pray for the right motive and with understanding
In the Old Covenant, though Israel as a nation was a son of God, even his first born according to Exodus 4:22, yet the people as individuals were servants. A servant receives things based on His works, or performances or list of tasks he achieves. A servant works for a wage. But a son does not work for a wage, all things are already his (Luke 15:31). He is heir of his Father God and joint heir with His elder brother Jesus (Romans 8:17). Paul wants to drill this reality into the minds of the believers; he says: therefore you are no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ (Galatians 4:7). As long as we have a servant mindset like in the Old Testament, rather than a son who serves His Father God; we will think it is our works, performances and good deeds that give us the acceptance of the Father. We are accepted by the Father, because we are in His beloved Son Jesus (Ephesians 1:6).
Our Father God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, has already blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:3). Grace and peace is multiplied unto us through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as His divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who has called us to glory and virtue (2Peter 1:2-3). So soul wining has become a family business! Healing the sick, casting out demons, raising the dead, cleansing lepers is a family business. The Father longs for a relationship with us, for a time of fellowship or communion with us, He wants to go into the field with us and be co-labourers with us. He wants us to be about our Father’s business (Luke 2:49).
Should we pray? Yes, definitely yes. Prayer is communication with our Father; He lives in us, and wants our fellowship. Jesus tells us: when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret; and the Father who sees in secret shall reward you openly (Matthew 6:5-6).
We will not talk too much about prayer for we have the study on “Abecedary of prayer” and the study on “the seven Hebrew words for praise”. But what the hypocrites or the Pharisees were doing was that their prayers were only in public, and their motives were wrong, it was to be seen by men, and it was more of a duty or work. If they did not show up in the synagogue at the hour of prayer, other Jews might think they are not so “spiritual”. So they prayed in public, so that people could see how often they prayed, and how long they prayed, how well formulated their prayers were, how loud their prayers were. God does not want us to be that way; He wants us to have a real relationship with him. Unfortunately that is what is happening in our churches today.
Imagine you are in a car with your spouse for hours and do not even say a word to each other. But you wait until it is 3pm, when you are in front of your friends, to start talking to your spouse so that your friends will see what good communion the two of you enjoy. Or imagine you and your spouse wake up in the same bed, and you say: I will only speak to you for one hour. And after that hour you go out together shopping, and you wait until you get into the presence of your friends at 3pm to tell your friends that you speak for one hour with your spouse every day. Friends, which one of us will delight to have such a spouse? But that is what the Pharisees were doing, they would wait till 3pm, the hour of prayer, to go to the synagogue so that people would see them praying to God, they would use nice words to impress each other. Many times you will know Pharisee-type of prayers in church; it is done to impress the hearers, it is not directed to God, but to the people. If you do not shout, people think you are not “on fire for God”. Jesus was telling them you should spend most of your prayer life in secret, in your house, when you are driving, you should talk to God all the time, not only when you are in church.
I was in a Christian meeting in Glasgow, and the person who was leading the prayer was praying, not really to God, but to the people, so that they would be aware of his knowledge in the history of the faith people in Scotland. So when he was praying, he started to name all of them one by one, and quoting what they wrote. Now I respect people who went before us and helped spread Christian faith in Scotland; but they are just men like us. I felt like I was back in the Catholic Church when we used to pray to God, through one of their so-called “saints”, we would read their prayers, the prayer of those people became what we presented to God, and not the word of God, and our own personal prayers.
I also felt like we were at a funeral service, and that dear brother who was leading the prayer was reading a eulogy of all those faith people of Scotland. Prayer is personal, it must be your own words based on the Word of God. I cannot remember if I heard any scripture coming out of that dear brother’s mouth for the thirty minutes he led the prayer, but he only said the names and quotes of those faith people of Scotland. Even demons will not respect such a prayer, for in the book of Acts, the sons of Sceva said to the demons: we cast you out in the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches. The demon said: Paul I know, Jesus I know, who are you (Acts 19:13-17)?
Prayer must come from your heart, with your own words. And the book [even the bible] is delivered to a person who does not know books [contained in the bible], saying, Please read this; and he says, I do not know books [or what God said in the bible]. And the Lord said, Because this people draw near Me with their mouth, and with their lips honour Me, but have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the command of men (Isaiah 29:12-13). Now do not get me wrong, I like Christian history and Christian books, as long as what is written there in is in accordance with the Holy Scriptures. When I hear some preaching today or some prayers, it is all about so and so said and wrote this, and so and so prayed this. People are not taught the word of God and do not know what God said in His word.
Let us not have a lip service in prayer, but let it come from our heart. I, Gery, do not pray a prayer of agreement with everybody. Because our heart must be knit together in order for the prayer of agreement to be effectual, otherwise it will be a lip service and superficial prayer, not a pouring out of the heart in prayer. If we are praying a prayer of agreement, I must be free to pour out all my heart concerning that subject of prayer, if I am still holding back because I am afraid to disclose some secrets to you, it will be a lip service. That is why God wants to pour out His Spirit of grace and prayer first of all upon the house of individuals, and then upon the inhabitants of the land; because it is in your house, with your spouse and with your children, that you will have the greatest level of agreement (Zechariah 12:10).
Husband and wife must pray together. Then parents and children must pray together, and then we pray as a church. If we do not rebuild the alter of prayer in our personal lives, between husband and wife and between parents and children; but only wait to come to church to pray; we will rob ourselves of the deliverance God has in store for us. Everybody in the house must be equipped with the knowledge of the word of God; So that when we are praying about a subject, none of us would say: I do not know the books or what the bible says about this subject, and then we end up praying with man-made religion and tradition of men, instead of praying the counsel of the Lord found in the Holy Scriptures.
Yes, Jesus knows those faith people who went before us in Scotland. He heard their prayers; because they came from their hearts. But what is your own prayer coming from your heart? You cannot be presenting to God a second hand prayer, a prayer that is not yours. Jesus mentioned again to the Pharisees what God said to Isaiah in Isaiah 29:12-13. He said: hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, This people draws nigh unto me with their mouth, and honour Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men (Matthew 15:7-9).
Say what is in your heart. Think of it this way. If you have a two year old child and a forty year old child, of course the two year old, when he talks to you will be using a small repertoire of words; for his vocabulary and understanding is limited; but your forty year old has a bigger repertoire of words for his vocabulary and understanding is not limited. So imagine if your two year old tries to speak like your forty year old and half of the words he is saying, he does not even understand their meaning, and does not have the understanding of the reasons the elder brother said them. I think the father would say to the two year old: I know you are trying to be like your elder brother, it is fine, but what do you want to say with your own words.
Whenever people start asking me how many hours you pray every day? I do not respond to that question. Because I know they are trying to compete, who prays more, and they rank themselves spiritually that way. The best answer I give them is: Jesus told His disciples to tarry with Him in prayer for at least one hour (Matthew 26:40). Paul tells us to pray without ceasing (1Thessalonians 5:17). It does not mean that we pray nonstop, but we are constantly talking to God. Should we have a time when we sit in a quiet place and talk to God? Of course yes, but as we go about our daily activities, we must remember that God is 24/7 with us, so we talk to Him. We must learn to pray as we run and not just pray and run, that is what Paul meant by praying without ceasing. We must pray in churches, but we must watch our motives. Are we doing it to please someone, to prove to people how spiritual we are, to prove to people how we are versed in the scriptures? Jesus told the Jews: Is it not written, My house shall be called by all nations the house of prayer (Mark 11:17)?
Jesus said: But when you pray, do not use vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not therefore like unto them: for your Father knows what things you have need of before you ask him (Matthew 6:7-8). The more your mind is renewed, and you think according to the Word of God, you will stop using vain repetitions. You will know and believe what the things are that God has already freely given to you in your salvation package. You will thank Him for what He has already done for you, and stop asking Him to do what He has already done. You will know what He commanded you to do, and you will stop asking Him to do what He commanded you to do. You will not ask Him to heal anybody, for He will tell you: I have already done it: by the stripes of Jesus they were healed (1Peter 2:24). But you will take it upon yourself, for you know He commanded you to heal the sick, so you will command sickness to leave the body of that person in Jesus’ name. You will know and believe that your Father loves you, He is good and faithful to His word; therefore you do not need to beg Him (John 16:26-27). Just like a good earthly Father would know ahead of time what the needs of his child are, so your heavenly Father knows what your needs are before you even ask Him.
God is with you 24/7 He never leaves you nor forsakes you (Hebrews 13:5). You must learn to pray without ceasing, talk to Him. When you fellowship with a person, it is not weird to ask him something. Think of it this way, if you have not talked to a person for a month and suddenly you need something from him, you will start by apologising, saying: I know we have not talked for a while, but I have this problem now, can you do this for me? Your conscience will be accusing you and your heart will be condemning you; thus you will not have confidence that the person will give you what you are asking him for, because you do not have a relationship with him.
It is the same thing with God, when you learn to pray without ceasing, you actually do not need to warm up in prayer when something happens. You just speak to God about that problem, or directly command that problem to go; because you know that God is with you, and you are fellowshipping with Him. You are not trying to apologise first of all, and pray in tongues for one hour, no; you directly deal with the problem. The apostles said: we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word (Acts 6:4). People wonder why some believers have better results when they pray, even when it is a one minute prayer. The answer is because they have been praying without ceasing and spending time in the word of God: they are in a continual fellowship with God. Jesus came to the disciples and found them asleep. And He said to Peter, What! Could you not watch with Me one hour (Matthew 26:40)? I do my best everyday to have a quiet time of prayer for at least one hour, because Jesus commanded all believers to do so, saying: what I say to you, I say to all. Watch (Mark 13:37).
Learn to minister to the Lord. The bible tells us: in Antioch some among the existing church were prophets and teachers. (such as Barnabas, and Simeon who was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, the foster-brother of Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, So, then, separate Barnabas and Saul to Me for the work to which I have called them. Then having fasted and prayed and laid hands on them, they let them go (Acts 13:1-3). Many times we minister to the people or serve the people by sharing the word of God with them and praying with them. We need to learn what it means to minister to the Lord too.
Many times when we come to the Lord in prayer, it is with our list or prayer request, or the prayer request of the congregation. It is more of a business meeting of the kingdom of God. We tell Him what we need and what His church and His children need, and we go away. That is communication, even business communication, not fellowship. Thank God for the communication that we have with Him in prayer; but God wants fellowship. John tells us: that which we have seen and heard we declare unto you, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ (1John 1:3).
Ministering to the Lord is praising the Lord for who He is, not just for what He can do for you, for the Church and the people. Learn the bible study on “the seven Hebrew words for praise” and start praising God for who He is. Have true fellowship with God about your life, your desires, your thoughts, etc. Invite God into every aspect of your life, even in your shopping. Imagine if the only time you talked to your spouse was to talk about what the children need, what the house needs, what the family needs. Of course you will talk about those things, for they are necessary. Yet if that is the only type of conversation you have with your spouse, there is a problem in that relationship. Let us have fellowship with God, let us tell Him, how much we love Him, let us appreciate the fact that He is in our life, let us praise Him for who He is!
3. Fast for the right motives and with understanding
Jesus said to His disciples: Moreover when you fast, do not be as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face; that you appear not unto men to fast, but unto your Father who is in secret: and your Father, who sees in secret, shall reward you openly (Matthew 6:16-18). Fasting is a discipline and the Lord Jesus expects us to fast, He does not say: if you fast, but when you fast. So fasting is good. Even Paul says to the married couples: do not deprive one another except with mutual consent for a time that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self control (1Corinthians 7:5). So Paul expected the people to pray and fast; but for the right reasons and with understanding.
The Pharisees were measuring their spirituality based on the number of days they fasted, and on their good deeds, and they boasted about those things. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank you, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one who exalts himself, shall be abased; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted (Luke 18:11-14). Were the people supposed to pray, to fast, to give their tithes, and avoid sinning? Of course yes, they were to do all those things, yet it was not what commended them to God. Many times in church people pray the same prayer that Pharisee prayed; they present their works to God, and say to God: the reason why you must answer my prayer is, because I have done all those good things.
Even under the Old Testament Jesus said that the Pharisee’s prayer was not answered, because he was exalting himself by presenting his works and good deeds of the law, to God. When God spoke through Isaiah to say to the people: come now let us reason together (Isaiah 1:18); present your case says the Lord, bring forth your strong reasons, says the king of Jacob (Isaiah 41:21); Put Me in remembrance, let us contend together, state your case that you may be acquitted or justified (Isaiah 43:26). Never present your works and good deeds of the Law as your strong reasons why God should do something for you. What strong reasons can you give to God to give you anything? This is your strong reason: Jesus died for you to receive all the promises in the salvation package, and was raised from the dead for your justification (Romans 4:25).
God prospers you, not because you give, though you are to give; but because Jesus became poor so that you can become rich, and He died for your prosperity (2Corinthians 8:9). The only reason that you are acquitted or justified is because Jesus died for it, and was raised from the dead for your justification (Romans 4:25). When we come before God we must present our case based on what Jesus has done for us, never on what we have done. You and I did not die to provide anything for ourselves, but Jesus died and rose again to freely give us all things that pertain to life and godliness, and to bless us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places (2Peter 1:2-3. Ephesians 1:3). Therefore, put God in remembrance of the finished work of Jesus on the cross, even the perfect redemption plan, and tell Him: because Jesus did it all for you by grace, you can have it all through faith in Him (Ephesians 2:8).
Fast for the right reason, you do not have to fast for what Jesus has already given you by His death and resurrection, you will be establishing your own works, thus rejecting the finished work of Jesus. What you need to do is, to acknowledge and believe what Jesus has freely given you, and to act on that revelation, and you will have the manifestation of those promises. The communication of your faith will become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you, in Christ Jesus (Philemon 1:6). Every time you start telling people how many times a week you fast; watch your heart, you are maybe becoming like the Pharisees. In churches today there are competitions to know which church fasts the most. They deem a church spiritual if they fast a lot. But Israel also was like that, and they organized those collective fasts, and if you were not involved in them, they saw you as non spiritual. So apart from fasting twice a week, they also created for themselves many collective fasts every year. For seventy years when they were in captivity in Babylon, they fasted many times a year; but one day they asked themselves: is God really asking us to fast collectively that often?
They had sent unto the house of God Sherezer and Regemmelech, and their men, to pray before the LORD, and to speak unto the priests who were in the house of the LORD of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done these so many years? Then came the word of the LORD of hosts unto me, saying, Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, even those seventy years, did you at all fast unto Me, even to Me? And when you did eat, and when you did drink, did you not eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves? Should you not hear the words which the LORD has cried by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, and the cities thereof round about her, when men inhabited the south and the plain (Zechariah 7:2-7)? But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear (Zechariah 7:11).
The Lord even ordained seven feasts every year for Israel; but they came up with their collective fasts to establish their own righteousness. There is nothing wrong with having a collective fast, Israel did. God told them to fast for a specific reason on a particular month of the year, after they had done it for that year, and seen the positive result, they kept on fasting the same month the next year, although God did not ask them to fast the next year in that month. That is what happens to a lot in churches. God told them a particular year to fast for 21 days at the beginning of the year, and they now fast for 21 days every year at the beginning of the year. They can no longer remove that collective fast; because people are rating themselves spiritually based on how long they fast. So when God asked them to fast another month in the year for a specific problem, and they got the answer, they kept on fasting in that same month every year, though God did not ask them to do so.
Many churches fast collectively three times a year every year, some will do seven days three times a year, some 21 days three times a year, and others 40 days three times a year. Solomon says: there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes1:9). It is religion, and God is not in it, Israel did it for seventy years, only to realize that God never asked them to do so every year. Religion will put people in a collective bondage. God told them they did not fast unto God, but unto themselves. For it was to establish their self-righteousness. It was to appear spiritual before men. They like those collective fasts, so that they can disfigure themselves and appear to everybody to be fasting; it gratifies their flesh when people think of them as spiritual, because they are doing the collective fasts. God told them: Thus says the LORD of hosts; The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; therefore love the truth and peace (Zechariah 8:19).
What happened? What actually happened is that on the fourth month, or the month of Tammuz, our month of June: on the ninth of that month, the city of Jerusalem was broken up (2Kings 25:3-4). So Judah fasted on that specific day of that year; because they were in great distress, in famine, and the men of war who were to defend the city fled at night. The fast of the fifth month or the month of Ab, our month of July, on the tenth of that month, the people fasted because the king of Babylon burned the city of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 52:12). The fast of the seventh month, or the month of Tisri, our month of September, on the third of that month, the people fasted because Gedaliah was murdered, Nebuchadnezzar made him ruler over the remnant of Judah, but Ishmael of the royal family, killed him as well as the Chaldeans who were with him. The people knew their lives were in danger, and fled to Egypt (2Kings 25:22-26).
The fast of the tenth month or the month of Tebet our month of December, on the tenth day of that month, the people fasted because the city of Jerusalem was besieged by Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 52:4). The only day of grand fast that God ordained for the people of Israel was on the Day of Atonement on the tenth of the month of Tisri (Acts 27:9, Leviticus 23:26-27). So we all can understand that because the Jews were facing hopeless and distressing situations, these are the reasons they fasted on those particular days of the respective four months. But after those events, they kept on fasting four times a year for seventy years; it became religion, for God was not in their fasts anymore. God only ordained one collective fast for them, and it was on the Day of Atonement, but God ordains seven national feasts for them. God wants to see us joyful, rather than fasting, weeping and putting on sackcloth. You and I do not need to fast on the Day of Atonement to have our sins forgiven; Jesus is our Lamb that died on the very Day of Atonement. God said to them not to fast again in those four months, but instead there shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; therefore love the truth and peace.
My friends, God desires obedience rather than sacrifice. Samuel said: has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams (1Samuel 15:22). To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice (Proverbs 21:3). Many people want to make sacrifices; they want to fast for a long time, but God is saying: I just want you to listen to what I say to you, and do it, to read My Holy Scriptures and do them. And that is what God said to them through Zechariah: Should you not hear the words which the LORD has cried by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, and the cities thereof round about her, when men inhabited the south and the plain But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.
God can call a church for a prolonged collective fast. God will speak to the leader or leaders and give them instructions as to how they should fast collectively. Leaders are responsible to hear the voice of God and His instructions. Leaders must be honest with their members and disciples. If God has only called one leader to a specific prolonged fast, he must not yoke all the other leaders. If God has called all the leaders to a prolonged collective fast, the leaders must not yoke the whole church or churches with that prolonged collective fast; but only the leaders whom God instructed to fast. And if God through the leader has asked the whole church or churches to fast, the leader and associate leaders should share the instructions of God to the church or the churches with all their members and whosoever is of a willing heart let him or her join the collective fasting and prayer. We are to hear from the Lord every day and ask for His direction every year. Even if the people want to force the church to have a prolonged period of prayer and fasting: if God has not instructed us; we should not be pleasers of men.
4. Have a discipline in your life.
God is not against fasting He just wants us to do it for the right motive, right reasons and above all He wants us to obey His word rather than do sacrifices. Many people use fasting as a way to twist God’s arm, they have the wrong image of God. They are like a little child who wants to have an ice cream, the father tells him: I will give you the ice cream after you have eaten your meal. Finish eating your meal first and then you will have the ice cream, so the little child starts screaming and weeping, rolling on the floor, covering himself with dirt and kicking the floor, thinking by so doing, he will twist the arm of his father. The father might say, eat at least half of your meal and you will have the ice cream. So because he twisted the father’s arm that time, he thinks: whenever I want something from father I will just do the same thing, and I will twist his arm. It is the same thing with fasting; people would put dust on themselves, tear their garments, put on sackcloth and disfigure their faces to try to twist God’s arm. Because they say My heavenly Father will see me and He can but bend His rules.
If in our heart we are fasting to twist the arm of God, we are already fasting for the wrong motive. We are acting like that capricious little child who does not want to do what the father tells him, but thinks he will twist the father’s arm by his attitude. That is why Jesus tells you: But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face; that you appear not unto men to fast. God has already given you all things that pertain to life and godliness (2Peter 1:3). You are already blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:3). He is not saying no to you at all, all His promises are yes and Amen in Christ Jesus to the glory of God the Father by us (2Corinthians 1:20). So He is asking you: believe what I have said concerning you, and do what I have asked you to do, and you will have whatever you ask. Many times people will face financial troubles, and they will fast, and God in His goodness will bail them out. And they will not change, they will not do what God told them. The next time it happens, they will also fast again, but it might not work the next time. Israel is an example of that, throughout the Old Testament, Israel would sin, and they would repent and fast, and God would deliver them from their enemies. But straight afterwards they would revert to their pagan ways, and one day their fasts did not help them, but they were carried captive into Babylon. God wanted them to obey His instructions!
Jesus, our example, fasted into a lifestyle. It is recorded: then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil; and when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward hungry (Matthew 4:1-2). Jesus fasted, so should every disciple of His. Paul advises us: give yourselves to fasting and prayer; so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self control (1Corinthians 7:5). So in the case of Jesus: the Holy Spirit did not lead Him to fast so that Satan could tempt Him, no; because Paul tells us to give ourselves to prayer and fasting, so that Satan does not tempt us. It is the same Holy Spirit that is in Jesus that was in Paul. He cannot be saying two different things. What happened is that when Satan knew that Jesus was fasting and praying, he came to tempt Him, the Holy Spirit never invited Satan to come and tempt Jesus. Even Jesus told us: when you pray say: our Father in heaven… lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil (Luke 11:4). So when you are praying and fasting, never believe that lie of the devil that the Holy Spirit has sent him to tempt you, no, he came on his own. James tells you: let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither does He tempt any man (James 1:13).
So God does not send Satan to tempt you when you are praying and fasting. Satan invites himself because he hates you and wants you to fall. Therefore Peter warns you: be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour (1Peter 5:8). When people think that it is God, or the Holy Spirit, who are sending temptation their way; they will not fight it. Now that you know according to the scriptures that temptation is never from God, but from the Satan; James tells you: submit yourselves therefore to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7). Jesus submitted to God and resisted the devil by quoting scriptures to him, and he fled from Jesus.
Whenever the Jews were fasting they used to eat in the night, though they fasted in the day; they might eat and drink as soon as it was dark, and till the cock was crowing or till break of day. So they really could not say that they were very hungry, for they could eat as much as they could throughout the night and early in the morning before day break. The reason God instructed them to fast thus, is so that no man could boast. So they were not really starving, they had a feast all night long and in the morning. Even the Pharisees who boasted of fasting twice a week, were forbidden to fast on the Sabbath, for the Sabbath was not a fasting day, but a feasting day with the Jews. The Pharisees fasted on Mondays and Tuesdays, nobody was allowed to fast from Friday noon to Monday day-break. God knew the people would try to establish their self-righteousness; they would try to compete, as it were, who fasts longer than everybody else?
Even if a Pharisee wanted to fast seven days, he would be breaking the Sabbath of the Lord. Many times we do not understand why God put some of the Laws and regulations in the Old Testament, because God knew that we will always try to build our own righteousness and boast. So a single person or a married couple, took upon themselves to choose between Monday and Thursday when they wanted to fast unto the Lord in secret. But though the Pharisees fasted so often, twice a week, hence eight times a month, they took care not to hurt themselves; because they allowed themselves to eat in the night till break of day. So they could not truly boast of these performances.
Paul said: in weariness and painfulness, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness (2Corinthians 11:27). Often means: frequently not seldom, many times in a short period. So we do not know how often Paul was fasting. Paul had the understanding of fasting that I have written above, being a former Pharisee himself. It was never meant to hurt his body, or as meritorious works, but to keep his body under. He says: I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (1Corinthians 9:27). Nowhere in the New Testament is it mentioned how often we must fast or how long we must fast. It is a personal thing between the individual and God, or between the couple and God, or between the family and God. But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face; that you appear not unto men to fast, but unto your Father who is in secret: and your Father, who sees in secret, shall reward you openly. It is a personal thing.
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land (2Chronicles 7:14). The first way we humble ourselves is by obeying the word of God, heeding his commandments. As we have seen; people fasted most of the time in the Old Testament to repent of their sins and obey the word of God. Throughout the bible both in the Old and New Testament we see the same trail, men of God fasting either to repent, or to seek the way of the Lord, or to seek help from the Lord, or for God to confirm their decisions, etc.
There is no legalism in the New Testament; we do not observe the Jewish feasts or their day of grand fast: the Day of Atonement Acts 27:9 and Leviticus 23:26-27. The Jewish believers wanted to impose their traditions, their feasts and their fastings on the Gentile believers. But the Apostles by the Holy Spirit wrote to the Gentiles that they were not under them (Acts 15). In the book of Acts we see the Jewish believers observing the fast of the Day of Atonement, even Paul. Why? They observed it, because they were Jews, and they were still going to the synagogue to preach to the unconverted Jews. If you want to enter a synagogue and speak in a synagogue, you must be a Jew who observes the Laws, for the Jews who do not observe the Law and are sinners, are not allowed to speak in the synagogue, and they must stand at the back of the synagogue, and do their prayer from there, like the publican or tax collector did in Luke 18:11-14.
If the Apostles did not do it, they would not have allowed them to speak in the synagogue. Remember, still in Acts 21, when Paul returned to Jerusalem. He had to purify himself according to the Law for seven days so that he could enter into the temple. But Jews saw him with some Gentile believers, and thought he had brought them with him into the temple, so they started to beat Paul. The disciples, though they knew that all those things were just shadows and types of things to come, but the substance or body is of Christ (Colossians 2:17). They still had to do them to be able to win their countrymen the Jews, for no Gentile was allowed in the temples or the synagogues, and a Jew who did not follow the law and traditions of the Jews, stood afar off in the temple or synagogue, and were not allowed to speak at all. Paul explains it, saying: For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law (1Corinthians 9:19-21).
5. Some of the reasons for which we fast
In the book of Ezra we have an instance where they fasted and they told us the reasons: then I, Ezra, proclaim a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions. For I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against our enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying: the hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him; so we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer (Ezra 8:21-23).
Many times, if not every time we do something for God and according to God’s words and ways, it requires faith; for without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews11:6). We know that on our own we cannot do it, and we are afraid, though we have the written promises of God; but we are not sure whether God will back them up or not. So we humble ourselves before God with prayer and fasting, in order to tell God: I know it is written yet in my heart I still have areas of unbelief, I am being honest, please God help my unbelief (Mark 9:24).
That is why though we have the knowledge of the perfect redemption plan of God, for instance in the area of healing, yet we are afraid to speak the words of healing to people, because we doubt that God will back them up. So sometimes people will fast and say: God I am about to tell people you are still healing today, please help me, confirm Your words in my mouth or in my writings. Because people will want to be healed as soon as I speak or write your words of healing, let me not be put to shame but confirm Your words through me. So God during that period of fast, speaks to them according to the scriptures, and when they hear that confirmation of God, they go and act on it and they experience the results.
That is why many times you will hear people tell you: I fasted for so many days before I started seeing miracles happening when I prayed for sick people. The truth is the word of God never changes, but they were the ones doubting it, and the fast did not help God, but helped them to believe God and His written words. Do we then insinuate that fasting drives out unbelief? Certainly not, for if fasting drove out unbelief, people like Muslims who fast forty days every year would believe in Jesus, yet they still do not believe in Jesus being the Son of God and God. Do I then insinuate that we do not need to fast to be healed or delivered? Certainly not; for Jesus teaches us that certain kinds of demons only leave by prayer and fasting (Mark 9:29).
As we learn to trust God and His written word we will still fast, but not because we are fearful. How do I know that? Because that is what I was doing in the beginning, a brother would call me with a distressing situation on Monday. I would immediately fast for three days and three nights. Then on Wednesday a sister would call me with a more distressing situation than the brother, I would add two more days to my fast. And then on Friday a couple would call me for their relative is seriously ill. The devil and the distressing situations he was throwing at the people were running my prayer and fasting life. You and I will have to trust God, and be able to sleep in the midst of the storms, or when we are in prison. Jesus slept in the boat when the storm was raging and Peter slept in his prison cell, though he was scheduled to be beheaded in the morning (Matthew 8:23-27, Acts 12).
Yes the church was praying when Peter was in prison and Peter also prayed, but He also learned to cast all his care upon Jesus and go to sleep, eat a nice meal. He says: Cast all your care upon Jesus; for He cares for you (1Peter 5:7). Your personal cares and the cares of the church, cast them onto Jesus. Unless The Lord builds the house or a church, they labour in vain who build it; unless the Lord keeps the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. [or the intercessors do night vigils in vain]. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep (Psalm 127:1-2). Faith comes by hearing directly from the Lord (Romans 10:17). If you cannot hear personally from the Lord, faith will be a hard thing; you will always be in fear in the face of adversities.
I have my disciplined lifestyle of prayer, fasting and studying the word of God. Unless God now tells me to specifically do an extra fast or a night vigil, I just include that distressing situation into my daily prayer and my scheduled fasts. The devil and his attacks no longer run my life, but God does. If I have prayed through as we have explained in the Abecedary of prayer, and God said to me: it is done! I do not need to do an extra night vigil or an extra fast; I go to bed and enjoy a nice meal. Fear should not dictate your lifestyle but faith in Christ should!
Many times when you decide to stand on the word of God, and not ask for human help; everything about you will tell you: you are a fool. So you will humble yourself before God in prayer and fasting like Ezra did; because you are afraid that you might have made a mistake by rejecting the help of some earthly kings. I know what it feels like; many times I rejected the financial help of people because God told me to; but when I had boasted about God being my provider, I would be filled with fear because I did not know where the money would come from, or where the food would come from. So I would cry out to God in prayer and fasting because I did not want to be put to shame by going back to those people and telling them: I am sorry that I rejected your financial help, my God was not able to provide for me, please can you give me that money you initially wanted to give me? That would not only be shameful to me, but also to the name of My God whom I serve.
When for instance God tells us to start a new business or to change careers, or to start a new mission, we have no clue as to how we are even going to start it. We acknowledge that our intellect does not know how to do it, and we humble ourselves in prayer and fasting, so that God will tell us the right way to do those things, where to start, etc. Now you understand why many men and women of God fast often like Paul said he did (2Corinthians 11:27).In Acts 13 they prayed and fasted before commissioning Paul and Barnabas to the new work of ministry. Jesus knows where the fish are; in Luke 5 and John 21 the disciples toiled all night and caught nothing. But at day time, Jesus gave them the instruction to let down their nets on a particular side of the boat and their nets were full of fish. Meaning you can pick the best location in town, the best hour of the day, prepare a best sermon, have the best choir; yet you win no souls to Christ.
But if you humble yourself before Jesus Christ and say: Lord Jesus, I, Gery, have toiled for three and half years trying to fish some souls and put them in the boat You gave me. I have had very little results, almost none. I printed banners, distributed thousands of leaflets, knocked at people’s doors, went to hospitals, preached in the streets and prayed for people in the streets. But still after three and half years of doing those things, my boat was still almost empty. I have come to understand: it is not by might, or by power, but by Your Holy Spirit that souls are won and churches built (Zechariah 4:6). I humble myself before You Jesus, I want to follow Your instructions, make me a fisher of men like Peter and all Your apostles, so that the 50 European nations can be harvested (Matthew 4:19). This I have prayed at Your instruction on Friday 30th January 2015, in Jesus’ name, Amen!
God is always asking us to do things that no human can do, things that we do not even have a clue how to start; God is always sending us to places where we know nobody at all from Adam, places where people even are prejudiced about us. We always feel like: I cannot do it; God, You must show me how to do it, how to start. But as we learn to walk with God and trust God, we would start believing the written word of God for what it says; we no longer lean on our own understanding. We will believe that the written word is as good as a spoken word of God, God does not change His mind, He said it, He will also do it. Now we need to humble ourselves before Him, and let Him show us the way!
Jesus likens fasting to mourning saying, Matthew tells us: the disciples of John came to Him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast? And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast (Matthew 9:14-15). So sometimes we also fast because we are in a terrible situation, and we do not know what to do, or where help will come from, or how we can fix our mess, we are weeping and fearful, for our life is endangered or our marriage, or our profession or our studies, etc. We use fasting as a desperate cry for help. Ahab, that wicked king, married to Jezebel who killed the prophets of God, received the words that he would die cruelly, humbled himself in sackcloth and fasting, and God sent words to him by his prophet that he would not suffer that calamity (1Kings 21).
David said: as for me, when they were sick, My clothing [was] sackcloth; I humbled myself with fasting; And my prayer would return to my own heart (Psalm 35:13). And about fasting Isaiah said: Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard (Isaiah 58:8). So first of all we need to have the understanding of the word of God, some people fast for years and there is no power, because the power is first of all in the word of God. You will know the truth and the truth shall make you free Jesus said. There are some sicknesses and some diseases which are pure demonic attacks, and on top of our understanding of the will of God concerning healing and deliverance, we must add prayer and fasting like Jesus taught us: However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:21).
6. Different types of fasts
You and I are free from those Jewish laws and traditions, we are in Christ. We should not go back to the Jewish laws and traditions. Make up your mind; let it be between you and God, you as a couple and God, and your family and God. People think that fasting only means not eating and not drinking. It is not true. In the bible we have all kinds of fasts. We have already details of how Israel fasted. And even the Pharisees who fasted often, fasted only twice a week, and they ate and drank from sunset to day break, so they were never hurting themselves.
The bible says: It is good for a man or a woman to bear the yoke while he is young (Lamentation 3:27). You cannot ask an elderly person to bear the yoke of the young man or young woman. When we were born again my mother was in her late thirties. And even when she was in her forties, she did the Esther’s fast often, and I remember we would even do six months fast for our nation, and the nations around us from Rwanda, D.R Congo [Zaire], Congo, R.C.A and Chad; for God had revealed to us long before the war started, that it would come from Rwanda, and like a wind it would also reach those other nations. So back then my parents could fast for a long period. But in 2013 they were in their late fifties and early sixties. They could not fast as they used to. So when they called me, I asked them to do a Daniel fast, Daniel ate during his fast, but only vegetables. So I said to my parents: if you can skip breakfast that is very good, and at 12 noon or 2pm eat some fruits: mangos, apples, papaya, melons, oranges, etc; drink some yoghurt, and then at 6pm you can break your fast and eat whatever you want, and as much as you want.
Or you can even drink yoghurt and eat some fruits in the morning, and do likewise in the afternoon, and then at 6pm you can break your fast and eat normal food. People will say: Moses was 80 years old when he fasted for 40 days and 40 nights without food and without water, therefore it does not matter what your age is, fast like Moses. What Moses did was supernatural, and God must speak to that person. People who hold those strong opinions on fasting, just want to compete with other Christians and base their spirituality on how they hurt themselves. Remember, the purpose of fasting is not so that you can hurt yourself; but humble yourselves before God! Jesus was 30 years old when he fasted 40 days and 40 nights without food, but drinking water, so He was young.
6-1 Living a fasted life, partial fast and full fast
Daniel lived a fasted life, in his case it meant he ate during the day, but only vegetables (Daniel 1:8-13). Many people think that kind of fast is not truly fasting, yet it is fasting according to the scriptures. He lived a fasted life, and there was no meat in his diet, only vegetables. John the Baptist also lived a fasted life; he only ate honey and locusts (Matthew 3:4). I know of some men of God who live a fasted life: God told them that they should not do a prolonged fast; but should live a fasted life. Therefore some of them skip breakfast and start eating around noon or 2pm. Some have their breakfast, but skip lunch and eat dinner; others have their breakfast and lunch, but skip dinner. Each one of them heard from the Lord how they should be disciplining their body.
Does God call everybody to live a fasted life? The answer is no. Do not copy people’s lifestyles, unless God spoke to you directly. Even if someone forces you to live like them, do not! God must speak to you. I know of men of God who fast 3 days and 3 nights at the end of every month, that is what the Lord told them to do. Daniel was in a position of power in Babylon, he was seated at the gates of the city. God knew that he needed his energy to be effective at work.
A person can fast for one day partially or fully. A partial fast is for example skipping breakfast, and only eating from 2pm. A full fast is from sunrise to sunset. Some people take water during the day, some do not take water at all. If you are doing physical work, you need to drink water lest you be dehydrated. If you are doing manual work you might need to do a partial fast. Though we are to discipline our body, God wants us to have more times of feasting, than times of fasting as we have seen with the Jews. People can go through a long period of fasting either a partial fast or a full fast when they break every evening, or half a day and restart the next day. We have seen that from Friday noon to Monday sunrise, the Jews were not allowed to fast, but were commanded to feast, for it was the Sabbath. God wants people to enjoy life, He gives us all things to richly enjoy (1Timothy 6:17). He knows some self-righteous people will try to fast more than others, to receive the recognition of men and their praises. God wants them to rest and spend quality time with Him, and with their loved ones on the Sabbath.
We have seen the only official collective fast God gave them in Israel, was the grand fast on the Day of Atonement, only one day (Leviticus 23:26-27). It was a full fast from sunrise to sunset, but they had eaten the previous night till day break. All the other collective fasts they came up with were not decreed by God for the whole congregation. Many times God asks us to fast, and we force everybody to join us in our fast. In Israel when a child was twelve years old, he was brought into the temple or synagogue and was given a scroll of the Holy Scriptures to read, and from that day he was called a son of the commandment – meaning, he was now under the law, he was to present himself at Jerusalem for all the appointed feasts and also on the Day of Atonement.
He was asked to fast from sunrise to sunset, but he had already feasted the entire night, and before day break, so it is not that hard to wait until sunset, and the Day of Atonement was a day off, no work was to be done, so he would just sit and not use up his energy. Children below 12 years old were not allowed to fast. If you want your children of 9 to 11 to fast, please let them do the Daniel fast, please let them eat vegetables and fruits, as much as they want, or only skip breakfast and let them eat at 12 noon, but they would have eaten before sunset so even if they do not have breakfast at 8 am they can easily make it to 12 noon. When you read the book of Jonah; the king of Nineveh decreed a fast for every living thing: men, women, children, babies and cattle. He was a pagan who did not have the understanding of God’s word, thinking that even animals can sin. But God saw his heart and the heart of his people, how they repented of their sins. You are not a pagan, you have understanding of God’s word!
The Jews gradually trained their 9 to 11 year old children, every Day of Atonement before the Day of Atonement when they turned 12 and were expected to fast. Children under 9 years old were never fasting. Many times our children grow up in church hating God, and they think God delights in starving people; that we need to beg Him before He does anything for us. If you want to fast for a long period, do not yoke the children, set them free. Do not force sick people, pregnant women, nursing women and children to fast. Remember even the Pharisees who boasted about how many times they fasted, knew that fasting was never meant to hurt their bodies; but to humble ourselves before God. So do not hurt the children, the pregnant women, the nursing women, the elderly people and the sick people. If you decide to live a fasted life, do not impose it on other people or on your family, not even on your spouse. If you decide to fast for a long period and God has not told you that all your family members should be involved in it, do not impose it on them. Fasting is between you and God, never impose your faith on other people, not even your spouse.
I remember when we were growing up; I was 11 years old when I became born again. And when I was 12 years old, our parents told us we needed to fast. We fasted for three days; we were breaking at 12 noon. I remember asking my father: why are we fasting? Tell us the truth, is it because we do not have money that you came up with this fast? My father told me no; so I said to him: so at 12 noon, I can have both my breakfast and my lunch? He said yes! So I did. And the following year we fasted again, our parents were doing the Esther’s fast, but they asked us, children, to fast till 2 pm. I asked my parents the same question, and my father gave me the same answer. So I told him, since you are not eating for three days and three nights, whenever I stop my fast at 2 pm I will also be taking your portion of breakfast, and in the evening I will be eating your portion of dinner. So I did. And the next year, I realized that we were not fasting because we did not have money; but because we were waiting on the Lord. So I did not take my breakfast or my lunch and only had my dinner after we broke the fast at 6 pm, but I was already 15 years old. Please never come up with a fast when you do not have money, tell the truth to the children.
6-2 Esther’s fast
When the Jews were about to be blotted out from the face of the earth by their enemy in the days of Esther and Mordecai; Esther said: go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast for me, and neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so I will go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish (Esther 4:16). All the Jews fasted for three days and three nights without water and without food. In most fasts people break at sunset and restart the next day at day break; but not in this kind of fast, they continued, they did not break at all for three days and three nights. It was a desperate situation. If God did not move on their behalf they would all be killed. Some churches often do the three days and three nights fast without water, and without food. One must be very careful. First of all no pregnant woman, nursing mothers, elderly persons or sick persons must be involved in any fast. If they decide to do a Daniel type of fast wherein they eat and drink three times a day, still they must consult their physician before doing that. Remember that God never asked them to hurt themselves. In the fast God instituted for the Jews, they would eat at night until day break.
In the fast of Esther, it was Esther that decreed it, as I told you, it is like a child who wants to twist his father’s arm, so that he will do it now. If you feel you are in a desperate situation and if God does not intervene, you will not make it, and you decide to fast for three days and three nights without water or food, it is up to you. It is between you and God. But it is advised to at least drink water. The Lord delivered them after their fast.
Unfortunately some churches have it as a religion, and they yoke the entire congregation, and ask them to fast the Esther fast every year. Some even do it three times a year, every year. One needs to make sure it is God who gave that instruction, otherwise it is self-imposed religion. God is not in self-imposed religion like we have seen with the four fasts that Judah imposed on themselves for seventy years, God was in each of those fasts the very moment they were facing their predicaments, but the years that followed, God was not in any of those fasts. If an individual decides to do the fast of Esther every year, or three times every year, it is between him and God, He should not yoke other people, or think that other people are not as “spiritual” as he is.
In the book of Exodus, neither Moses nor the Hebrews fasted for a single day, but the Lord brought them out of the house of Bondage of Egypt. Moses performed all those miracles: the ten plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, and God transferred the wealth of Egypt into their hands, yet none of them had fasted a single day. The experience of Egypt is a type of our salvation, it was free, God did it all by grace they did not have to work at it, or fast for them to receive any of the promises contained in their salvation package, but only through faith in the grace of God. In Exodus 14 Pharaoh and his army had overtaken the Hebrews and were coming to kill all of them. But they drowned in the Red Sea. You see for a similar life-threatening situation, Moses and the Hebrews did not fast a single day, but the Lord delivered them from the hands of their oppressors. Moses had the Rod of the Lord: Jesus Christ. For Isaiah said: there shall come forth a Rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots (Isaiah 11:1). Moses believed the promises of God and believed that Jesus, the Rod, was with him, and He would deliver them. The whole salvation of the Hebrews was based on their faith in the grace of God alone, and on the faithfulness of God, not on their works or fasting.
You see brethren, salvation is free, it is by Grace through faith, we can just believe in the faithfulness of God to receive it. Sometimes we think He will not be willing to help us, so I must twist His arm by fasting to the point of death, to get Him to do something for me. He will do it, but He would rather that you believe His word. Am I telling you not to fast? No, but I am telling you, to first believe the word of God, and what He has freely given to you, you do not have to twist God’s arm, He is willing and always willing. I have personally done the Esther’s fast many times: because I was in a desperate situation and I needed God to intervene. In Exodus 6:1-13, the Lord reveals Himself to Moses as Yahweh, and tells Moses that He will do everything, Moses and the people have no part to play in their salvation. It is the same thing today, everything Jesus died for is ours, and we have nothing to add to His finished work.
Even in the wilderness when the people rebelled against God and fiery serpents were biting them so that they were dying, the people did not need to fast for their healing, they looked upon the serpent of brass on the pole, which was a shadow of Jesus on the cross, and they were both forgiven of their sins and healed (Numbers 21). Likewise Jesus who hanged on the cross, bore the stripes on His back for our healing and shed His blood for our sins. So when a person has sinned, John tells us you only need to confess your sins, and Jesus is faithful and just to forgive you, because He shed His blood for your sins to be remitted (1John 1:9).
If you are sick, first of all look unto Jesus who bore the stripes for your healing and believe by His stripes you were healed (1Peter 2:24). Faith in Jesus is what is very important; yes at times we fast for healing and deliverance; but faith is very crucial. Jesus told us that some evil spirits only come out by prayer and fasting, and He was expecting His disciples to pray and fast, not the sick or demon possessed to pray and fast (Matthew 17:20-21). The Jews fasted on the Day of Atonement for their sins to be forgiven, you do not have to fast, you just need to confess them and believe Jesus died for your sins.
6-3 Daniel’s twenty-one day fast
In the book of Daniel 9, Daniel read the prophecy of Jeremiah and understood that they were to be in captivity in Babylon only seventy years. So he started to fast and pray, so that God would forgive the sins of His people and deliver them according to the word of Jeremiah. In Daniel 10, he fasted for twenty one days before God sent the answer. Some people think they are still under the Old Covenant, that for them to hear the word from the Lord, or receive an answer from the Lord, they need to fast for twenty one days every time, like Daniel did. They say that an angel must first bring their prayer up into heaven, and then an angel must bring your answer down from heaven. They explain it by the vision of Jacob when He saw a ladder and angels ascending and descending (Genesis 28:12). This might have been true under the Old Covenant, but it is not true for you and me anymore under the New Covenant.
Jacob dreamed, behold, a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it (Genesis 28:12). Jacob whom God named Israel (Genesis 32:28), was the heir of the promise, he inherited the promise of the firstborn. What his dream meant was that God was providing for His heir. He had assigned angels who are ministering spirits (Hebrews 1:14) to deliver whatever God has in store, for the heir of salvation. There is always an open heaven over the heir of salvation, since the veil that was in the temple was rent from top to bottom (Mark 15:38). The angel of the LORD already encamps round about the heirs of salvation, for they fear God, and delivers them (Psalm 34:7).
Those angels excel in strength; they do God’s commandments that come out of the mouth of the heirs of salvation, hearkening unto the voice of His word, for God is with the mouth of the heirs of salvation. (Psalm 103:20, Exodus 4:12-15, Isaiah 51:16). Jesus said to Nathanael that He was the fulfilment of that vision of Jacob: Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man (John 1:51). You and I are heirs of salvation, there is always an open heaven over us, and God has assigned angels, who are ministering spirits, to us (Hebrews 1:14).
You do not need, in the New Covenant, an angel to carry your prayer to God, and another angel to carry your answer down from heaven. In the new covenant Jesus reconciled us to God. God dwells in us, His Spirit dwells in us and Jesus dwells in us. Not only they dwell in us, but they translated us into heaven, we are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus at the right hand of the Father (Ephesians 1:20; Ephesians 2:6). We never leave the presence of the Godhead in heaven, and the Godhead dwells in us, they never leave us. Jesus is now your shepherd, and you hear the voice of His mouth. Jesus is in you, He died to become your shepherd.
If God specifically tells a believer to fast for 21 days, praise the Lord. God will be specific why He wants that believer to fast for 21 days. Some churches fast for 21 days breaking every evening. It is good to be part of a collective fast. But if you realize that every year at the same time, the 21 days collective fast is organized, it has become self-imposed religion. There is nothing wrong with fasting, God expects us to fast, but first know the things that are freely given to you by God (1Corinthians 2:12). Do not fast for what God has already given you, only believe and confess, and you shall have it (Romans 10:6-10). When you read Daniel 10, you realize that there was a battle going on in the realm of the spirit for those 21 days Daniel fasted, and God sent Michael to help Gabriel to defeat the prince of Persia, and on the 24th day Daniel received the answer. Please read the “Abecedary of prayer”, the section on “praying through”. Had Daniel not prayed through with fasting, though God already sent the answer the very day he prayed, he might not have received the manifestation.
Everything Jesus provided for you in the perfect redemption plan, or the salvation package is free, it was by grace that you received them, through faith you will have their manifestations (Ephesians 2:8). You only need to believe in your heart, confess it with your mouth, become a doer of it, and you shall have it. If fasting was the only condition to have the things that are freely given to us, Paul would have told us, but he said our beliefs and confessions are the things that matter. We are labourers together with God, to see the manifestation of His promises on earth, as it in heaven (1Corinthians 3:9, Luke11:2). Again I say: I am not against collective fasts, I have taken part in some 21 days collective fasts when the Lord told me to be part of it, and He gave me what directions to pray about it, but there have been other 21 days collective fast that I did not take part in, because the Spirit of God in me did not bear witness. My prayer is that we will read the perfect redemption plan of God and embrace it, so that we will not have to fast for the things that are already freely given unto us.
6-4 Forty days and nights fast
In Matthew 4:1-2 it is written: then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward hungry. First of all Jesus was led up of the Spirit, it does not say: Jesus was led up of the flesh. Some Christians are led up of the flesh to fast for a long period of time, the reason being, they want to impress people that they can fast long enough. They go about telling everybody how long they fasted, so that people would be impressed and say they are spiritual. If God or the Holy Spirit does not tell you to fast for forty days and forty nights, do not do it. It is your flesh, and you might end up hurting yourself. Having said that, there are people, I know of persons, who were led by the Spirit to fast for forty days and forty nights, or for twenty-one days and nights. And they shared their testimonies with us, not so that people can think of them as spiritual; they did not care about what people thought of them, but to encourage brothers and sisters, that if God tells you to do such a fast, you can do it since they could do it.
Jesus drank water during those forty days and forty nights. The bible specifically says: He was afterward hungry, no mention of Him being thirsty. Drink a lot of water when you fast for a long period. If a person does the Esther fast, he can go without food and water for three days and three nights; but if he does not drink water from the fourth day, he is damaging his kidneys. And many believers have damaged their kidneys because they wanted to prove to people they were spiritual, so they went more than three days without water. We have explained that the disciples performed all those miracles without even fasting, often while Jesus was with them. And Moses delivered the Hebrews with mighty signs and wonders without fasting a single day. God wanted to show that faith is the first thing.
After Jesus had done His forty days and forty nights fast, the bible says: Jesus returned in the power (Dunamis: miracle working power) of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about (Luke 4:14). The miracle working power of the Spirit is not merely in fasting, many people have fasted for so long, they have even done more forty days and forty night fasts, than Jesus, but they do not have nearly the same miracles Jesus had. It all starts with the Word of God, having the right understanding of the word of God, and using the name of Jesus, prayer and then the fast. After the day of Pentecost, it is mentioned in the book of Acts that believers were praying and fasting, or even Paul said he was fasting often (2Corinthians 11:27). No wonder that he could testify: Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; I have fully preached the gospel of Christ (Romans 15:19).
We do not know how often they were fasting. Let it be by the leading of the Holy Spirit. But nowhere in the New Testament is mentioned of a disciple of Jesus who fasted forty days and forty nights, if one of them did; it was not recorded for us. Did they fast? Yes, they did, but it is not mentioned that they fasted forty days and forty nights. What am I saying? Let the Holy Spirit lead you in fasting; do not feel yoked to imitate another brother or to compete with anybody else. Peter tells you the secret to walking in signs and wonders, saying: Men, Israelites, why do you marvel at this? Or why do you stare at us, as though we had made this man to walk by our own power or holiness? The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His son Jesus, whom you delivered up, denying Him in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to let Him go. But you denied the Holy and Just One, and desired a murderer to be given to you. And you killed the Prince of Life, whom God has raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses. And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, this one whom you see and know, His name made firm. And the faith which came through Him, has given him this perfect soundness before you (Acts 3:12-16).
So the secret is to understand what took place at the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, according to the scriptures (1Corinthians 15:1-5). To discover the perfect redemption plan of God that was given unto us by grace. And we acknowledge that those things Jesus died for are already in us. Like Peter said, Silver and gold have I none, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk (Acts 3:6)! That is what Paul also told Philemon, saying: the communication of your faith will become effectual when you acknowledge every good thing which is in you, in Christ Jesus (Philemon 1:6). Peter acknowledged every good thing that was already in him, in Christ Jesus, and said to the lame man: such as I have I give you. Then Peter put His faith in Christ Jesus who died and was raised from the dead, to provide that perfect redemption plan.
And then Peter used the name of Jesus Christ to command the sickness to leave the body of that lame man. When you know the perfect redemption plan of God, and acknowledge that all those things are already in you, your prayer life will be different, you will put your faith in the finished work of Jesus. You will be praising God more, because by grace you know that you already have been given all things that pertain to life and godliness, and have been blessed with all spiritual blessings. You will command things to happen around you. Peter did not say that it was his fasting or prayer that made that lame man walk, though they fasted and prayed as Jesus taught them; he did not say it was any of his good deeds of the law either. My prayer is that we will stop looking at our performances, or works of the law, but we will look unto Christ Jesus the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
If you are led by the Spirit to fast forty days and forty nights; praise the Lord, but do not yoke other people to also fast forty days and forty nights. If fasting forty days and nights was the only key, Jesus would have told us; and the disciples would have told us too, but they did not. Everything in the salvation package is freely given to us by grace, and we have their manifestation by faith in Christ Jesus, and the use of His name like Peter explains it to us (Acts 3:6-16). Moses was also asked to fast forty days and forty nights by God, yet Moses did not ask Joshua his assistant, to come and fast with him forty days and forty nights, neither did he ask Aaron or Miriam. The LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give you tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that you may teach them (Exodus 24:12). Moses was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights (Exodus 24:18). Moses did not eat nor drink, one should never try what Moses did, for medically he will die. Moses was in the presence of God, and we do not have all the details of what happened on that mountain, how the Lord supernaturally sustained him. Jesus drank water, so if one is called to fast forty days and forty nights by God, do what Jesus did, drink water!
Moses went up a second time because he had broken the tablets in anger when he saw the gold calf the people had built. Moses was there (on the mountain) with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And He wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments (Exodus 34:28). Moses heard the voice of God, that is why he did it; Jesus though He heard the voice of God and was led of the Spirit, fasted those forty days and forty nights with water. What Jesus did even medical science tells us a human being can do it, you do not need a miracle for that, but what Moses did, is a miracle. Even if Moses fasted forty days and forty nights, but the salvation that the Lord performed for the Hebrews through his hand, did not require for him or the Hebrews to fast even for a day. What happened in Egypt and the crossing of the Red Sea are shadows of our salvation package. Everything was free, it was by grace and they received it through faith in God, and Jesus the Rod. They did not have to work for anything or do good deeds, or fast. It was free, including the miracles!
Elijah also fasted for forty days and forty nights. The angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched Elijah, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for you. And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb, the mount of God (1Kings 19:7-8). The Angel brought food to Elijah, this is not natural food, this is angel’s food, and he was supernaturally empowered to go without food and water for forty days and forty nights. But in 1Kings 17 when he raises the son of the widow of Zarephath from the dead, and in 1Kings 18 when he calls down fire on the sacrifice in the contest against the prophets of Baal at mount Carmel, and causes the rain to come down on the land after three and half years of drought; he had not fasted for forty days and nights yet. So you see all those miracles in the life of Elijah were not because he fasted forty days and forty nights. The power is not merely in fasting. The power is first of all in the word of God, even in the gospel; believing it, confessing it and acting on it; the authority and power are invested in the name of Jesus.
You have seen from the scriptures, in the life of Moses, in the life of Elijah, and in the life of the disciples of Jesus, it was not merely the fast that gave them power, but first of all the Word of God: having the right understanding of the Word of God, believing the Word, confessing the Word of God, acknowledging who they were in Christ Jesus and becoming doers of the Word of God. The power and authority are in the name of Jesus. That is why when Moses died and Joshua stepped into his shoes, God told Joshua: this book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; but you shall meditate therein day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success (Joshua 1:8). God did not tell Joshua: first of all you need to fast forty days and forty nights like Moses, and nowhere throughout the book of Joshua is mentioned that Joshua fasted forty days and forty nights like Moses did. Know who you are in Christ and acknowledge all things that are freely given to you by grace. Ought we to fast? Yes we ought to fast.
God spoke to me to do a forty days and forty nights fast like Jesus did. I did it according to the commandment of the Lord. I am not asking anybody to copy me. I, Gery, heard specifically from the Lord and He gave me scriptures. I will confess to you that it was during that fast of forty days and forty nights, that God revealed to me most of the perfect redemption plan. He told me like He told Moses: Come up to Me into the mount, and be there: and I will give you tablets of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that you may teach them (Exodus 24:12).
He gave me that revelation and that is why I am writing these bible studies so that you can have the same revelation He gave me, according to the scriptures. I did not copy anybody, I was not trying to imitate anybody; God spoke to me. So do not try to imitate brother Gery, let God speak to you about fasting, because what God has called me to do in His kingdom, is not necessarily what you are called to do. We are all unique. And I used to be a strong-headed person, and maybe that is why God asks me to humble myself before Him often in prayer and fasting. I do not know all the reasons God asks us to fast. But by faith I choose to believe that God knows better than Gery what lies ahead of us, and the souls and nations that are at stake. Even when Jesus tells us that some demons or sickness only go out by prayer and fasting (Mark 9:29). Nobody knows how long one should fast and pray!
I am honest with you that I, Gery, do not have all the answers, but I trust Jesus. Mary said to the servants: whatsoever Jesus Christ says unto you, do it (John 2:5)! And Jesus tells us: You are My friends, if you do whatsoever I command you (John 15:14). Jesus is our Lord, though He is our friend and our elder brother, but He is our Lord and God. He told us: why do you call Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say (Luke 6:46)? I, Gery, believe that Jesus is Lord and when He asks me to fast a particular way I do it! I do not question why? But I know that He will save many nations and souls through those prayers and fastings; for whatever principality is holding the people of God captive, will be bound by angels of God like in Daniel 10.
God says: If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (2Chronicles 7:14). You and I do not see everything that happens in the heavenly realm. God only shows us glimpses of the spiritual warfare that goes on in the heavenly realm. Daniel in Daniel 10, believed and systematically applied the written word of God in 2Chronicles 7. Had Gabriel not explained to him the battle that went on in the spirit realm when he was praying and fasting; he would never know. So let us trust God also for prayer and fasting. Just like we trust Him when we pray in tongues that we are praying according to His will, for we do not know how we ought to pray. Let us have the same approach when God asks us to fast (Romans 8:26-28).
6-5 Ezekiel’s fast
In Ezekiel 4, God asked Ezekiel to eat bread by measure and drink water by measure. It was a prophetic fast that God asked Ezekiel to do, and for 390 days he fasted for Israel and for 40 days for Judah. So all together Ezekiel fasted for Israel and Judah for 430 days. We do not know details of what God asked him to do during that lengthy fast, but God gave him specific instructions and explained to him why he was doing them.
In our westernized and intellectual Christianity, we do not believe that God can ask a man or woman to fast for so long. The reason I put it here, is so that people will know that God can ask a person to fast for a long period of time, even more than a year. Ezekiel was eating every day, but the food he was eating and the water he was drinking, were small quantities. God asked Ezekiel to do that fast, nobody else joined him in that fast. Ezekiel did not yoke anybody else with him; he was the only one doing that fast. If God asks people to fast collectively like that, it will be a small group of people, and they will do it in love, willingly and joyfully for the commandments of God are not grievous or burdensome (1John 5:3). It will not be a burden to them, for God said to His people: the burden of the Lord you shall mention no more (Jeremiah 23:36). God said to Ezekiel: so I sought for a man among them who would make a wall and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found no one (Ezekiel 22:30).
Ezekiel fasted for those 430 days to make a wall, so that he would be a watchman for Israel and Judah: see the plan of the enemy against them, and warn the people of the danger to come, so that they would not be destroyed by their enemies. He stood in the gap before God to intercede for the land of Israel and the land of Judah, so that they would not be destroyed. I remember when I was growing up, and I was very young, and the Lord revealed to us what the plan of the enemy was to make war from Rwanda to the Republic of Congo. So we fasted for 18 months as a family, and with my father who begot me in the Lord: Apostle Jean-Francois Ngemba. God was revealing everything to us: where the next war was going to start, who would win in that war, so we prayed and fasted that there would not be much bloodshed.
We fasted every day, and at the end of every month we did the Esther fast. God gave us specific instructions about how we should fast. Apart from that fast that I did when I was in my teens, when I was in my mid-twenties, the Lord spoke to me again, to do that kind of Ezekiel’s fast, for a certain group of people. And I fasted for them for 3 full years every day, nobody else fasted with me, just like nobody else fasted with Ezekiel. Let God speak to you, about the things that are in His heart, there are nations to save, not just spiritually but also physically. There are physical wars to be stopped; there are bloodthirsty tyrants that God wants to remove, and He wants to involve us in His plans. There are principalities, dominions, powers and rulers of darkness to be dethroned over nations or regions, so that the gospel can prevail.
It was never a burden to me, because God put the love for those people in my heart. I love my food and trust me, if there is another way to do it without me having to fast even a single day, I will do it. But sometimes God tells me I want you to fast for such a period of time, and tells me what He wants to do in a nation, or for a group of people. And He always tells me: for I have no man likeminded, who will naturally or genuinely care for their state or circumstance (Philippians 2:20). That is why, if God does not tell me to take part in a collective fast, I do not even try it for a second, I enjoy my food, I feast every day with Jesus. But when He calls me to an extensive fast, I pray like Jesus prayed: O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as You will (Matthew 26:39). Apostles and prophets are often asked by God to fast more than other believers, or even other people in the fivefold ministry gifts.
7. Coming out of a period of fasting
Entering into a period of fast is not a problem, coming out of a period of fast is sometimes the problem, and if one is not careful they can hurt themselves. Remember fasting was never meant to hurt you, it was always done in such a way that you do not hurt your body. If one is fasting only for a day, as we have already mentioned, the person can decide to drink water during the day, and when evening comes. After the person has prayed, he can start by eating something light, by eating fruit, drinking hot milk or yoghurt to start his digestive system. And after an hour, eat normal food.
If a person decides to fast for many consecutive days, breaking every night, they must be careful to drink water during the day. And every night when they break their fast; they must start by drinking some hot milk, yoghurt or eating some fruit to start their digestive system, but their meals should not be as much as they used to be, because their stomach is shrinking the longer they do these many consecutive days of fasting. And when they decide to completely come out of the long period of fast, even when they eat; they must gradually increase their intake of food. One should never try to eat directly as they used to eat before that long period of fasting. If you fasted for three days, even the Esther fast, give yourself two to three days before returning to your normal eating habits.
If you fast for more than a week, even if you break every night, give yourself at least half of the time you spent in fasting, meaning three to four days, before returning to your normal eating habits. The truth is, if you fast for more than twenty one days, even breaking every night, when you come out of that fast, your eating habits would no longer be the same, for your stomach will have shrunk. So give yourself time when you come out of any fast. Increase your food intake progressively. I like hot milk to start with, because it always purges my bowels. If you have done a day and night fast, be even more careful, for your digestive system has been stopped for all that period of time. Start it with hot milk, and gradually increase your food intake over the days.
8. Technicalities which arise with fasting
Paul told the married couples in his epistles to the Corinthians: do not defraud or deprive one another, except it be with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency or lack of self-control. But I say this as a concession, not as a commandment (1Corinthians 7:5-6). We have seen that there was only one day of collective fast for the Jews that God ordained for them: the day of grand fast, which was on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:26-27). So you see it is easy for married people to plan that day ahead of time. They have 364 days in a year that they can come together, and only one day that they can give to the Lord: spirit, soul and body.
Moses said to the Jews: every vow and every binding oath to afflict her soul, her husband may confirm it, or her husband may make it void (Numbers 30:13). The way the Jews afflicted their souls was by fasting, for Isaiah says: is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul (Isaiah 58:5)? So here Moses is telling women who are married: if she decides to fast, or even if she decides to take part in a collective fast decreed by God Himself, not to talk of the pastor or any minister of God; the husband has the God-given authority to either confirm it, and the terms of that fast, or to cancel it. So for couples they must always consult each other before any of them can enter into any fast. For the Lord says through Paul: the wife has not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband has not power of his own body, but the wife (1Corinthians 7:4). So for married couples, their bodies are not theirs but their spouses. Therefore the wife cannot use fasting as a pretext not to come together with her husband; likewise the husband cannot use fasting as a pretext not to come together with his wife.
When Paul told the married couples that they should not deprive one another, except it be with consent, so that they can give themselves as a couple to prayer and fasting, Paul immediately answers the question that would arise from that sentence, because he understood many people would try to use it as a weapon in their marriage, to get what they want from their spouse, or to punish their spouse. Paul clearly tells them: but I speak this as a concession, and not of commandment (1Corinthians 7:6). In other words: ignore what I have said previously about you abstaining from coming together during that period of fasting, it was not a commandment, but only a concession. Now a concession according to the Webster dictionary is the act of granting or yielding; usually implying a demand, claim, or request from the party to whom it is made. So if one of the spouses during the fast, makes a demand or a request that you should come together: grant that request, yield to that demand.
Some people would say that when a couple is fasting, they should not come together because they are defiling the bed, or it is “unclean”. Paul tells us: marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge (Hebrews 13:4). They are already married, their marriage is honourable in the sight of God who made them one flesh, their bed is not defiled since no third party is brought into that bed. They are not at any time committing adultery since they are married. So whether they are fasting or not; whenever they come together it is honourable and undefiled in the sight of God who joined them. What God has cleansed, you must not call it unclean or common (Acts 10:15).
Whenever the issue of fasting is raised in church, women have this question in their heart, and some men too. And sometimes because this question has not been answered according to the scriptures as we have just done, many couples have been destroyed, because of fasting or some Christians became hypocrites. A hypocrite is a liar! They will lie to their pastors that they are fasting with the church, so that they will not be seen as lazy Christians; but in reality they cannot fast, because they think their husband cannot handle that long period without coming together.
Talk as a couple if you are fasting for a day, if it is possible to wait until the end of the day before coming together. But if one of the spouses cannot wait till evening when the fast is over, Paul told you to yield to that demand. And Moses was even more drastic: the husband could even cancel the whole fast, because he wanted to come together with his wife. You are never sinning when you come together with your spouse. You are married and God is pleased when you come together whether you are fasting or not. You are only sinning if you commit adultery and the other sexual immoralities. People say: but since I said I will not come together with my spouse during the fast, and I broke that vow, so I have sinned! No, you have not sinned, sin is breaking God’s commandment. Is there any commandment from God in the bible that tells married people to not come together? No, there is no such a commandment in the bible. You have imposed it on yourself, Paul calls it self-imposed religion!
God never asked you to make that vow, you did! And God even told you through Moses that your husband has the God-given power to cancel it, and Paul tells you that it is not a commandment when he told you to try not to come together when you are fasting. So since it is not a commandment, therefore you are not breaking a commandment, you are never sinning when you come together with your spouse. Some prophets, prophetesses, intercessors, female intercessors, apostles and people in the five-fold ministry, destroy their marriage because of prayer and fasting. Many times God asks them to pray, fast and study the bible more than ordinary believers (Acts 6:4). So if God starts telling you to fast for three days: you see that your spouse will not be happy, how much more if God tells you to fast like Ezekiel? Whatever kind of fast, prayer life and study of the scriptures God is asking you to do, discuss it with your spouse, and you will have peace at home, and your spouse will support you. And whenever demands are made by your spouse to come together as a couple, yield to them without any condemnation or guilt. And never make your spouse feel like he or she is not spiritual when he or she is making a demand to come together when you are fasting. Yield to that demand of coming together willingly and joyfully.
In the 20th century with the Pentecostal renewal, many apostles, prophets, pastors, evangelists and teachers were divorced by their wives. Not that they were abusive toward their wives, or had committed adultery, the problem was they spent more time with God than with their wives. They would study the bible and pray for between three to five hours. The wife could not disturb them because it is their quiet time with God. When they had finished their quiet time, people were already waiting for them for ministration. When they came back home in the evening; their wife had cooked a nice dinner in love and had been waiting for them to eat together. But the moment they came home they went back on their knees to pray and fast; for they had encountered many challenging situations during their day of ministration. The wife ended up eating her nicely cooked dinner on her own, or with the children. No wonder they divorced those ministers! Those ministers ignored 1Corinthians 7; they wanted to live like Paul, who was single and only cared for the kingdom. They ought to have lived like Peter who was married. God did the same miracles in the apostleship of Peter as in the apostleship of Paul.
When you are married carry your spouse along in ministry; and carry your whole family along in ministry. If you have studied the “Abecedary of prayer”; you have realized that God wants you to pray and study the word of God with your spouse first, and with your children day and night. You will have to rearrange your schedule to create time for your spouse and your children. You will have to obey the Exodus 18 advice Jethro gave Moses his son-in-law, and Acts 6 how the apostles delegated responsibilities. At times you will have to trust God and say no to some home visits and send someone else there. I remember when we were recently born again, my mother and father had a little disagreement. My father would go and visit his sisters, and when he came home, my mother had cooked a nice meal in love for the family or a nice dinner, and he would say: I will not eat, I have eaten at my sisters’. And he realised my mother was always angry when he said that. So when he came home from visiting his sisters, he would eat, but would not eat much. My mother knew that he had eaten at his sisters’ again.
Our pastor had to settle that disagreement. He said to my father: your wife has cooked a nice meal for you in love; and when you come home you cannot eat it because you have eaten at your sisters’! It would have been better for you to have been single, that way your sisters could be cooking for you every day! Do your sisters not know that you are married and your wife can cook? My pastor went and talked to my father’s sisters saying: from today your elder brother will be eating the food of his wife. So when he visits you; do not try to feed him; let him go home to his family, and fully enjoy lunch and dinner with his wife and children. I tell you from that day it was not only our mother who was happy, but even we the children were so happy to fully fellowship with our father and mother around the dinner table.
Ministers of God have that problem on a bigger scale. Everywhere they go people try to feed them. Even when they do their best to not visit people at lunch or dinner time, people still try to feed them, unless that minister is single. But if they are married, allow them to have a good fellowship with their family around the nice meal. Give them some privacy as a family too. After certain hours I do not pick up my phone calls. Some people sleep at very late hours; they want to impose their lifestyle on me. If you are in ministry and have a family; you will need to rearrange your prayer life, study of the scriptures and fasting. So you might have to do it very early in the morning between 5am and 8am, and in the evening between 8pm and at the latest midnight. May God give you wisdom! For Exodus 18 and Acts 6 to work, we will need to make disciples not just converts.
9. The fast that God has chosen
In the Old Testament most of the time only the priests, the prophets and the kings had copies of Holy Scriptures. Not everybody was privileged to have them. On the Sabbath when they came to the temple some parts of the Holy Scriptures would be read to them. And on the Day of Atonement, when they had their grand fast, all the books of Moses and the books of the prophets would be read to the people. When they came back from the captivity of Babylon, Ezra made lots of reforms: scribes or scholars of the Holy Scriptures were trained to teach the people the scriptures, not just in the temple, but in the synagogues. Many synagogues were built all over the country and wherever the Jews were scattered around the world. Every Sabbath the scribes taught the word of God to the people in the synagogues and also taught the children the Holy Scriptures as early as 4 years old.
God’s plan in instituting those Sabbaths and Sabbath feasts, including that yearly day of grand fast, was to cause the people to take time to read the scriptures and meditate on the scriptures, to pray and to know what God expected them to do. In the book of Isaiah the prophet told them what God expected them to do when they were fasting. As you read this, do not think that I am against fasting, no. I personally fast, if Jesus fasted, who am I to tell anyone not to fast? My Master Jesus fasted, so I fast, and also enjoy life like He did, yet I want us to fast with understanding of what has already been freely given to us in the New Covenant.
9-1 God wants us to deal with sins and transgressions
Isaiah 58:1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
Christians ought to be reading their bibles and praying. God’s plan is to transform us into the image of His Son Jesus, by the renewing of our mind, so that we are no longer conformed to this fallen world (Romans 12:1-2). We are kings and priests (Revelation 1:6); and in the Old Testament kings and priests had a copy of the Holy Scriptures so that they could read it and find out who they were and what God expected them to do. Sinning is breaking God’s commandments and transgression is sinning against your neighbour or fellow human. If we spend time reading the word of God and doing the word of God; we would stop sinning against God and our neighbours effortlessly. Paul tells us: therefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us; Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Sin and transgression hinder our Christian race, for they bring about guilt, condemnation and destroy our confidence towards God. Faith in God cannot properly work when we have guilt, condemnation and lack of confidence toward God, that is why God wants us to deal with our sins and transgressions, so that we can be more and more Christ like every day. Unfortunately people do not spend time reading the word of God, studying the word of God, confessing the word of God in prayer and especially doing the word of God. James says if we are not doers of the word we are deceiving ourselves (James 1:22). And many times the only way God can get our attention is when He asks us to fast. He can show us from the scriptures what we are not doing right, and ask us to amend our ways. The majority of the fasts in the Old Testament was for them to repent of their ways, and it is still the same thing today. God is not a sin finder; yet He wants to take away those sins that are ensnaring us; so that our confidence toward God will be restored (John 1:29).
That is why whenever Israel fasted: they read the scriptures, discovered the will of God, and repented of their wrongs, and then amended their ways. If we are not reading the bible when we are fasting it is a mere hunger strike or a diet not a fast! Why should anybody want to wait until God asks him/her to fast before they can spend time reading the bible and praying? We ought to be doing those things daily. Many people say: I will fast so that I can hear from God; it is because they do not read their bible, pray and meditate on the word of God daily that they need to fast all the time to hear from God (Joshua 1:7-8). When we have a continual fellowship with God, He speaks with us daily. We do not always need to go to a mountain to hear from Him, He is in us, and He is with us.
The reasons people sin against God and transgress against their fellow humans are the following: lack of knowledge of the Holy Scriptures and unbelief or lack of faith in what the promises of God in the Holy Scriptures are. God says to us: My people perish or are destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). The only place you can get the knowledge of what the will of God is, is in the Holy Scriptures. Jesus said to us: you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it, You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 22:37-40).
When you read your bible from Genesis to Revelation; understand that they are 66 love letters from your Heavenly Father. He wants to tell you first of all how much He so loves you; so that you can love Him back. John says: we love Him because He first loved us (1John 4:19). Then God wants to teach us how to love our fellow Human; for we cannot see Him physically; but by demonstrating our love to our fellow humans we show that we love God. John says: No man has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwells in us, and His love is perfected in us (1John 4:12). If a man says, I love God, and hates his brother or fellow human, he is a liar: for he who does not love his brother or fellow human whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen (1John 4:20)?
The second reason people sin against God and transgress against their fellow humans, is unbelief, or lack of faith in what the promises of God in the Holy Scriptures say. God says: My people perish or are destroyed for lack of Knowledge; because they have rejected knowledge (Hosea 4:6). The second set of people have received the knowledge; yet they rejected it by acting contrary to the knowledge they received. Why? Because of unbelief or lack of faith in what the promises of God, in the Holy Scriptures, say. Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness, when your fathers tempted Me, proved Me, and saw My works forty years. Therefore I was grieved with that generation and said, they always err in their heart, but they have not known My ways. So I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter into My rest.” Take heed, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God (Hebrews 3:7-12).
They sinned against God because of unbelief. Christians divorce because they do not believe that God can help them resolve their issues. So though they are taught the word of God; one of the parties chooses to reject the knowledge of the word of God. Christians covet and are envious of each other, because they do not believe that God can also do the same thing for them if they act according to the knowledge of the scriptures in that particular area. God says: His people, Christians, err or go astray in their heart [because of unbelief; had they known My ways, unbelief would not be a problem, unless they chose to reject My knowledge] but they have not known My ways. So we see that they could not enter in [the promised land flowing with milk and honey] because of unbelief (Hebrews 3:19). Therefore let us labour to enter into that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of unbelief (Hebrews 4:11).
How can I deal will unbelief or lack of faith in what the promises of God in the Holy Scriptures say? It is simple: read the written word of God, confess it in prayer, and become a doer of that revelation of the ways of God that you have got; for faith or belief comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God, that God speaks directly to you concerning you and your issues (Romans10:17). And your belief or faith is not complete or perfect until you become doers of what you have read in the Holy Scriptures concerning the ways of God about your particular situation. Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Do you see how faith or belief worked with his works, and from the works faith was made complete or perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness, and he was called the friend of God (James 2:21-23).”
Some people miss their deliverance and miracle because they stumble over the vessel God is using to bring them the revelation of the ways of God. Paul says: Therefore, a promise being left to enter into His rest, let us fear lest any of you should seem to come short of it. For also we have had the gospel preached, as well as them. But the Word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it (Hebrews 4:1-2). There must be a mixing of faith with the promises we have heard for us to receive the manifestation of those promises in our life, or the life of the people we are ministering to. How is it done then? It is simple! When you hear the word of God or read it: first of all let there be an expectation in your heart that God will perform it; second believe that it is not the minister of the gospel speaking to you and writing to you; but God Himself speaking and writing to you, provided what is being said and written by the minister of the gospel, lines up with the written word of God.
About our expectations it is written: Do not let your heart envy sinners [and any born again Christian who is having manifestations of the promises of God in his life]; but be in the fear of the Lord all the day long. For surely there is a hereafter, and your expectation shall not be cut off (Proverbs 23:17-18). My son, eat honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb is sweet to your palate; so shall the knowledge of wisdom be to your soul; when you have found it, then there shall be a reward, and your expectation shall not be cut off (Proverbs 24:13-14). So when you receive the knowledge of the wisdom of God according to the written word of God; be in great expectation that God will perform it; then you shall be rewarded by the manifestation of your deliverance and miracle.
The minister of the gospel, writing to you about how to speak in line with the written word of God, will say, it is written: He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous one in the name of a righteous one, will receive a just one’s reward (Matthew 10:41). Now any minister of the gospel is first of all a preacher of righteousness, and if he or she is truly sent by God, he or she will address things in your life that need changing, so that you can be righteous and practice righteousness. Peter tells us: God did not spare the old world, but saved Noah the eighth one, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly. And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, He condemned them with an overthrow, setting an example to men intending to live ungodly. And He delivered righteous Lot, oppressed with the lustful behaviour of the lawless. For that righteous one living among them, in seeing and hearing, his righteous soul was tormented from day to day with their unlawful deeds (2Peter 2:5-8).
Some Christians when the preacher of righteousness addresses what needs to be changed in their lives, are offended. They take it personally thinking that the minister of righteousness is against them. Therefore they shut their heart and say: this minister does not speak from God! Paul says: Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh who corrected us, and we gave them reverence. Shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For truly they chastened us for a few days according to their own pleasure, but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous. Nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who are exercised by it (Hebrews 12:9-11).
They will say: talk to me about my healing, deliverance and miracles. They are offended at the preacher of righteousness who is correcting their sinful lifestyle and ungodly ways. Not knowing that indirectly they are being offended at Jesus Christ. Jesus says: blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in Me (Luke 7:23). Do you mean Jesus Christ can even offend some Christians? Yes, carnal Christians! If you truly love your Father God and His word, you will not stumble by being offended in Jesus and His preacher of righteousness, who is correcting your carnal ways, so that you also can be a partaker of the holiness of our Father God. Great peace have they which love Your law [written Word]: and nothing shall offend them (Psalm119:165). If you love God and His Word; none of the correction He tells you to implement in your life, will offend you. Jesus says: If you love Me, keep My commandments (John 14:15). Again Jesus answered and said unto every one of us, If a man loves Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him (John 14:23).
He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous one in the name of a righteous one, will receive a just one’s reward (Matthew 10:41). Now a prophet is God’s spokesman, he does not speak of himself or have a private interpretation of the written word for His own selfish interest. When he speaks to you and writes to you: it is not him speaking and writing; but the Holy Spirit of God speaking and writing to you through him (Matthew 10:20). Paul says: you know that through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel to you before, and you did not despise my temptation in my flesh, nor did you spurn it. But you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus (Galatians 4:13-14).
These people received Paul as if it were Jesus Christ speaking and writing directly and personally to them. They did not stumble over Paul’s physical appearance and speech; some stumbled over these things and missed their deliverance and miracles. For indeed they say, the letters are weighty and powerful, but the bodily presence is weak, and his speech is contemptible (2Corinthians 10:10). Moses was slow of speech and slow of tongue (Exodus 4:10). Those who stumble over the slowness of speech and tongue of Moses, missed their miracles and deliverance; but those who received him as God’s spokesman, even as if it were God speaking and writing directly to them, were rewarded by having the manifestation of God’s promises. The Lord said to Moses, see, I have made you a God to Pharaoh. And Aaron your brother shall be your prophet (Exodus 7:1).
Believe in the LORD your God, so you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper (2Chronicles 20:20). As you read the bible you discover prophets were also preachers of righteousness. Nathan, the prophet, corrected David for his adultery with Bathsheba and murder of Uriah (2Samuel 12). David accepted the correction of the Lord spoken by Nathan and we see how David prospered. Whereas King Saul rejected the correction Samuel the prophet gave him, when he disobeyed the command of the Lord (1Samuel 15). And we see that King Saul did not prosper in his kingship. And Samuel said, Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has also rejected you from being king (1Samuel 15:22-23). I, Gery, used to make great sacrifices of fasting, which God did not ask me to do. I thought God cared more about my fasting than my obedience to His word. But during those fasts, God was still telling me what I needed to change in my life to become a partaker of His holiness.
A young man came to see William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, after one of his sermons. That young man said: sir, I do not like your grammar; it is wrong! During the whole sermon that young man was stumbling over the grammar and could not even receive the message of God. General Booth looked at that young man with tears in his eyes and said: “young man, I am doing all I can for God with the little grammar I know; what are you doing with yours for God?” Smith Wigglesworth was taught how to read by his wife in his twenties; so to redeem the time, he chose to only read the King James Version of the bible. He did not know that much about conjugation, grammar, and he could not write a letter without glorious misspellings. He responded to a Christian brother who had a degree from Oxford University, and in his letter he wrote “wave of the Holy Spirit” with more than three different spellings. When they finally met physically, that gentleman who had a degree from Oxford University, told Wigglesworth how many different ways he misspelled “wave of the Holy Spirit”. Wigglesworth said to him: did you get the message I was trying to communicate through my letter? He answered: yes, all of it! Wigglesworth said: that is all that matters!
You see God did not make a mistake when He called Moses, Paul, William Booth, Smith Wigglesworth or Gery Malanda; He knew our limitations, our speech, our bodily appearance, and all our blunders in life. If you stumble over the vessel God is using, you may lose your deliverance and your miracle. A dear Christian wanted to rewrite all my bible studies. We are not talking about correcting typos and grammatical structures. That Christian wanted to write it using modern English, and using expressions, native English use, and I talked and wrote like an elderly gentleman, someone said. I explained to that person that even in French, when I was 18 years old, my teachers who were in their sixties and seventies liked me because I spoke using words they understood. And when I talked with my peers, I did not use some words and expressions my peers use. This is how I have been brought up. And when I learned English, I used the New King James version of the bible. So my English and expressions come mainly from the New King James; for I try to redeem the time. A Church of God bishop and theologian in Glasgow told me: you are a one man book! He thought it was an insult! Not to me, I thank God that He enables me to speak and write in such a way, that things come out of my mouth, are in line with the written word of God, and not man’s opinions (1Corinthans 4:6).
Other Christians wanted to rewrite my bible studies and change the flyers I distribute. They said: the words you used are too strong, we do not like them. I opened my New King James bible and showed them the scriptures where I got those sentences from, from Jesus Himself. Yet they wanted to change them. I said to one of them: I do not know about you; but when I read a book and I have listened to that person before; I can hear the voice of that person speaking to me as I am reading their writings. God did not make a mistake when He called Gery, He knew English was not my first language, He knew I was black, He knew I was African, He knew my upbringing; He knew my bodily presence was not that of a Hollywood actor, but of preacher of righteousness. And He also knew my speech was contemptible; yet He put His Holy words into my mouth to plant heaven in these 50 European nations. Do not stumble over the vessel God has chosen to bring the word of God to you. As long as what He is saying is in line with the written word of God, receive it as if it were Christ speaking and writing to you!
A sister told me: Brother G, give me a prophecy, and tell me what the Lord is saying concerning my situation. I told her take your pen and your note pad and I will dictate. So she did, I said: “thus says the Lord: read your bible and pray every day”. She was angry and said: that is not what I want; but I want a specific “word”. And I opened the bible and took scriptures that related to her situation, and we prayed about it, and God did for her what was written in the bible. Jesus said: lo, I come in the volume of the book and it is written of Me, to do Your will O God (Hebrews 10:7). Everything about our life and what God has spoken about us, is contained in His Holy Scriptures, we need to read them and go and do them.
That repentance is not just confessing our sins, and forsaking them, but the biggest part and the most important part of repentance is the mind renewal. For if your mind is not renewed according to the written word of God, sooner or later you will go and do the same sin, or you will be struggling with the thoughts of committing that sin; though you are restraining your actions. When your mind is renewed, according to the written word of God, you will effortlessly stop sinning, and it will not be a struggle to you. You will no longer be conformed to this fallen world.
Paul tells us: I beseech you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and pleasing and perfect will of God (Romans 12:1-2). God wants to prove to the world, by your life and good works, how people are supposed to serve Him in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24). So that people will not say it is only Jesus who practiced righteousness and holiness; but they will see Christ working in you both to give you the willingness and the capability, to practice righteousness, holiness and good works, even the works of Jesus and greater works; for the good pleasure and glory of your Father in heaven, and they will glorify the Godhead who dwells in you (Philippians 2:13, John 14:12, Matthew 5:16).
9-2 Become a doer of the word and not a hearer only
Isaiah 58:2 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.
There are believers, religious people, they read their bible every day, they pray every day and they delight to know the ways of God. But they are not doers of the word like James told us (James 1:23). Paul says: these people are ever learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth (2Timothy 3:7). As long as we are only going from one bible study to another bible study, from one seminar to another seminar, ever learning, but not being doers of what we are learning; we are deceiving ourselves (James 1:22). The kind of knowledge Paul is talking about is not mere head knowledge, but a knowledge that comes because we have practiced a thing. And by this we know that we have known God, if we keep His commandments (1John 2:3). God and His word are one (John 1:1, Revelation 19:13). So we know God or the truth of His word, when we become doers of the word.
Think of it this way, when you are taking driving lessons; they teach you the basics, you learn many things; but until you get behind the wheel it is only head knowledge; you do not know how to drive yet! And if you say I know how to drive because I have read the manual, you are deceiving yourself! I will not get into that car with you, I am not stupid, I want to stay alive! In the beginning when you are driving, you will even need to look before changing gears, but with time you will not even realize that you are driving, you just keep your eyes on the road, and the rest you do without even thinking twice, for driving has become a part of you. You do not even remember the last time you opened the manual, because you are busy doing what is written in the manual. The only way that the word becomes flesh in the life of a person, is when that person becomes a doer of that word! James says: I will show you my faith by my works; faith is only made perfect or complete when a person becomes a doer of what he believes in his heart, and confesses with his mouth (James 2:18-22).
And many times God will ask us to fast, to cause us to read the bible, discover what we are to do in the kingdom of God, and then we must choose to become a doer of the word of God. What is the point of receiving revelations if we are not going to act on them? Revelation is for application! Just like with the car, they tell you what you have in the car, how to use them, and they tell you how to behave on the road to be safe and not to endanger the lives of other drivers and pedestrians. It is the same thing spiritually; God uses that time of fasting and prayer to tell us what He has freely given us, how to use what He has freely given us, how to minister to people and to minister to Him. But why should we always wait for God to ask us to fast before reading and doing His word? Why not decide to read the word of God and do it? I remember when I was taking driving lessons, I was eager to be behind the wheel of a car. I passed my code the first time I took the test; because I did not want to be just a hearer of those lessons, but I wanted to do them. Why is it that we do not have the same eagerness when it comes to the word of God? Why is it that we want to be hearers only and not doers, the doing part is the fun part! I tell you the truth some of those lessons for the code were boring, but the driving lessons were fun!
These religious people think that by ever learning they mature spiritually. Which is not true, reading and studying the word of God is only milk, and as we have seen in the writings of Paul to the Corinthians and in Hebrews, milk is for babes and carnal or sense ruled Christians. These religious people say: we are learning the Greek and the Hebrew so that is meat, we are mature. That is not true, the book of Hebrews was written in Hebrew and then the book of Corinthians in Greek, yet Paul did not tell them because you speak Hebrew or Greek therefore you are eating spiritual meat.
Hebrew and Greek are just languages like French, English, German, Spanish, Munukutuba, Yoruba, Japanese, Korean, Cantonese, etc. The fact that you read your bible in French does not make you more of a mature Christian than someone who reads his bible in English or in Munukutuba. No, we can know all the Greek and the Hebrew we want, as long as we are ever learning, and not doing what we are learning, we are still babies and drinking milk. Jesus told us: my meat is to do the will of God who sent Me and to finish it (John 4:34). But strong meat belongs to those who are of full age or mature, even those who by reason of use, have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Hebrews 5:14).
Remember our example of driving lessons, the more you drive the more your senses are exercised, you do not need to look at things in the car, you know where everything is in your car. And you know what to do in every situation because you have your senses exercised by reason of use. It is the same thing with the word of God: the more you do it, the more it becomes part of you, you do not even need to hear from God in every situation; you know what God will do in such a situation and you go and do it. When I was taking driving lessons, the instructor would ask me many questions to see if I knew the answers of the book. He would try to see if I had read the book, and remembered the most important parts in the book, whether I knew the signs on the road. When I did not know the answer or remember the answer, he would tell me, and he would give me advice on the road. He had to tell me almost everything in the beginning.
But when I was close to the driving test, the instructor would not say a single word, because he expected me by now, to know the majority of things, and the most important ones that I would need for everyday use. He would just tell me the destination, and sit quietly and I would drive to the destination without asking him a single question; because I knew the answers. So we would just be talking about everything in life, how I was doing in school, how the weather was; that is fellowship! The more you become a doer of the word, the more you will enjoy your fellowship with God! Just like we do not remember all the lessons of the code, but what we need for everyday use. So God expects us to know the bible in such a way, that we know what to do in whatever circumstance. The instructor can be likened to the Holy Spirit who is our helper, and brings to our remembrance the word of God.
God wants us to go through life knowing exactly what He expects from us. Just like the driving instructor helps us to remember what is written in the code book, until the code is in our minds, and then he does not need to remind us all the time. Likewise God wants our minds to be renewed by the word of God, so we cannot tell the difference whether it is the Holy Ghost who is speaking through us, or it is us speaking as Jesus; because our minds have been so renewed. He wants us to mature so that we can help ourselves and other people. We can go from point A to point B safely, and carry along other people with us who cannot drive yet. We should have the word of God dwelling richly in us and we must do the word of God, this is the only way to mature spiritually. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord (Colossians 3:16).
Again no analogy is perfect; if you noticed I have likened the Holy Spirit to the driving instructor, not to your car’s GPS; for the Holy Spirit is a person, not a thing or a tool that you can ignore at will, like you can ignore the advice of your GPS and think you know better than your GPS how to get safely and quickly to your designated destination. The Holy Spirit is God; He will always be with us in that car; He knows best how to safely and quickly get us to our designated destination. He should never be ignored and should be reverenced at all times. Those who have ignored the leading of the Holy Spirit, suffered unnecessary wrecks in their personal lives and ministry!
Isaiah said these people take delight in approaching God, they are in church every Sunday and every other day the doors of the church are open. Of course, God wants us to come to church, better than that He wants us to start doing what we have already learned. Many times religious people read and pray to impress people with their knowledge of the letters, their knowledge of the Greek, Hebrew and Latin; and how long they pray as the hypocrites of the Pharisees did (Matthew 6:5). They come to all church meetings and attend all the Christian programmes, to tell people how spiritual they are, and how concerned they are about “the business of the kingdom”. But God says, thank you for all your activities and attendances, better than that, I want you to be about Your Father’s business (Luke 2:49). Read the bible and go and do what Jesus did, for He was about His Father’s business: preach the gospel to win souls, practicing righteousness, heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out devils, cleanse lepers and make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20, Matthew 10:7-8). Many times God asks us to fast to break that religious spirit off of us.
I used to read the scriptures so that I would tell everybody how many chapters I read every day. I used to pray a certain number of hours so that I could tell everybody how many hours I prayed every day. I used to attend all church programmes because I was afraid if I missed one of them people would think I was not spiritual enough, or even I had backslid. When people did not see me in one of the programmes they asked me: where were you, bother “G of the Lord”? Many times I attended those programmes because I was afraid of what people would say if they did not see me there. I was not truly going there for God but to be seen by men. The fear of men put me in bondage.
You see brother “G of the Lord” was also a hypocrite like the Pharisees. There is a strong monitoring spirit in religion, which is but a spirit of witchcraft, even a Jezebel spirit. For she wants to control everything you do. It is based on flattery, which has its root in the spirit of divination. By calling you brother G of the Lord; they are flattering you. You do not know it yet; but they are putting a yoke around your neck to live up to their expectations. So just like the Jezebel spirit put fear in the hearts of all who did not attend her religious activities, you also are gripped with fear that if you do not attend all the meetings in your church, and in your town, people will be disappointed in you! You will not have a personal life, or a family life. Should I read my bible, should I pray, should I attend some church programmes? The answers are yes and again yes, yet my motives are more important to God. I do not have to attend all the programmes in town, or be involved in all the church activities.
9-3 True repentance: being truly remorseful and forsaking old ways
Isaiah 58:3 Why have we fasted, they say, and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our soul, and You take no notice or knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, and exact all your labours or exploit all your labourers.
The religious people are like the Pharisees who fasted to be seen by men, to make people think of them as spiritual, as mature believers. Jesus said to those Pharisees who were doing all their prayer in public and all their fasts to be seen of men, that they had their reward from men, not from God (Matthew 6:5; Matthew 6:16). The only reward they will get is the praise of men, but not from God. So in the days of Isaiah the people came back and asked God: why have we fasted and You have not seen? We have afflicted our soul and You have taken no notice? These are good questions. Remember, in the book of Zechariah the people fasted for seventy years and realized God was not in their fasting, but it was just self-imposed religion. Many times we fast for ourselves, and not for God, it has become self-imposed religion. We go through the motions, we know we must read the bible and pray when we fast, so we read the bible and pray. It happens a lot when we become a professional faster.
You will realize as you read the Old Testament, when people read the Holy Scriptures and fasted, it resulted in a revival in the land of Israel or in major reforms in the kingdom, great deliverance for Israel. Most of those revivals or reforms or deliverances, were brought about when people read the book and fasted for a short period of time, generally one day fast, in the day of Esther three days and three nights, and in the days of Daniel twenty-one days. Even in the days of Jonah, when God wanted to destroy the city of Nineveh, the people of the city repented in fasting only for one day, and the judgment over that city was not passed, the city was spared. But in our days we have churches that are doing collective fasts for 21 days a year, or even 40 days a year or more, and they have been doing this for many years. We wonder why God is not changing the lives of the people, or bringing the revival they have been praying for?
Because we have become professional fasters, it is a religious thing now; we just go through the routine. Nobody is really changed; nobody really acts on the word of God that is spoken during that fast, because they say to themselves: next year at the same time we will have the same fast, so I will change next year. When we fast collectively as a religious thing, it desensitises the hearts of believers, and we can be like Judah who had their religious fasts for seventy years, and God was not in any of them. God wants us to become doers of the word; we should not be fasting just for the sake of it. When fasting becomes a religious act, people do not act on the word, they do not stop sinning, they just fast for the sake of fasting. But God wanted them to break the yoke of sin and transgression in their lives.
God wants them to use that period of fast to break the yoke of sin and transgression, but they do not. Instead they continue in the pleasures of the world, and exploit or drive all their labourers hard. If we read the bible and decide to act on what we have read, we will rule over sin (Romans 6:14). When the Lord healed my backsliding, loved me freely and restored me in His house (Hosea 14:4), I was struggling a lot with the desire to sin, for when I was in the world I liked parties; I was always out in night clubs and pubs. I read the bible and I knew it was wrong to go into pubs and night clubs; so I was no longer going there. Yet my flesh still desired to go there. On weekends it was very hard to stay at home, I would have all those thoughts, I would want to go out to dance, and the Lord asked me to fast. I fasted a lot to kill the desires of my flesh to go clubbing. And this is why God asks some people to fast, so that they will destroy the pleasure of the flesh. They will have true repentance, not just being remorseful and sorry for what they did, but the most important part of repentance is to forsake your old ways, and renew our minds according to the word of God.
Paul said: give yourself to fasting and prayer and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control (1Corinthians 7:5). I prayed and fasted so that I would have self-control and not go clubbing, though my flesh was telling me to go clubbing. Some men or women of God who are tempted, because of their position in leadership, fast more than other believers; because they have many opportunities to commit sexual sins, embezzlement and use their God-given authority for selfish interests. God might ask them to fast so that they will have self-control. Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit and is developed. Prayer and fasting do not develop that aspect of the fruit of the Spirit, but they mortify the deeds of the flesh, that desire to sin, and allow that aspect of the fruit of the Spirit to be seen. As we become doers of the word of God in that specific aspect, we mature and people see those aspects of the fruit of the Spirit in us. I did not know a lot of scriptures, and during those periods of fast, I was reading the bible, God was giving scriptures that would address my sinful desires.
Think of it this way: the word of God helps us to uproot every plant that God the Father did not plant in us (Matthew 15:13, Jeremiah 23:29). And the word of God is also the incorruptible seed (1Peter 1:23, Luke 8:11). So as I was fasting: by me not going to parties, that plant that the enemy planted in me, was no longer being watered. It was withering away, but now with the Word of God I could uproot it easily, and I could plant the new seed of the Word of God in my heart. And as I kept watering that new seed of the Word of God in me, with the water of the word of God (Ephesians 5:26), very soon people started seeing a new plant in my life, even the tree of righteousness the planting of the Lord (Isaiah 61:3), that came out of the incorruptible seed of the word of God, and it bore fruit. And people started seeing different aspects of the fruit of the Spirit in me.
People say if I fast long enough, I will grow the fruit of the spirit, the answer is no. All the aspects of the fruit of the spirit are already in you; for you received the Holy Spirit who came complete in you. They will be made manifest in your life as you mature, by reading the word of God, renewing your mind to that word, and doing the word of God. Fasting brings our flesh under, we subject our flesh, and we mortify the deeds of our flesh, in other words it deadens the plant the enemy planted in you. Paul says: I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (1Corinthians 9:27).
Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry (Colossians 3:5). Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if you live after the flesh, you shall die: but if you through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father (Romans 8:12-15).
Many times God asks a believer to fast, because God wants to mortify the deeds of the flesh in that person. Think of it this way: you have a field, and you have sown a good seed, but there are weeds growing with the seed at the same time. Some of the weeds are thorns and they are choking the seed. If you let the weed grow together with the seed, it might never come to fruition, and if it comes to fruition, the fruit might be very small; for the weeds are preventing the fruit
fully developing. We are the field of God and we have been born again by the incorruptible seed of the word of God (1Peter 1:23). When we were in the world, Satan planted weeds in our flesh, we need to uproot the weeds, or use chemicals which kill the weeds. Unfortunately when we are born again, we do not have enough scriptures, and our mind is not yet renewed.
So God might ask some believers to fast, because as they fast they will read the bible, and know what God wants them to do, they will renew their mind, and their scripture based prayer and fasting, will wither and uproot every plant that God the Father did not plant in their life (Matthew 15:13).The more one’s mind is renewed, and the more scriptural foundation one has, the less God asks that person to fast to mortify the evil deeds of his flesh. Living in the Spirit, being led by the Spirit and walking in the Spirit, is simply doing the word of God, for John says: there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one (1John 5:7). So if you do the word, you are doing the will of your Father and you are walking in the Spirit, and are being led by the Spirit.
God’s ideal is for us to know the word of God, and become doers of that word. But many Christians still act like in the Old Testament; they only wait till Sunday morning to read their bible and pray, so God has to ask them to fast, so that they can forcibly read the bible and pray apart from Sundays. If we make up our minds to read and study the bible and pray, we will be transformed effortlessly. Paul tells us: be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12:2). He does not say be transformed by fasting, be transformed when someone lays hands on your head. But be transformed by the renewing of your mind with the washing of the water by the Word (Ephesians 5:26). As we do that we are renewed in the spirit of our mind (Ephesians 4:23). Fasting helps the desires of our outward man, or desires of the flesh to perish while our inward man or spirit is renewed day by day, by the renewing of our mind, by the washing of the water by the word of God (2Corinthians 4:16).
What brother Gery went through, nobody should go through! I did not know the authority and power that born again Christians have over demons. And I had nobody to teach me that authority and power born again Christians have over demons. Some who taught it in church did not even believe in it, so they could not help me. So God had to take me through a long path, to make me free from that demon Bacchus, who is responsible for all addictions (alcohol addictions, drug addiction, and smoking) revelling, wild parties and drunkenness. Though that demon Bacchus had planted his tree in my life, before I was born again; had I been fortunate to meet a Christian, who understood and believed the authority and power the born again Christians have to uproot all evil trees that the devil planted in their life, I would not have gone through that long struggle with my desires to go clubbing!
Jesus tells us: If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you might say unto this sycamine tree, Be plucked up by the root, and be planted in the sea; and it should obey you (Luke 17:6). Why is that? Jesus answered and said, Every plant, which My heavenly Father has not planted, shall be rooted up (Matthew 15:13). I was not fortunate to find a believer who believed it, to uproot the tree that Bacchus planted in my life. It should have been a simple command, saying: you revelling demon, clubbing demon, addiction demon, I command you to leave my body immediately and enter it no more, I uproot every evil tree that you planted in me, when I was in the world. Jesus I thank you because You have made me free, and I am free indeed from this day forward, Amen! We have seen many people delivered from decades of drunkenness and addictions, by just commanding that demon to leave their body, and enter it no more, in Jesus’ name!
9- 4 Financial integrity
Unfortunately some Christians who are in business, are not always honest with their customers or with their employees. They exact all their labours or exploit all their labourers (Isaiah 58:3). James says when writing to believers: come now, you rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver is cankered or corroded; and their rust or corrosion shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. You have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down or mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; you have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and killed the just; and he does not resist you. Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman or farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, and has long patience for it, until he receives the early and latter rain (James 5:1-7).
If Christians are diligent in their study and reading of the bible and doing the Word of God, they would know how to run their businesses. Unfortunately sometimes they do not treat their employees the way God expects them to. I have seen, even in the church, they employ people but they do not pay them for six months, or they do not pay the overtime or the holidays. And sometimes God might have to ask us to fast so that He can speak to us about how we are dealing with our employees. When people fast, the voice of the Lord becomes very strong in them, people will say things like: I need to fast to hear the voice of God or to see visions. It is partly true. God is always speaking, but we are not always attentive: when we read the bible, when we go to sleep; but we are not attentive. Elihu says: for God speaks once, yes twice, yet man does not perceive it, in a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, while slumbering on their beds, then He opens the ears of men and seals their instruction (Job 33:14-16).
And sometimes it is during the fast that we can perceive what God is truly trying to tell us, we remember our dreams and visions and when we read the scriptures, they seem to jump out of the pages, as if they were specifically written for us. Why do people hear God clearly when they fast? Think of it this way: you are in a shopping mall on Saturday. It is crowded and everybody is busy, you do not really pay attention to who is walking beside you, or who is coming in front of you, everybody is talking but you cannot really hear what they are saying; for you are not paying attention to their conversations. It is the same thing, we are so often very busy in life, that even when we read the scriptures, there are still lots of internal noises that prevent us from hearing the voice of God behind that scripture, even when God gives us a vision or dream, we do not remember it, because our head is full of other things. The time of prayer and fasting helps us to stop all that busyness. It is as if you were in your own house, everybody that comes through your door you see, and everybody that talks to you, you hear.
But if you spend much time in the Word of God and prayer, you will be able to be attentive to what God is saying to you, both in His word and in dreams and visions, or in audible voices, or in a still small voice. Nowhere in the bible is it said: if you want to hear from God you always need to fast and pray, or if you need to have a dream and a vision you always need to fast and pray. Joseph had his dreams, not because he fasted, and they were great dreams, Pharaoh had the two dreams that would change Egypt, they were about the coming of the years of famine, and he did not fast to get them. Nebuchadnezzar had dreams in the book of Daniel, and it was not because he fasted. Moses saw the Lord in the burning bush and spoke to the Lord, it had nothing to do with him fasting; for God gave him the instructions, and he performed all the miracles and parted the Red Sea, and yet he had not fasted. So when people say you must always fast to hear from God for major decisions in your life, it is not entirely true; delivering Israel from the captivity of Egypt was a major decision, but Moses never fasted, yet the Lord spoke to him and gave him instructions.
9-5 Cease fire and forgiveness
Isaiah 58:4 Behold, you fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: you shall not fast as you do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.
Isaiah is still talking about how we should treat people. Sometimes Christians do not know how to forgive their neighbours, or their loved ones. God has been good to them, and has expunged their debts, but they are not willing to expunge the debts of their neighbours. Every Sabbath year was the year of the release of the Lord, and the Jews were to release their Jewish slaves, to expunge their debts. And in the year of jubilee, they were to free all their slaves, expunge their debts and restore the properties of people who owed them (Leviticus 25). But Israel did not follow that, they smote with the fist of wickedness their neighbours, they brought them back into slavery, and they never let their slaves go free nor restored their possessions. In the days of Jeremiah, God reminded Zedekiah and the people of Israel that they should let their slaves go free on the Sabbath year, they said yes; but afterwards they changed their mind for they thought they were losing money by so doing; therefore God also told them, since you reinstituted slavery, I will also send you in captivity in Babylon (Jeremiah 34).
They did not obey the instructions of the Lord for the Sabbath years for 490 years, which is 70 Sabbath years that they broke; therefore God also sent them into captivity in Babylon for seventy years (2Chronicles 36:21). They truly reaped what they sowed. Paul tells us: Do not be deceived, God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows, that he also will reap (Galatians 6:7). What actually happened is, that those who used to be masters were carried into captivity; whereas the poor, that they used to exploit and not set free on the Sabbath years, were given their lands. Nebuzaradan, the chief of the executioners, left some of the poor people, who had nothing, in the land of Judah, and gave them vineyards and fields on that day (Jeremiah 39:10).
Jesus tells us of the evil servant who, because he thought His master was delaying his coming, he could smite his fellow servants (Matthew 24:48-49). Jesus also talks in Matthew 18:22-35 about a king who began to take account of His servants, and one owed Him 10,000 talents or 277,000 Kg of gold, when he could not pay it, the king forgave him, and did not sell his family, nor put him into prison. But this servant had a fellow servant who owed him a hundred denarii, which is a hundred day-wages, it is roughly the equivalent of a mina or three months salary, or sixty shekels; the weight of a shekel is six grams, so sixty shekels weigh 360 grams of silver or 0.36 kg of silver. You see how insignificant it was compared to the 277,000 kg of gold the King had forgiven him. But the servant did not forgive his fellow servant of that insignificant sum, but threw him into jail. Even when God told the people to observe the Sabbath year, God promised to give them the harvest of three years in one year, so they actually gained when they expunged people’s debts, when they set their slaves free.
What God wants is for us to realize that when we forgive people what they owe us, God has in mind for us a hundred thousand times what we have forgiven our debtors. Just like Israel did not believe God could give them their money back when they gave, or when they expunged debts, so many Christians act likewise. And sometimes they would have to fast so that the voice of God would be strong, and they would actually act on the word of God. People say: I fasted, and God told me to forgive my friends for the £1,000 they owed me. The truth is it was already written in Matthew 18, but you and I did not pay attention to that scripture, but when we fasted, we became attentive to what God was saying. All the things people say God told them to do when they were fasting are already written in the word of God. So let us read the word, believe it and act on it. Jesus told us to pray: forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors (Matthew 6:12).
People will fast, and God will tell them, start giving your tithe and forgive the debts of your in-laws or your brother or your pastor. After they had done so, they start prospering, and they say if you want to prosper, you need to fast like I did. The answer is no, the time of prayer and fasting was to get their attention, so that they would realize that God wants them to give their tithes, and to forgive people who owed them money, and genuinely could not pay back, so that He can prosper them. It was written in the bible, but they did not pay attention to it. Please read the end of the Biblical prosperity bible study, to find out what God says about forgiving people’s debts.
Isaiah said we fast for strife and debate. Sometimes in homes there is no peace, and spouses are quarrelling all the time. They decide to fast and pray, and because they are fasting and praying, they will try to avoid fighting, at that time they will search the scriptures, and try to find out what God is saying concerning their situation, and decide to act on the word of God they read during the period of fast. Or sometimes also in church, members even leaders are fighting; there is strife and debate among the leaders, so that period of fast will be a cease fire period, and they will go through the scriptures to find out how they can solve their problem, so that peace and unity may return in their midst. Sometimes in homes and in churches, when people are fighting, a period of prayer and fasting is decreed as a cease fire, so that we force ourselves to be attentive to what the word of God says in our situation. There is always someone who is hurt and demands an apology; and another who is doing the hurting, but does not accept his wrong doing. Jesus tells us when we pray say: forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil (Luke 11:4).
If our mind is renewed to the word of God, we will not be in strife and debate in the first place; for strife is the work of the flesh. Paul tells us: for you are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are you not carnal, and walk as men (1Corinthians 3:3)? But if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife exist, confusion and every evil work are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated or willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace (James 3:14-18). This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lust or desire of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).
We must learn to forgive people and apologize when we are wrong: because the enemy wants to confuse us and perpetrate his evil works in our midst. And sometimes God will even ask me to go and apologize, I said: I am the one who has been wronged, and You want me to apologize? And He gives me the two instances in the book of Judges. In Judges 8, we have the account of Gideon, he went with his three hundred men to fight the enemy of Israel and defeated them. But the men of Ephraim, who were the biggest tribe of Israel, believed that nothing should be done in Israel without them being involved. If God is moving they must be part of it; because they are the greatest of all the tribes. But God did not need them to fight the Midianites. So when they saw the victory that Gideon and his little three hundred were having over the Midianites, they joined themselves, because they wanted to take the credit and killed the two princes of Midian. So they were mad at Gideon and wanted to kill Gideon, they were jealous because Gideon came from the weakest clan of Manasseh, and he was the least in his father’s house; yet God used him to deliver Israel (Judges 6:15).
In churches or in homes there are people who think that everything revolves around them, that because they are powerful financially, numerically or have the biggest church, the biggest cheque book; God must use them to deliver His people. But God knows their heart and uses the people they even despise; the smallest and the weakest to deliver His people. So Ephraim was not happy for his pride was hurt and he was envious. So the people of Ephraim decided to go and fight Gideon. But Gideon did not want to fight them, for they were brothers and served the same God, why should they fight and kill each other? So though he was right, and the people of Ephraim wrong, he apologized to the people of Ephraim.
The bible tells us: and the men of Ephraim said unto Gideon, why have you done this to us, that you did not call us, when you went to fight with the Midianites? And they did chide with him sharply or reprimanded him sharply. And Gideon said unto them, what have I done now in comparison of you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer (the family of which Gideon belonged)? God has delivered into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb; and what was I able to do in comparison of you? Then their anger was abated toward him, when he had said that (Judges 8:1-3). Those Ephraimites always liked it when people praised them even flattered them, so Gideon apologized and praised them for just killing two people, though he and his three hundred had killed one hundred and twenty thousand Midianites (Judges 8:10).
Still in the book of Judges in the days of Jephthah, the people of Ammon came against Israel to destroy them (Judges 11). God raised Jephthah a son of the mistress of Gilead, who was disowned by his brothers because he was born of adultery. God used him and his band of raiders to deliver Israel. After God had given him the victory, the same men of Ephraim; who thought God could not do anything without them; were angry and wanted to kill Jephthah; for he put them to shame, being the greatest tribe of Israel. So the bible tells us: the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and went northward, and said unto Jephthah: why did you cross over to fight against the children of Ammon, and did not call us to go with you? We will burn your house upon you with fire. And Jephthah said unto them, my people and I were at great strife with the children of Ammon; and when I called you, you did not deliver us out of their hands. And when I saw that you did not deliver me, I put my life in my hands, and passed over against the children of Ammon, and the LORD delivered them into my hand: Why then have you come up unto me this day, to fight against me (Judges 12:1-3)?
You see this people of Ephraim were called by Jephthah to come and help him, but they did not come. They were cowards, not only did they despise Jephthah, but they also did not believe God could defeat the Ammonites through them, though they were numerous. So Jephthah took courage and faced the enemy of his people with his small band of raiders, and God delivered Ammon into their hands. And these Ephraimites were now humiliated, because everybody saw how big cowards they were and truly this was the second time God delivered Israel without involving them at all. So they were now losing face in Israel. So they wanted to put fear in the hearts of all the people in Israel that if they did not invite them in their victories, so that they could share the glory with them, though they never lifted a finger to help them, they would burn them alive in their house, and they would start with Jephthah to make an example of him.
Jephthah said: this will not happen! Then Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead, and fought with Ephraim: and the men of Gilead smote Ephraim, because they said, You Gileadites are fugitives of Ephraim among the Ephraimites, and among the Manassites. And the Gileadites seized the ford of Jordan before the Ephraimites: and it was so, that when those Ephraimites who escaped said, Let me go over; that the men of Gilead said unto him, Are you an Ephraimite? If he said, No; then they said unto him: say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand (Judges 12:4-6).
You see brethren, Ephraim should have swallowed its pride and ego, God uses even the outcast, the disowned, and the weakest of all the people. Jephthah had to defend himself and fight back. There have been situations in my life, or even in church, when God asked me to act like Gideon for peace sake; but there have been situations when people, even some Christian Ephraimites, became physically violent toward me, and God told me to fight back, not physically of course, but to state the truth the way it is written in the word of God, whether their pride and ego are hurt or not. I had no problem with them, they had a problem with me, for I asked for their help and they did not come, why are they now fighting me when God did it for me without their involvement?
The more you stand on the word of God and become a doer of the word, you will be attacked verbally, and even physically, by some Christian Ephraimites. The Pharisees and Jewish leaders were of the kind, they were the ones who knew all the scriptures, who went to bible colleges, who had the theology, who were great eloquent orators; but God was using Jesus, a carpenter to do mighty miracles. They were jealous of Him, God was using fishermen and tax collectors, unlearned men who were disciples of Jesus to perform miracles. That is why they persecuted Jesus and His followers. Pray to God how you should respond: whether as Gideon did, or as Jephthah did.
I was having another conflict with a church, there were three parties involved: two different groups of people and myself. The two different parties did me wrong. And I forgave them from the bottom of my heart and I love them. God knows I love them! But God told me to stop working with them, saying: “come out of her and come out into God; for God has greater things for you!” Now no matter how I presented my case to those two parties, they would think I had something against them because of the way they treated me, or I had something against their church. Yet none of these things was true; God spoke to me that it was time to leave. I fasted and prayed and God said to me: “Tertullus”. I understood that God wanted to present my case to those two parties as Paul presented his case in Acts 24 and Acts 25. God strictly forbade me to say anything against any of the parties in presenting my case. Paul could say: “Neither against the Law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I offended in anything” (Acts 25:8). I also meditated on what Paul said to Titus: Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he who is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you (Titus 2:8). And to the glory of God; when I presented my decision to leave as prompted by God; the two other parties had no evil thing to say of me!
9-6 Not an outward repentance but a genuine repentance from the heart.
Isaiah 58:5 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? Will you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?
God is not interested in outward appearances and in ceremonies. Sometimes our fasts are not acceptable to God; we are just afflicting our souls by not eating or drinking. The Jews had all those postures and outward expressions to try to tell people they were repenting. Yes, most of the time fasting was done as an act of repentance. They would bow down their heads to signify that they were ashamed of what they had done, and they were humbling themselves before God. They would put sackcloth around their loins and spread ashes on their head, as a ceremony to say that they were like the filth of the earth, and all their righteousness is but filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). Yet God was not happy, because they were just going through the motions, the rite and ceremony, but their heart was not changed. Sometimes in churches we fast like the Jews, that is why Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites for it was just an act.
The time of fasting and prayer is a time to examine ourselves, allow the word of God to study our lives and change whatever needs to be changed, so that we can have an even closer walk with God. Paul says: let a man examine himself (1Corinthians 11:28). Examine yourselves, whether you are in the faith, prove your own selves. Do you not know your own selves, that Jesus Christ is in you, unless you are reprobates (2Corinthians 13:5)? James says: if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man studying his natural face in a mirror [the mirror of the word of God], for he studied himself and went his way, and immediately he forgot what he was like. But whoever looks into the perfect Law of liberty and continues in it, he is not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work. This one shall be blessed in his doing (James 1:23-25).
I was in a Pentecostal church for six years; all the collective fasts and prayer they did every year, was not to get even closer to God; by examining themselves and allowing the word of God to study their lives and change what they needed to change. What I was hearing was always, God prosper us, God give us more marriages in this church, God give us new houses. All these things will be added unto us; Jesus says: For the nations seek after all these things. For your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:32-33). Whenever they prayed for the land; for God to touch the unsaved souls with conviction of sins; it was a fifteen minute prayer in a seven hour payer meeting. David a man after God’s own heart says: Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts, and see if any wicked way is in me; and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24).
I have been with some “healing ministries” and people who have the wrong understanding of what grace and faith are. They would not even examine themselves, or let the word of God examine their life. They say: that is a “works mindset”, God has already accepted me. The result is that many people in that ministry do not live a sanctified life. They do not even inquire of the Lord anymore, saying: they just confess scripture and command things to be, not even pray. They have taken Mark11:22-24 to an extreme. They have fallen into the other ditch of some” faith movement”: “blab it and grab it!” I have tried to show the ways of God from Genesis to Malachi; they said it was the Old Covenant therefore they do receive it. They only believe the New Covenant scriptures. So I have shown them the ways of God from Matthew to John; how Jesus showed us the ways of God. They said they do not believe it either, they only believe scriptures after the resurrection of Jesus.
I took the chapters in the four gospels that mention the sayings of Jesus after His resurrection, and also the book of Acts of the Apostles to show them the ways of God. They still rejected it, saying: those apostles did not have the right understanding of the New Covenant, and who we are as a new creation; we believe the writings of Paul, for He is the one Jesus gave the revelation of the New Creation to. I showed them from the writings of Paul and Jesus, how they always spoke in line with the scriptures from Genesis to Malachi. They had a problem with sanctification; pride had filled their hearts to reject the whole Old Testament, all the gospels and sayings of Jesus, reject the writings of His apostles, and in Paul they rejected His writings on sanctification and repentance.
Paul says: After the first and second warning, reject a man of heresy [fundamental error], knowing that he who is such has been perverted, and sins, being self-condemned (Titus 3:10-11). Paul tells us he spoke and taught only in line with the bible from Genesis to Malachi, saying: Therefore having obtained help from God, I stand until this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets [Joshua to Malachi] and Moses [Genesis to Deuteronomy] said was going to happen (Acts 26:22). All scripture [From Genesis to Revelation, the whole bible] is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works (2Timothy 3:16-17). I love them and still pray for them, but I dissociated myself, for they did not accept the correction and reproof of the word of God; so that they can practice righteousness, and be holy as God is holy. Can two walk together, except they be agreed (Amos 3:3)? If we do not agree on fundamental truths of the bible: repentance, sanctification, prayer, fasting; I believe we cannot walk together!
When we fast we should stop fighting, we should stop cheating our employees or brethren, we should stop sinning, we should do all those things that God is asking us to do. Some couples fast in the church but at home they are fighting, some business people fast, but they are not paying their employees. I remember a church that was fasting for twenty one days, but they still owed one of their employees’ wages, it is not that they did not have the money, they had it. Remember, fasting was done most of the time to repent of our sins. Repentance is not merely saying I am sorry, it is being remorseful, turning away from your old ways, forsaking them, and renewing our mind according to the word of God. For instance if we are fasting to have peace in a house, we repent for being in strife and we decide to forsake those ways and renew our mind according to the word of God. When the fast is over we must live in the newness of the revelation we had during the fast, and not revert to our old ways.
I remember I used to fast for a period of time to be able to be at peace with people, no matter what they did to me. The fast was the cease fire period I imposed on myself, so that during that period of fast I would not react according to the dictates of my flesh, but according to the scriptures. When that fast was over: walking in peace with everybody became my lifestyle. I have peace in my heart no matter if the other person is still angry with me or fighting with me, I am not fighting them, but their evil spirit or their sins or their hypocrisy. Paul says: follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14). If it be possible, as much as lies in you, live peaceably with all men (Romans 12:18). Paul knew that he could not control how people would act toward him, but he could always control how he would react toward them, with the help of the Holy Ghost. As for me, I would always do my utmost to be at peace with all men. I was and am still a kind of Christian who does not run away from confrontation, so many times when I saw something that was not right, I voiced it out, and people were not happy. I have nothing against the people but against their works that do not line up with the word of God.
But I have learned to know when to open my mouth and when to keep silent. When I see something that I do not like that violates the scriptures, I speak up, because if I keep quiet, I will be partaking in their sins or hypocrisy. When we know the righteous judgment of God we should neither violate it, nor approve those who violate it (Romans 1:32). If I know what someone is doing is hypocrisy, and he is drawing many people into the same hypocrisy; I must speak to that person, because if I keep silent, in a way I am approving his hypocrisy, hence sharing in his sin. Paul spoke up against the hypocrisy of Peter (Galatians 2). I speak to the leader or to the person in private, and if he does not listen to me, it is between him and God now (Matthew 18:15-17).
Sometimes when fasting becomes a religious ceremony, people only go through the motion and are not changed at all. They do not repent at all, they act like the Pharisee who fasted to be seen by men, and they were hypocrites. People will fast, but they will not talk to each other in church. They have a grudge against a sister in church, they envy a particular sister who is doing well financially, or who just moved into a new house. The leaders of the church are being partial, they are being respecters of persons: if you contribute a lot to the church, you will have the attention of the pastor, and you will be appointed in positions of authority within the church; but if your contribution is insignificant in the eyes of men, you will not have any exposure in church, and you will not sit in the front rows in the church, but rather at the back of the church (James 2).
I remember my heart was not right before God, when I heard a preacher of a particular nationality, which I will not disclose, on Christian Television. I immediately changed the channel because I despised them, I had a preconceived idea about the people of that country, because they have a bad reputation in my earthly country, and I had some bad experiences dealing with them, especially financial dealings.
And one day as I was fasting, God was talking to me about not holding the faith of our Lord Jesus with partiality, I said to God: I do not understand what you mean, do you not see how in church I advocate that scripture of James 2, how I worked with former prostitutes in the church, with insane people and with people who were not accepted in church. But the Lord said to me: you are partial, your heart is not right. And when I turned on the TV, I heard the voice of a pastor from that particular country, within me I said: again these people! And I was about to change the channel when the Lord spoke to me: blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in Me (Matthew 11:6). And it dawned on me, that if I believe that Jesus was in that person, it was Jesus speaking through that person, so if I was offended, I was offended in Jesus. I repented, and I started to speak out loud: “if I am not offended I will be blessed”. After that day, I never had that problem again, I even enjoy some of their programmes and my heart was changed.
Fasting is a period of time when God deals with our hidden thoughts; we may not even know that we are thinking that way. I remember giving some example of how I even put my life on the line, because I hated it when people were being partial or respecter of persons, of ethnicity, of skin colour or of social background. The Lord said yes, I know all that, but you are guilty of the same thing yourself. You see, that is what the Jews were doing, if we compare ourselves with brethren we might be better than they. We might be more loving, more devout, more generous, more committed and more impartial. Yet when we compare ourselves to the word of God; we all fall short of God’s glory. Hence we need the help of Jesus.
The word of God is quick or alive, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). God wants us to be like Christ that is why He goes beyond the realm of the soul to the realm of the Spirit, people may see our works and say they are good, but God discerns our thoughts and intents. Let us all say like David: Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm139:23-24).
9-7 Loose the bands of wickedness, undo heavy burdens, set the oppressed free and break every yoke
Isaiah 58:6 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 you break every yoke?
God was using periods of fast to call Israel to repentance and to do His will. It was not God’s will for them to put people in bondage or slavery, to put yokes on people’s necks or to burden them and oppress them. There are so many ways they were doing these things to their fellow Jews. In Matthew 23, Jesus talks about the ways the Jewish leaders were laying burdens and yokes on the people. And in the study on the perfect redemption plan: “the Lord is my shepherd”; please revisit that bible study, we have seen the way God wants us to treat His sheep. The time of fasting is a period God uses to bring to our remembrance how He wants us to serve Him. God’s ideal is not to always bring us to a time of fasting before we can serve Him acceptably; His ideal is that we read His scriptures, renew our minds, and the Holy Spirit brings those scriptures to our remembrance, so that we can serve Him acceptably.
9-8 Generosity and hospitality become our lifestyle
Isaiah 58:7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring the poor that are cast out to your house? When you see the naked, that you cover him; and that you hide not yourself from your own flesh?
Some Christians do not trust God when it comes to their finances: they will not give to the poor; they will not feed the hungry nor clothe the naked. So God will ask them to fast, so that they will repent, because God told them to do that, but they did not do it. Unfortunately some Christians act like the Jews; they will give to the poor, feed the hungry, clothe the naked and be hospitable, only when they are fasting and when the fast is over, they go back to being the same. That is religion, God wants us to change so that it becomes our lifestyle, and we do not have to wait for God to ask us to fast, so that you will be thinking about the poor, hungry and naked or being hospitable.
We ought to have a heart for the poor, the hungry and the naked and be hospitable. We must believe: he who has pity upon the poor lends unto the LORD; and that which he has given will He pay him again (Proverbs 19:17). In the bible study on “biblical prosperity” we have detailed what God expects us to be doing, and we should not always be waiting for a time of fasting to do them, they ought to become our lifestyle, even who we are. Paul when He was telling the Gentiles what was decided at Jerusalem, not to put any burden on them, he said: Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do (Galatians 2:10). Paul and the Apostles at Jerusalem did not say remember the poor only when you are fasting, no; but it ought to be their lifestyle, they do not have to wait for a fast to do so. And concerning hospitality Paul tells us: let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels (Hebrews 13:1-2).
9-9 Do not hide from your flesh
Isaiah says: Is it not to deal your bread to the hungry, and that you bring the poor that are cast out to your house? When you see the naked, that you cover him; and that you hide not yourself from your own flesh (Isaiah 58:7)? Some people have a bad relationship with their parents, their children, kinsmen and kinswomen or with their in-laws. But it is not God’s will for us to have a bad relationship with our flesh, or to hide from our own flesh. We always say: it is not my fault if you knew my parents, my folks or my in-laws; you would want to have nothing to do with them too. It might be true, but as Christians we are called to peace (1Corinthians 7:15). We must do our utmost to follow peace with all men and that includes our loved ones too (Hebrews 12:14). During the time of fast God will give us insights in His word, how to be at peace with our own flesh, so that we do not have to hide from them.
There is nothing that is impossible to God; God can make the relationship between the daughter-in-law and the mother-in-law as perfect as the relationship between Naomi and Ruth. God can make a relationship between husband and wife to be so sweet like the relationship of Isaac and Rebekah (Genesis 26:8-9). If you are divorced or are from a re-composed home, please read the bible study: “it is well with my children and me”, discover what the word of God has to say about your situation and stop hiding from your flesh, but treat them the way God expects you to!
Sometimes the people who offend and irritate us more, are the people close to us: they live with us and they constantly step on our toes. If someone in a church constantly steps on your toes, you can decide to walk away, but your brothers and sisters, your in-laws, your spouse and your children, you cannot walk away. That is why Paul tells couples: do not defraud one another, except it be with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your lack of self-control (1Corinthians 7:5). There are some circumstances that can get out of hand and one can say a word or words that he or she cannot take back, and it will do great damage. In those times of fasting and prayer couples will read the scriptures that tell them how to live in peace and joy together, how to treat the in-laws and out-laws, and so many other things. They will have to renew their mind to those scriptures and start acting on them, it must become their lifestyle.
In my own case my mother’s relatives tried to murder her, they tried to gun her down but the bullet missed. No need to say that they do not have a good relationship with us. The bible tells us not to hide from our own flesh. We have no problem with them, we have asked God to forgive them, it took us a little while to forgive them, but we did by the help of Jesus who came to heal the broken-hearted (Luke 4:18). Forgiveness does not mean foolishness! They are still envious and we do not know what goes on in their minds. Therefore we no longer set foot in their house.
When we meet them in public places we greet them, and with some of them we even sit down to have a coffee together. When one of them is sick in the hospital we give money for their medication. But we do not go to their place. In the book of 1Samuel, David had no problem against Saul, but Saul was trying to kill him. David decided to dwell in the land of the Philistines, so that Saul would not get him there; for as long as he lived in Israel Saul hunted him down. When Saul told him to come back with him to Jerusalem, David said no, let us go different ways. I have applied that David principle many times even in churches.
Even Jesus who came for the purpose of dying on the cross did not allow the Jews to kill him before His time, so He avoided them. Jesus walked in Galilee: for He would not walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him (John 7:1). Jesus tells us: Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves (Matthew10:16). The serpent is always hiding from men; because it knows man wants to kill it at the first opportunity they have. Jesus is telling us to use that wisdom. We have nothing against anybody, we are harmless to everybody like doves, but we are not that stupid to stick our heads out, so that those who hate and envy us might kill us or abuse us physically. Even Paul in the book of Acts, when they wanted to kill him in a particular city or abuse him physically, he left that city for another one (Acts 17).
Still on the subject of not hiding from our flesh, Jesus says: Do you do well to set aside the commandment of God, so that you may keep your own tradition? For Moses said, “Honour your father and your mother.” And, “Whoever curses father or mother, let him die the death.” But you say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, Corban! (that is, A gift to God, whatever you may profit by me) and you no longer allow him to do anything toward his father or mother, making the Word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have delivered. And you do many such things (Mark 7:9-13). When your mother, father, child, brother or sister is in deep financial trouble, cannot pay his or her rent, does not have food in the house, or has medical bills to pay; do not tell him or her when he or she asks you for financial help that you need to give your tithe to the church first so that you do not have money for him or her!
You are hiding from your flesh, by so doing you are making God look bad. Some people will not even be able to feed their children or cloth their children, because they cannot miss paying their tithe. They do not even buy a cooker or microwave or pay for their electricity and gas because they have to bring that tithe to church. Children grow up hating God, because they think that God is after their money! Feed your family, clothe your children. God knows your heart that you are a giver. It is not every time that you miss paying your tithe, but there are times that your financial situation is so bad, so the little that you have, provide for your family and your brothers, sisters, mother and father. Paul tells us: if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially his family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel (1Timothy 5:8). God wants us to provide for our own, especially our family.
Should we give our tithes and offering? The answer is yes! Jesus says: Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin, and you have left undone the weightier matters of the Law, judgment or justice, mercy, and faith. You ought to have done these and not to leave the other undone (Matthew 23:23). The Pharisees and scribes were applying the word of God blindly, and were not considering the situation of the people. James tells us that mercy triumphs over judgment (James 2:13).
So when you apply the judgment of the Perfect Law of Liberty according to James 1:25, remember the mercy of God; consider people’s situation, family situation, financial situation; for you also shall be judged by that perfect Law of liberty (James 2:12). It is not a perfect Law of bondage, but of Liberty; for where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty (2Corinthians 3:17). My prayer is: when people come to you they will not think that you, and the God whom you serve, are after their money, but rather their souls. Let us remember the weightier matters of the Law: judgment or justice, mercy and faith in God, not in our good deeds of the Law.
9-10 Wash the crass off the glass of our lamps
Isaiah 58:8 then shall your light break forth as the morning, and your health [Arukah: your health, your restoration to soundness and your wholeness]shall spring forth speedily: and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rereward.
Jesus said: I am the light of the world: he who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life (John 8:12). Fasting helps us to see how we are supposed to follow Jesus, and if we follow Him, our light shall break forth as the morning. For we were sometimes darkness, but now we are light in the Lord: let us walk as children of light (Ephesians 5:8). But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin (1John 1:7).
The time of prayer and fasting is used by God to help us repent of our sins, renew our minds, and walk like Jesus walked on earth. But as we have mentioned before, if we spend more time reading the word and doing the word, God will not have to call us often, to a period of fasting to deal with our issues, we will effortlessly be transformed, and our light will shine. You are already the light of the world (Matthew 5:14).
But sometimes our sins and transgressions are like crass that have tainted the transparent glass of our lamp, even making it opaque. And during the period of fast, God uses the water of the word of God to wash away that crass from our glass, and making it transparent once more, so that our light can so shine before men, that they may see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:16). The light of God is already in you, see the study on “perfect redemption plan: the Lord is present or the Lord is there”. And have the understanding of glorification. As you read the word of God and become a doer of the word of God, your light will be seen more and more by the world around you. For the psalmist said: The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple (Psalm 119:130). Your word [is] a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Psalm 119:105).
9-11 Your health shall spring forth speedily
God said to Isaiah that your health [Arukah: your health, your restoration to soundness and your wholeness]shall spring forth speedily. It is not just fasting that brings healing, but first of all you must have the knowledge of the promises of God, concerning healing. God says my people perish for lack of knowledge, because they have rejected knowledge (Hosea 4:6). And Jesus tells us: you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32). It all starts with the knowledge of the word of God, for in the beginning was the word (John 1:1). The same Isaiah who wrote Isaiah 53 is also the same one who wrote Isaiah 58. We know that it is by the stripes of Jesus that we are healed (Isaiah 53:5). Yet, is every born again Christian healed automatically when they are saved? The answer is no!
Paul says: The grace of God that brings salvation [salvation of the soul, healing, deliverance, resurrection from the dead, prosperity] has appeared to all men and all women (Titus 2:11); therefore whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved [his soul shall be saved, meaning born again, healed, raised from the dead, delivered, prospered] (Romans 10:13). Peter says: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2Peter 3:9). Therefore to you who believe is the honour. But to those who are disobedient, Jesus and His Word is the Stone which the builders rejected; this One came to be the Head of the corner, and a Stone-of-stumbling and a Rock-of-offense, to those disobeying, who stumble at the Word, to which they also were appointed (1Peter 2:7-8).
So we know it is not the will of God that any human should go to hell, be sick, be demon possessed or die prematurely, or in poverty; and yet lots of people are going to hell today, are living in poverty, are sick, are demon possessed and die prematurely. The will of God does not automatically happen; we, as individuals, have a role to play. We are labourers together with God (1Corinthians 3:9). We need first of all to find out what that will of God is according to the scriptures. Second: have the right understanding or reading of that will of God (Luke 10:25-28). Third: pray that the will of God will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Luke 11:2). And fourth: do what the people in the bible did to have the same result they had (Romans 15:4, Acts 10:34-35). Salvation of the souls is warfare, and so are healing, deliverance and dead raising. One of the things the people of old did to walk in the power of the Spirit was prayer and fasting! Unfortunately many people in the western world stumble at these Words: prayer and fasting.
Anything that the devil resists is because he knows it is damaging to his kingdom of darkness. He will first fight you to read your bible and these “My Weekly Milk” letters, so that you will be destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). Second: if you read your bible he will pollute your mind with traditions of men, self imposed religion and false humility to make the word of God of no effect in your life; that is why in these “My Weekly Milk” letters we give you the right reading or understanding of the scriptures (Mark 7:13, Colossians 2:22). Third: he will fight you through the flesh and your carnal mind, or un-renewed mind to not pray and especially not pray in tongues, so that you will not be edified and you will not activate the other manifestations of the Spirit in you; the spirit is indeed willing to pray both with understanding and in tongues, but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41). Please read the bible study on “Abecedary of prayer” to know the basics of prayer. Fourth: he will fight you so that you will not fast; and people will make all kinds of excuses and try to find what they think are loopholes or mistakes in the Word of God, to not fast.
The saddest thing that happens in Christianity is that Christians become zealous for their religious leader and not zealous for God and the word of God. Paul says: have I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? They are zealous for you, but not well. But they only desire to exclude you, that you might affect them. But it is good to be zealous always in a good thing, and not only in my being present with you (Galatians 4:16-18). For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brothers and sisters, by those of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. But I say this that every one of you says, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you, or were you baptized in the name of Paul (1Corinthians 1:11-13)?
Do not be zealous for brother Gery, but be zealous for the Word of God and God. Find out for yourself and go and check the scriptures I give in these “My Weekly Milk” letters, if it is so, like the Christians of Berea did for every teaching of the Apostle Paul. Paul made it his goal to only speak in accordance with the bible from Genesis to Malachi, saying: Therefore having obtained help from God, I stand until this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets [Joshua to Malachi] and Moses [Genesis to Deuteronomy] said was going to happen (Acts 26:22). My greatest pleasure and pride will be that one day you will be able to say to the devil, sickness, disease, demonic oppression, poverty and the people around you: it is written.., it is written… and it is written (Luke 4:1-13). Do not say brother Gery said, but it is written.., it is written… and it is written!
We have told you that for anything to be true and always the will of God, it needs to be repeated at least twice or three times in the Old Testament and in the New Testament (Genesis 41:32, Deuteronomy 19:15, Matthew 18:16 and 2Corinthians 13:1). And that is why the Holy Spirit, who wrote the bible, carefully put a minimum of two examples of particular situations, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. Whatever brother Gery tells you; I beseech you, be Berean Christians and check if it is so in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. We cannot throw away the Old Testament; but we have to read it in the light of the cross of Jesus. Jesus says: Think not that I have come to destroy the law [the five books of Moses: Genesis to Deuteronomy], or the prophets [the books from Judges to Malachi]: I have not come to destroy, but to fulfil (Matthew 5:17). Therefore every scribe who is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man who is a householder, who brings forth out of his treasure things new [from the New Testament] and old [from the Old Testament] (Matthew 13:52).
The story of the good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37, is the story of Jesus removing all excuses from that lawyer who was trying to find some loopholes and mistakes in the Word of God, so that he would not have to obey it. Jesus gave him a guiding principle to have the manifestation of the promises of God, in a person’s life. First: you need to be specific about what you want God to do for you. In the case of that lawyer he wanted eternal life. Second: you need to find out what is written about it in the Word of God. If God is against what you are asking from Him, for it is sin, you are wasting your time asking. You will never receive it from him; but if you have that prayer answered, it is the devil that answered your prayer not God; because God does not bless sin and does not break His covenant, nor alter the word of his lips (Psalm 89:34). Third: once you have the scriptures [two or three scriptures] which address your request, you need to have the right understanding of those scriptures; for if your understanding of those scriptures is clouded by the tradition of men, false humility and self-imposed religion, you will not experience the power behind those scriptures, nor their manifestations (Mark 7:13, Colossians 2:23). And fourth: you need to go and do the same thing you have discovered, and rightly understand from the scriptures, what the men and women of old did, in order to experience that particular promise you are requesting from the Lord.
Faith without corresponding actions or works is dead and useless (James 2:17). Something happens to a person when the whole truth is revealed to him about the will of God and the ways of God: responsibility suddenly comes upon our shoulders to act on what has been revealed unto us. Just like that lawyer still wanted to find a loophole or a mistake in the Word of God, for not specifying who his neighbour was; and Jesus told him a story of the good Samaritan to put him to shame, that the Samaritan who knew less of the Word of God than the priest and the Levite, actually acted on the Word of God; whereas the priest and the Levite disobeyed the Word of God.
Some Christians also act the same way when it comes to fasting, and they reject Matthew 17:21 and Mark 9:29 altogether which states: Jesus said unto His disciples, This kind [sickness or demon possession] can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting. They say it was added later, but it was not in the original Greek. And for them fasting is only a discipline and is only to die to self! Even if you do not consider Matthew 17:21 and Mark 9:29, let us consider Isaiah 58:8 which says that as we fast our health, our restoration to soundness, our wholeness shall spring forth speedily. And also David who says: as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom (Psalm 35:13). The Lord appeared to Solomon and said to him: If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal [Rapha: heal, make whole, cure, be the physician of] their land (2Chronicles 7:14).
People will come up with the excuse: these are Old Testament scriptures so they no longer apply in the New Covenant! I will also ask them: Isaiah 53 and Psalm 103 and the books of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Songs of Solomon are also Old Testament scriptures written respectively by Isaiah, David and Solomon. Why do you use them to claim your healing, prosperity and wisdom? After Jesus was risen from the dead, He met two of his disciples who were going from Jerusalem to Emmaus, and the bible says: beginning from Moses [Genesis to Deuteronomy] and all the prophets [Judges to Malachi], Jesus expounded or explained to them in all the scriptures, the things concerning Himself (Luke 24:27). Jesus did not tell them, I have a new book to explain things concerning the perfect redemption plan that I have fulfilled by my death, burial and resurrection! But Jesus used the Old Testament from Genesis to Malachi to explain the perfect redemption plan of God!
The Christians of the first century did not have the New Testament, they had the Old Testament, and whatever Jesus said to them after His resurrection, or what Paul was preaching, the disciples and also the Christians of Berea searched the Old Testament to find out if it was so (Acts 17:11). Paul only taught in accordance with the Old Testament, saying: Therefore having obtained help from God, I stand until this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets [Joshua to Malachi] and Moses [Genesis to Deuteronomy] said was going to happen (Acts 26:22). If you have read the Series of the Perfect Redemption Plan, you will notice Paul or Peter truly did not have a new revelation, but whatever they preached God already prophesied it in the Old Testament, in shadows and types. And even the whole Revelation of John is not new, you will find shadows of it in Genesis, Exodus, Daniel. Isaiah, Ezekiel and Zechariah; that is how people could truly test the spirit behind the revelation of John, they found that what John says agrees with what is already in shadows and types in the Old Testament.
And fasting is not merely to die to self; Jesus was not carnally minded at all, for He was without sin, so He did not fast to die to self. The bible says in Luke 3 He was filled with the Spirit of God when He came out of the water where John the Baptist baptized him; but in Luke 4, after Jesus had finished fasting He returned in the power of the Spirit (Luke 4:14). Paul also testified that he fasted often (2Corinthians 11:27). He said: Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; I have fully preached the gospel of Christ (Romans 15:19). The disciples of the Pharisees and of John the Baptist were fasting often, and making prayers when Jesus was around, but the disciples of Jesus were not, and Jesus said when He would no longer be physically with His disciples, they would fast and pray (Luke 5:33-35).
And as we read the book of Acts of the Apostles, we see the disciples now fasting and praying. Like I said the devil will fight us in the area of prayer with understanding and in tongues, and then in the area of fasting; because it does great destruction to the kingdom of darkness. Even if you choose to reject Matthew 17:21 and Mark 9:29, you cannot reject Luke 4:1-14. Even if you come up with the excuse that Luke 4 was before the cross of Jesus; well 2 Corinthians 11:27, where Paul said he fasted often, is after the cross of Jesus! And the book of Acts of the Apostles is after the cross of Jesus, and as you read it, you will see many instances where the apostles fasted, and the disciples fasted like Jesus told them in Luke 5:33-35. One of the instances was in Acts 13 when they fasted and prayed before commissioning Paul and Barnabas for the work of the ministry. The Pharisees where doing what was right by fasting and praying, but their motives were wrong! You and I, as we understand what the will of God and His ways are, we will be able to fast and pray with the right motives!
I, Gery, believe the whole bible including Matthew 17:21 and Mark 9:29 and I know as I humble myself in prayer and fasting, not just my health, my restoration to soundness, and my wholeness shall spring forth speedily like Isaiah 58:8 says; but also the health, the restoration to soundness and the wholeness of the people I minister to, shall also spring forth speedily! We must believe the truth of the word of God concerning healing, and even if we are still battling with that in our minds, we must still confess with our mouth what the written word of God says about healing, for even if we do not believe, God remains faithful, He cannot deny Himself (2Timothy 2:13). Then we must command that sickness or disease to leave our body, we must build ourselves up in prayer, not only wait until we are in trouble to start praying.
Let us look again at Matthew 17 or Mark 9 without trying to remove any verses in them. The disciples could not cast the epileptic demon out of the boy, Jesus told them the reason for their failure: Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind does not go out but by prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:20-21). So Jesus had already taught them in length about the kingdom of heaven, how He had given them His authority and power; but they did not believe. And Jesus tells them when you believe add to your belief prayer and fasting, and then you will see that people’s health, restoration to soundness and wholeness shall spring forth speedily according to Isaiah 58:8; the devils who resist you, will flee. People will say since Jesus fasted forty days and forty nights we do not need to fast. That is the deception of the devil, so that he will be resisting us, since he knows that some demons or sickness only come out when we add prayer and fasting to our faith, that came by hearing the truth of divine healing.
Why not also say, since Jesus prayed for us in John 17 saying: I pray for them (the eleven apostles): I pray not for the world, but for those who You have given Me; for they are Yours (John 17:9). Neither do I pray for these alone, but for those also who shall believe on me through their word (that is the believers who followed Jesus through the teaching of the apostles, and you and I, who believe in Jesus, because we have read and believed what the apostles told us about the life of Jesus, who He is and what He has done for us, in the four gospels and in the epistles) (John 17:20).
But we have seen that after the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, the disciples prayed to God, they did not say: Jesus already prayed for us, and all who will believe in Him through our words; so nobody needs to pray anymore! The same thing applies to fasting. As we have read about David, he said: as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into my own bosom (Psalm 35:13). And also the Lord said to Solomon: If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal [Rapha: heal, make whole, cure, be the physician of] their land (2Chronicles 7:14).
9-12 Get rid of guilt and condemnation which clog our spiritual pipes of faith and power.
When people read: your health shall spring forth speedily (Isaiah 58:8); they conclude that if you want to be healed speedily, you simply must fast. You must first have the understanding of the will of God to heal, deliver and save. We have already established that healing was paid for when Jesus bore the stripes on His back; see the bible study on the perfect redemption plan: the Lord is my healer. We cannot add anything to the finished work of Jesus, it is perfect. We simply need to believe that by His stripes we were healed. There are some demons that are behind some sicknesses, and to evict them, it takes not only the knowledge of the word of God, but also prayer and fasting. Not all sicknesses and diseases or demons need fasting to cast them out, or heal them, and nobody knows what amount of fasting is required for a sickness or a demon which is resisting us.
We must live ready and built up like Jesus, and the disciples after the resurrection of Jesus were. Jesus started by learning the scriptures from his childhood, and when He started ministry, He went into the wilderness to pray and fast. So the word of God comes first, then prayer and fasting. Jesus never told anybody that came to Him: wait I need to go and read the bible to know what the will of God is about healing, deliverance and dead raising, then pray about it, and fast, and only then I will come back to minister to you. No, He did all that ahead of time, so that no matter what He encountered, He was ready. Let us live ready to face any challenge!
We ought to be considerate when we minister healing and deliverance to people. As much as is possible let us be the one doing the praying and the fasting. Jesus and His disciples were the ones praying and fasting. They did not ask the demon possessed or sick person to fast. There are people who cannot even skip a breakfast because they have a sickness that obliges them to eat at regular hours. Infants cannot fast. If you like let the parents of the sick person join you in your prayer and fasting, if they are born again believers. As much as possible let us imitate Jesus our example, He lived ready to face any challenge; He did not even ask the parents of the sick person to join Him in prayer and fasting (John 13:15). Jesus says: I am the truth, the way and the life (John 14:6). Jesus said: sanctify them by your truth, Your word is truth (John 17:17). For something to be truth it must be the same everywhere and for everybody. You and I are the ambassadors of Jesus, we are the ones who pray and fast for the people we are ministering to. We need to take our responsibilities as ambassadors of Jesus and represent Him the right way.
Remember when God called a fast, it was not to rejoice, people fasted to repent of their wicked ways and follow God. Sometimes when we are praying for ourselves to be healed, we might know all the reasons why we should not be healed, because we know we have deliberately disobeyed God when He asked us to do a particular thing. Paul says your conscience will either excuse you, or accuse you (Romans 2:15). In this case if we have sinned, it will be accusing us. We will be full of guilt and condemnation. That is why John tells believers: if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1John 1:9).
Think of a spiritual pipe and prayer of faith, and the power of God flowing through that pipe in both directions: the prayer of faith flows from you to God; and the Power of God flows from God to you. Sins and transgressions create in us guilt, condemnation and lack of confidence toward God, which clog that spiritual pipe, as a result the prayer of faith and the power of God cannot flow freely through that spiritual pipe. So now when we pray, instead of sending out a prayer of faith toward God in our spiritual pipe: we are sending out a prayer of unbelief and doubt, for that clog in our conscience is polluting our prayer, even slowing down the flow. James tells us: let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways (James 1:6-8). God on the other end of the spiritual pipe has received our prayer, though it is tainted with doubt and unbelief. And God sends back His power through our pipe. Paul tells us: even if you are faithless or are filled with unbelief, God remains faithful, He cannot deny Himself (2Timothy 2:13).
So regardless of how our prayer is: either full of faith or full of unbelief and doubt, God remains faithful to His word and His power comes through our spiritual pipe to meet our needs. But before it gets to us, it meets our clog of guilt, condemnation and lack of confidence. So it is stopped in our spiritual pipe, waiting for us to unclog our spiritual pipe, so that we can receive that power. Now you understand why God hates sin, not just because it is of the devil and He wants to destroy all the works of the devil (1John 3:8); but because the guilt, condemnation and lack of confidence toward God that it generates, prevents us from enjoying the things that are freely given to us by God, by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, and healing is part of them. One of the ways God bypasses our spiritual clog, is by having someone else praying the prayer of faith for us. Think of it this way: another person who has a clean and unclogged spiritual pipe comes and connects himself to our spiritual pipe, but he does the connection on the unclogged part of our spiritual pipe, where the power of God is flowing, bypasses the clog, and connects the other part of his spiritual pipe directly to us.
It is as if you were driving on the motorway from your house in Manchester to Glasgow, the initial route was through Preston, but you are told that there is a car accident close to Preston. So the road is only opened one way from Manchester to Glasgow, but from Glasgow to Manchester the traffic is blocked at Preston. You will drive from your house in Manchester to Glasgow through Preston, but a car that is coming from Glasgow to your house in Manchester, cannot do it through Preston, but it must take the diverted route to avoid Preston to get to your house in Manchester. Preston was that clogged part of the pipe that only allows a slow unidirectional flow from your house in Manchester (that is you) to Glasgow (that is God). The diverted route that was made from Glasgow (that is God and His power) to your house in Manchester (that is you) to avoid passing through Preston, is that spiritual pipe that was connected to our spiritual pipe, to bypass the clog and bring the power of God to us. So basically someone else who is not full of guilt, condemnation and lack of confidence, comes and prays for us to receive our miracle of healing, or any other promise of God.
When our conscience is accusing us, we no longer have confidence toward God, because we know why God should not answer our prayer. The enemy is after your confidence, that is why he tempts us with sin. Paul says: cast not away therefore your confidence, which has great recompense of reward (Hebrews 10:35). John says: Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, then we have confidence toward God (1John 3:21). And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, He hears us: And if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him (1John 5:14-15). So now we understand that when we are praying for our own healing, sometimes we know so many reasons why God should not answer us, our heart is condemning us, and our conscience is accusing us. Hence we cast away our confidence, and we have doubts in our heart, guilt and condemnation.
The answer is to just practice righteousness and live a sanctified life; then your conscience will not be accusing you, or your heart condemning you: it is called walking in the spirit (Romans 8:1-4). God uses that period of fasting so that we can repent, and thus unclog our spiritual pipes, so that we can have clean and unclogged spiritual pipes. We can receive healing and all the other promises of God, and we can also pray for other people to receive their healing and their promises; for we will bypass their spiritual clog, and help them unclog their spiritual pipes by teaching them how to walk in the Spirit. A sanctified life is the very key to enjoying the blessings of the Lord.
God’s ideal is that we all should have clean and unclogged spiritual pipes, so that nobody needs to pray for our needs, but we should be the ones bringing the power of God to unsaved people. When we learn the perfect redemption plan of God, we realize that it is not about what we have done, but what Jesus has done for us. Our faith is in the finished work of Jesus on the cross, and not on our good deeds, to receive anything from God. Some people who were sick and God told them to give money to a ministry, and as they did they were healed. Some of those people have yoked brethren and told them: you must give money to be healed. It is not true, and we have already discussed it in length, healing is free and you do not to pay for it.
But why is it that when that preacher sent his money God blessed him. In Isaiah 58 we have seen that God expected them to give to the poor, to clothe the naked, to feed the hungry and to give shelter to the outcasts. They did not do it, hence their conscience was accusing them; their heart was condemning them, they did not have confidence at all to ask God in faith, for they knew, what they were doing was wrong. But after they had obeyed God on the day of fast, and given their money to the poor, they had confidence to ask God for healing. Let nobody take money from you to receive prayer or healing; it is free and it will always be free. Jesus says: And as you go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely you have received, freely give (Matthew10:7-8).
9-13 Become one who practices righteousness
People will say should we continue in disobedience since everything in the salvation package is conditioned on the obedience of Christ. Certainly not, we must read our bible, renew our mind, do the will of our Father, pray and fast because He has been so good to us and because we love Him. Isaiah said your righteousness shall go before you (Isaiah 58:8). When we have repented and renewed our mind we will practice righteousness, because you are born of God (1John 2:29). People will be able to see how we have changed, for they will see us practicing righteousness. But God’s ideal plan is for us to practice righteousness, because we have simply read it in the bible. The more we practice righteousness, the less our conscience accuses us, and the less our heart condemns us; which builds up our confidence toward God. People who put their faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross, obey the scriptures more than people who put their faith in their own good deeds, and the works of the law.
When we become people who practice righteousness, not only who have the imputed righteousness of God; we will carry out mighty exploits for God. We developed in length the imputed righteousness in the perfect redemption plan: the Lord is my righteousness. James tells us: confess your faults or trespasses one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit (James 5:16-18). James starts by telling us to confess our sins, faults and trespasses, because he knows that is what clogs our spiritual pipes. Elijah lived under the old covenant; he did not have the imputed righteousness like you and I have. The righteousness he had was because he practiced righteousness.
Like John tells us: little children, let no man deceive you: he who does or practices righteousness is righteous, even as He, Jesus, is righteous. He who commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil (1John 3:7-8). So John is telling us it is not good enough to have the righteousness of Jesus, we must also practice righteousness as Jesus did, because we are righteous. How can we expect to fight the devil if we are acting like the devil? For he sinned from the beginning, and has not stopped sinning. In order for us to destroy the works of the devil effectively, we must start practicing righteousness. And we see Elijah, a man just like you and me, but he practiced righteousness, as a result his prayers availed much, he punished that kingdom of Israel who was given to the worship of Baal under the leadership of Ahab and his wife Jezebel, by shutting up the heaven for three and a half years.
And we also know how he dealt with the prophets of Baal and destroyed them at Mount Carmel (1Kings 18). The more you practice righteousness the bolder you become, the more confidence you have towards God, the more destruction you will do to the kingdom of darkness. That is why the enemy does not want us to practice righteousness; he does not mind us having our imputed righteousness of Jesus. As long as we are practicing sin, he is safe; he knows we will not have the boldness and confidence to go and destroy his works. God’s aim is for us to be able to say like Jesus, the righteous: the prince of this world comes, and has nothing in me (John 14:30). Sins and all the works of the devil, who is the prince of this world, shall no longer have dominion over us. We shall rule over them, and destroy them, not only in our own lives, but also in the lives of the people around us.
Nehemiah says: You are Jehovah, the God who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gave him the name of Abraham, and found his heart faithful before You, and made a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, and the Perizzite, and the Jebusite, and the Girgashite, to give it to his seed. And You have performed Your words, because You are righteous (Nehemiah 9:7-8). As born again Christians, the righteousness of Jesus has been imputed to us, and practicing righteousness also means, performing the words that proceed out of our mouth. We should not be saying things just for the sake of it, but once we say something we must do it. If this revelation dawns on us, we will be less and less having idle words proceeding out of our mouth, or flatteries, or jokes. As it is written: I say to you that every idle [Argos: lazy, idle, useless, barren, not acted upon] word [Rhema: spoken word], whatever men may speak, they shall give account of it in the Day of Judgment; for by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned (Matthew 12:36-37). Or like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death. So is the man who deceives his neighbour and says, Am I not joking (Proverbs 26:18-19)?
Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth and a foot out of joint (Proverbs 25:19). So the person trusted you or had confidence, that you meant what you said, and that you will perform your words. So when you do not perform them, and the person is now in trouble because he acted on your idle words or your jokes, it will cause him great pain, like the pain of a person who is walking on his dislocated foot or twisted ankle. Or it will cause him sleepless nights like a person who has a broken tooth, and the nerves are pulling so hard that he cannot sleep and his cheek is swollen; he has to go to the emergency to extract that tooth that night, or to have some strong pain killers. I have been in situations where I believed and acted on the idle words of some brothers, and they did not perform any of the words that proceeded out of their mouths. I lost money; I slept in the streets because they did not perform their words. Now you understand why God hates flattery and hypocrisy so much. God never flatters anybody, He is not a hypocrite or a mad man who makes jokes with His words, no He means every word that comes out of His mouth and performs them. We must become like our righteous Father and perform the words of our mouths.
9-14 The glory abides with us, hence the protection abides as well
Isaiah said: the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard (Isaiah 58:8). The picture here is of the pillar of fire that went before them in the wilderness. When they were before the Red Sea, that pillar of fire, or the glory of the Lord or Shekinah glory, went behind them. It was darkness on the side of the Egyptians, but light on the side of the Hebrews; that glory of the Lord became their rear guard. The Egyptians could not move forward, because they were in total darkness, but the Hebrews were in the light, and they stayed at the shore of the Red Sea all night, while the wind was parting the red sea (Exodus 14). That pillar of fire protected them. When they were in the wilderness the glory of the Lord was protecting them, but when they had sinned, fiery serpents entered their camp and bit them, and they died. In the book of Deuteronomy 28, God listed the curses contained in the law, if they did not observe all the law, they were in danger of one of those curses. So many times they were fasting in repentance to one of the laws they had broken, hence a curse came upon them, and they were no longer protected because of that sin.
But in the New Testament, Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree (Galatians 3:13). It does not say: Christ has redeemed us from the curses but it says from the curse of the Law. Being under the law is the curse, and Christ embodied the whole Law. In the new covenant there are only blessings, and not curses coming from God to His children. We are always protected. In the Old Testament when they sinned, the protection of God was no longer there, and part of the curse was that they would even be defeated by their enemies, for God was no longer with them. But in the New Testament, God says: I will never leave you, I will never forsake you, that you may boldly say: the Lord is my helper, I will not fear what can man do to me (Hebrews 13:5-6)? The glory of the Lord never leaves you, Jesus says: the glory which You (God) gave Me, I have given them, that they may be one as we are one (John 17:22).
Does it mean that we can live anyhow, or do what we want? Come on! Let us grow up! We are grateful, and as our expression of gratitude, we practice righteousness, present our body a living sacrifice to God, holy and acceptable which is our reasonable service (Romans 12:1). Then what happens if we sin? We need to confess our sins, and God will forgive us and we ask Him not to lead us into temptation, but to deliver us from evil (Luke 11:4). The enemy will always try to bring back to our remembrance all the reasons why we cannot have what we are petitioning God for, and he will always use the Law.
He will tell you: you are sick because there is sin in your life; you are not prospering because you have not given your tithe, so there is a curse on you. Paul tells us: the sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the Law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1Corinthains 15:56-57). Should we be in any sin in the first place? The answer is no, that is why we confess them, and we know that the curses do not apply to us any longer. So we believe that our prosperity, our health and everything that is contained in the salvation package, was freely given to us by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, according to the scriptures.
The enemy will tell us for instance: it is because you did this particular sin that sickness is in your life. Okay, you ask God for forgiveness first of all, so that your conscience is no longer accusing you, and your heart is no longer condemning you, and then you believe His perfect redemption plan. Think of it this way. You are in your house late at night, and you decide to go quickly to the convenience store to buy some milk, and since it is just five minutes’ walk from your house, you decide not to lock the door behind you; because you are in a hurry and do not want the convenience store to close before to get there. But a burglar was watching your movements, and as soon as you left the house, he invited himself in, stole the plasma TV, the laptop, the Ipad and went into your bedroom and took all your jewels and the cash you kept in the safe.
So when you come home and realize what has happened, do you say: it was my fault, I gave the burglar permission to enter my house because I did not lock the door. I do not need to report this burglary to the police. Or in case you find him in your house, do you tell him: it is my fault, I left the door open; take whatever you want and go your way; I will learn my lesson not to leave my door open. No, if I have a rifle I can even shoot him, and if he escapes, I call the police and when the police arrest him, they will not lessen his sentence because I left my door open. You see it is the same thing; our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, God dwells in us, no matter if sickness is due to our sin, we should never think that we gave him permission to be in our body, it is illegal for sickness or curses listed in the Law to be in our lives.
That is why Jesus says Satan is a thief and a robber (John 10:10). It does not matter if we have been careless, or if we have sinned, we must arrest him, and command him to restore what he has stolen from us, with interest! Let us do the will of God, let us not wait for us to suffer losses that we need to repent of in fasting. Nobody who has experienced a burglary wants to experience it the second time, but takes all precautions for it not to happen again. So why not apply this principle spiritually. Do the things God asked us to do, to have the manifestations of the blessings He promised in His written word.
9-15 Stop pointing the finger, or blaming everybody else, but take your responsibilities
Isaiah 58:9 Then you shall call, and the LORD shall answer; you shall cry, and He shall say, Here I am. If you take away from the midst of you the yoke, the putting forth or the pointing of the finger, and speaking vanity;
The time of fasting and prayer, as we have already said, is a time when the Lord has our attention, and asks us to amend our ways. We could have done it effortlessly by reading the bible and renewing our mind, but some of us do not pay much attention to the Word of God in times of prosperity. Sometimes when we fast God puts the responsibility on us. Sometimes when we are facing a challenge or have difficulties with some people, we think they are the ones who must change.
Or we think they are the ones who must do something or must help us. But what happens a lot is, that God gives us a great dose of responsibility, and we take away the pointing of the finger. God does not accuse us nor condemn us, for the accuser of the brethren is Satan our adversary (Revelation 12:10). But He convicts us that we can do something to make things work, we do not have to wait until the person we are pointing our finger at, or blaming, acts.
Love acts first: God demonstrated His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ Jesus died for us (Romans 5:8). God did what was right, before we ever thought of doing anything right. He did not point the finger or blame us, saying: you are not right, I do not need to die for you, you do not deserve My love and the life of My Son. It does not matter how we respond to His love for us; He demonstrated it once for all, for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). Sometimes when I fast, God asks me to demonstrate His unconditional love toward people I have been blaming, or accusing. He tells me: you do what is right; it does not matter if they do not respond accordingly. For God gave His Son Jesus, but not everybody has accepted Jesus as his or her Lord and Saviour, but whenever one is ready, he or she can respond accordingly.
Sometimes when I fast God tells me: you are the one who is to help that person, why are you waiting for the church, or for another sister or brother to help that person when you are here? It gave me a real dose of responsibility. But the truth is I did not have to fast to remove the pointing of the finger, if I had read my bible and believed it I would have known what to do in that situation, for the bible tells me I am my brother’s keeper (Genesis 4: 9). I am to do to my neighbour what I want to be done to me (Matthew 7:12). I used to cry out to the Lord, who will be healing the sick, casting out devils and raising the dead; prophesying to kings, nations and tongues? And the Lord answered me: you will do it! That is why when you understand the perfect redemption plan of God, it gives you a great dose of responsibility and you stop pointing fingers at people; but become doers of the word of God, for you understand you are the solution of your generation, because Christ who is The Desire of all nations, dwells in you.
9-16 Stop having foul language and ungodly talk
Isaiah says: we must take away the speaking of vanity from our midst (Isaiah 58:9). When we are born again, we still talk like the world, but if we decide to read our bible, we will effortlessly see a tremendous change in the way we speak to people. But God will ask some people to fast, so that He can speed up the process. Paul says: let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers (Ephesians 4:29). But now you also put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge, after the image of Him who created him (Colossians 3:8-10).
The psalmist says: Blessed is the man who has not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, and has not stood in the way of sinners, and has not sat in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is only in the Law of the Lord; and in His Law he meditates day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivulets of water, that brings forth his fruit in his season, and his leaf shall not wither, and all which he does, shall be blessed or whatever he does shall prosper. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous; but the way of the ungodly shall perish (Psalm1:1-6).
I will talk about my countrymen, the people of the Republic of Congo. They are very scornful people. Even when they have become born again Christians, some of them do not renew their minds. In some nations there are spirits. Paul says about the people of Crete: One of them, a prophet of their own, said, Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons (Titus 1:12). There are some demons over some nations, and over the years they have conditioned the minds of the people. The people think that it is part of their nature and customs. Christians from Crete had not renewed their minds, they were still liars, evil beasts and lazy gluttons. They were still conformed to the unsaved Cretans, instead of being transformed by the renewing of their minds (Romans 12:1-2). Is there such a spirit over your nation?
In the days of Smith Wigglesworth, there was an Italian preacher who used to be invited to the same conventions as Wigglesworth. That Italian preacher, when he was talking or preaching, would crack some jokes. And then he would say: that was the Italian in me speaking! After having listened to him for some time, Wigglesworth said to him: brother if the Italian is still speaking through you, then you need to be sanctified and crucify that Italian on the cross with Jesus, and bury him with Jesus. You see if our national customs, traditions, jokes and behaviour does not agree with the word of God, we need to change. The scornful Congolese Gery used to be, was crucified and buried with Jesus. The new creation Gery, was risen with Christ. I cannot just claim verse 3 of Psalm 1 without doing verses1 and 2 of the same psalm, and I literally do not sit with scornful Christians.
9-17 Your light will shine and you will be fruitful
Isaiah 58:10 And if you draw out your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall your light rise in obscurity, and your darkness be as the noonday:
Isaiah 58:11 And the LORD shall guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and make fat your bones: and you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
God wants us to obey His word because it transforms us into the image of His Son Jesus. Jesus says: let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:16). If we want our light to shine, let us go and do the word, for the Psalmist said: Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Psalm 119:105). The path of the righteous is as a shining light that shines more and more unto the perfect day (Proverbs 4:18). The way the Lord guides us continually, is when we do the Word. The bible says: as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are sons of God (Romans 8:14). And if you are led by the Spirit, you are no longer under the law (Galatians 5:18). Do not worry about being led continually by the Spirit of God, it is simple; if you always do the word of God, you are always led by the Spirit. But the Word of God is big, how can I always do the word if I do not know all the scriptures? It is easy: Jesus says: Therefore all things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, you do even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets (Matthew 7:12). For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; you shall love your neighbour as yourself (Galatians 5:14).
The more we obey God the more we receive from Him. If a Christian is walking in disobedience, he will not have the confidence to ask lots of things from God, for his heart will condemn him, though God is not (Romans 8:1), his conscience will accuse him though God is not accusing him, but Satan is (Revelation 12:10). His prayers will be begging prayers, whereas Jesus told us not to beg the Father, because the Father Himself loves us, because we have love for Jesus, and made Him our Lord and Saviour (John16:26-27). The reasons why people beg God in prayer are either because their conscience is accusing them and their heart is condemning them of something they did, or they are in false humility, and think that God is pleased when they beg. Think of it this way, you have a child who is always disobeying what you tell him to do, as a good and loving father, you will always provide the bare necessities for him: food, shelter, health, schooling. But you will not say to him: I want to reward you for your disobedience and give you a trip to Hawaii! God’s heart-desire is for us to mature, and be more like Jesus, so that He can entrust us with greater things in the kingdom of God.
Isaiah says: you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. A watered garden is always green, its plants and trees bear fruit, and they do not have to worry about the drought, because their waters never fail. David says: Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law he meditates day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he does shall prosper (Psalm 1:1-3). God wants us to become like that man, so that whatsoever we do shall prosper, it brings glory to our Father. The more we grow in the kingdom of God the more we are able to help people around us, and they imitate us, or follow us as we imitate or follow Christ (1Corinthians 11:1).
9-18 Restoration of our inheritance
Isaiah 58:12 And those from among you shall build the old waste places: you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
Israel was carried into captivity because of their sins, they forsook the Lord their God and served idols. The Lord is saying, if they truly repent in fasting, He will restore them to their land, they shall build the old waste places, they shall repair the breaches the enemy did to the walls or defence of their city, and people will actually inhabit Jerusalem again.
In the days of Daniel, when He understood the prophecy of Jeremiah, that their captivity was supposed to last only seventy years; he fasted in repentance for the sin of Judah. And later in the book of Ezra, the book of Nehemiah, Zechariah and Haggai we see that when the people repented, and did what was right in the sight of God, they rebuilt the old wasted places, they repaired the walls of Jerusalem, rebuilt the temple of God.
Repentance is the key: forsaking his old ways and renewing his mind according to the written word of God, and then doing the word of God. In the New Testament we are not asked to fast so that our sins can be forgiven, we are asked to confess them, and God will forgive us, because Jesus shed His blood for the forgiveness of our sins (1John 1:9). Fasting is a period when we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that He might exalt us (1Peter 5:6). If we are struggling to obey God in a particular area, we can confess our sins and believe that He has forgiven us, and fast to ask him to help keep our selfish desires under, to do the will of God.
We know that our inheritance contained in the perfect redemption plan was freely given to us. If we are diligent to study our bible, we will know what the will of God is, become doers of that will of God, and God will not always have to call us to a period of fast, to reveal what is already written in the bible concerning our inheritance. One thing is true though, before any restoration of our inheritance, we need to repent if we were responsible for what befell us. Sometimes it might include confessing our sins when we want to be born again, which is the first step of restoration, but that repentance of the restoration of our inheritance for many of us, will mainly involve forsaking our old ways, and renewing our minds according to the word of God.
Someone like Moses went on the mountain to fast for forty days and forty nights, to receive the Word of God that would govern the life of the nation of Israel, and that would guide them in all decision making. Moses was attentive to the voice of God during that fast; because he did not want to give people his personal opinion, but what God says. That is one of the reasons I, Gery, always fasted, and always fast and pray when I write every single bible study; because I cry out to God that I do not want people to have my personal opinions, but I want to be a faithful ambassador of Christ, and unveil the loving heart of God to people. For these bible studies are no longer just for me and my house; but for multitudes without numbers in those fifty European nations, and everywhere else they are read around the world. The aim of these bible studies is to build the old waste places: to raise up the foundations of many generations; and to be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
When you read the book of Joel, people always want to read chapter 2 that talks about the restoration of the years that were devoured. They forget that in chapter one, they humbled themselves in prayer and fasting before that restoration. God uses that book of Joel to tell some Christians to humble themselves in prayer and fasting, so that the souls of the people should be restored back to God. And at times He addresses the sins of the ministers of God, and asks them to repent and forsake them, like He asked the priests of the days of Joel to repent of their evil ways. Of course the book of Joel does not just talk about restoration of souls; but also of everything that pertains to life and godliness. Ezra said: Then I called a fast there at the river Ahava, so that we might humble ourselves before our God, in order to seek from God a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our goods (Ezra 8:21). We do not know what strategy God will use to restore the millions of souls of those fifty European nations back to Himself, or what strategy He will use to restore unto us the things and the years we lost. Therefore we ask His leading and guidance in that restoration process.
10. New wine into new wineskins and a new robe of righteousness
Matthew 9:14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but thy disciples fast not?
Matthew 9:15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.
Matthew 9:16 No man puts a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the rent is made worse.
Matthew 9:17 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles or wineskin: else the bottles or wineskin break, and the wine runs out or is spilled, and the bottles or wineskins are ruined: but they put new wine into new bottles or wineskin, and both are preserved.
10-1 The new robe of righteousness
Still on the subject of fasting, Jesus takes two examples, the first one is a man who has an old garment which is torn, and the man takes a piece of a new cloth and tries to patch the old garment with it, but the patch pulls away from the old garment, and the rent is made worse. What is Jesus talking about? The garment is the garment of righteousness; the old garment is the garment of self-righteousness and the new garment is the garment of the righteousness of God, which is imputed to us.
The Jews and especially the Pharisees based their righteousness on the works of the law, on their good deeds of the law. But God said to Isaiah: all our righteousness is but filthy rags. We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away (Isaiah 64:6). God showed a vision of the high priest Joshua to Zechariah: now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the Angel. And He answered and spoke unto those that stood before him, saying, take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused your iniquity to pass from you, and I will clothe you with a rich robe (Zechariah 3:3-4).
Joshua the high priest, the best of them, who followed all the law, to be able to stand before the Ark of the Covenant and not die, was spiritually clothed with filthy garments. All his self-righteousness was but filthy rags. And Jesus, who is the Angel of the Lord, said that they should remove that filthy ragged garment, and Jesus would clothe him with a rich robe, a robe of the imputed righteousness of God. The Pharisees and the priests did their very best to keep the law, and do the good deeds of the law: they tithed everything they had, they spoke right, they did the right confessions, they prayed, they fasted. All those things we ought to have done them; but it is still based on our own achievements, on our goodness, on our righteousness, on our holiness. But the new robe of the imputed righteousness of God, is not based on what we do, but on what Jesus has done for us. Some Christians want to keep the old garment, which is but filthy rags, and they want to cut some pieces of the new garment of God’s imputed righteousness and patch it on the rent of the old garment.
That is why we have some Christians who think it is about what they can do for God, and once in a while about what God has done for them, by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. These Christians wear an old filthy ragged garment with many patches of the grace of God; they do not want to remove their old garment, because they are proud of what they have done for God and for the Kingdom. They are the kind of Christians who love the law, rules and regulations, and want to establish their own righteousness, their own holiness, their own power, their own anointing. They think the grace and the mercy of God are only for those who do not have good deeds of the law, to show forth to merit the manifestations of the blessings of God in their life. These were the Jewish Christians, they struggled with the message of grace through faith that Paul preached; for by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). They believe that they have been saved by works through faith!
The second set is the Christians who have decided to remove the old filthy ragged garment, and put on the rich robe of the righteousness of God, but they think it is too good to be true; for it has nothing that is theirs. Thus they cut holes in that rich robe on purpose, and take pieces of the old garment to patch the holes they have made in the new rich robe. These are the Christians who want to go back under the law, and because they want to say: I have received such blessing because I have done this and that; if I have received such a gift, it is because I have fasted so long, and I have established my own righteousness. If I heal people it is because I am so special. Paul had to deal with the second set of Christians a lot, for the Jews wanted to bring the gentiles back under the law (Galatians 3). They believe that only for the salvation of their soul it was by grace through faith, but for all the other promises of God, it is by works through faith, that they will receive them! Whatever we do or have done for God and His kingdom, it is because He gave us the willingness, and then empowered us to do it (Philippians 2:13).
The third set is Christians who entirely remove the old filthy ragged garment of self-righteousness, and put on the new rich robe of the imputed righteousness of God. They never try to cut holes in that rich robe to patch the pieces on the old filthy ragged garment. I will admit that sometimes we must be careful, for unwittingly we want to patch a little bit. For instance, I was praying and asking God to supply my need. And the Lord spoke to me: present your case before Me, bring forth your strong reasons why I should do this for you (Isaiah 41:21)? Put Me in remembrance; let us contend together; state your case that you may be justified (Isaiah 43:26).
For at least ten minutes I was reminding God how I had done what He told me to do, and I went on and on. And then it dawned on me, that this is not the strong reason, and I laughed because I realized God just wanted to know what was in my heart. He knew it already, but I did not know what was in my own heart. I said: Lord, I have only one strong reason, and do not have strong reasons, but one strong reason, and it works all the time. My elder brother Jesus died for it and rose from the dead for my justification. And whatever I have done for You and Your kingdom, You are the one who gave me the willingness and empowered me to do it (Philippians 2:13). I went on for almost two hours telling God how Jesus did it all. I ascribed all the glory to God! I took examples in the bible where people were facing a similar situation, and God intervened on their behalf, not because they were good; but because God promised to do so for the sake of His great name.
Many times I hear my own prayers and I stop myself and say: G, you are patching pieces of the old filthy ragged garment onto the rich robe of God’s imputed righteousness. Do not get me wrong: God himself said to us: God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister (Hebrews 6:10). And Jesus reassures us: verily I say unto you, There is no man who has left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life (Mark10:29-30). But we know that we have access to all those promises through Jesus Christ, by grace through faith (Romans 5:2; Ephesians 2:18).
So truly on our own we could never have access to that inheritance, but through the blood of Jesus and His Spirit, we now have access to all the promises of God. Do I fast, pray, give my time and money for the furtherance of the gospel, read the bible, study the bible and work in the vineyard of The Father? Yes, I do all these things according to the scriptures; yet I do not present any of them as being my works, but as being the works of God through me. Yet what God works through me, is not my strong reason to receive my petitions from Him. Even when I quote scriptures to Him about what He said He will do, if I do something, I know it is because Jesus paid for it, and it is God who did these things through me. For there are so many other Christians who pray, fast, know more scriptures than I do, give more money and more of their time for the furtherance of the gospel; but Christ Jesus did it all for me, and even when I do not feel like I deserve to receive anything; Christ Jesus by His death, burial and resurrection made me worthy to receive it.
If you read through the book of Acts and the epistles, the disciples never took credit for anything. Jesus said it was the Father who was in Him that was doing the work, so did the disciples, and they say it was by grace through faith. Faith in the name of Jesus, the using of the name of Jesus that they were getting the results they did. People can have all the words just right when you hear them, they sound like they are attributing everything to God and not to any of their works. But God knows their prayer life, and God knows what they say to Him behind closed doors. If we believe that Jesus is living through us, we will never claim anything being from our own power or holiness or faith, etc. In the new creation that we now are, because we died with Him and were buried with Him, everything is of God.
He lives through us. Like a branch which receives the sap from the vine. Though people see the green leaves and the fruits on the branch, but it is actually the life of the vine flowing in the branch that produces the green leaves and the fruits. If the branch is severed from the life of the vine, the leaves will wither and the fruits will fall off (John 15). Please read the perfect redemption plan, part IV to get the understanding of the concept of the Trinity and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. If we learn to ascribe everything to God; He will work mighty signs and mighty wonders through us. Paul even says that the faith that he exhibits is not his, but has also been imputed unto him by Christ. Truly it is Jesus who is living in each one of us, and having faith in and through us. He says: I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20).
10-2 The new wine in a new wineskin
Jesus takes another example that will bring His point home. The Jews understood exactly the process of making a good wine. When the grapes are gathered and pressed, they will collect the grape juice. The grape juice is put into wineskins made of oak trees so that the wine will take on the aromas of the oak tree, the older the oak tree is, the stronger the aromas are, and they will also put some leaven into the grape juice to start the fermentation process, which terminates in the production of alcohol or wine. During the fermentation, the pressure is high in the wineskin, so they will often open it to release the pressure, so that the wineskin will not burst. The longer the wine stays while it is fermenting in the wineskin, the more aromas from the oak tree it gets.
When you try to make a new wine, you do not put it in the old wineskin made of an oak tree, the pressure due to the fermentation process will break the old wineskin, you must take a new wineskin and add new leaven to it, and start the new process. When you take a new wine it is not as good as the old wine, for the aromas are not as strong as in the old wine, and the degree of alcohol is not as strong as in the old wine, so people will ask for the old wine, Because they like it strong and full of the aromas of the oak tree. That is what Jesus meant when He said: Neither do men put new wine into old bottles or wineskin: else the bottles or wineskin break, and the wine runs out or is spilled, and the bottles or wineskins are ruined: but they put new wine into new bottles or wineskin, and both are preserved.
Wine is the picture of the Holy Spirit; the degree of alcohol in the wine talks about the power and manifestations of the Holy Spirit; the wineskin or bottle represents our flesh, or the human vessel, and we are the vessels of the Lord. God said He will pour out His Spirit upon all flesh (Joel 2:28). The leaven represents the teaching (Matthew 16:6-11) as we saw in the bible study on “leaven in bread”. The reason why people like the old wine is because of the quality of the oak tree that is used for its wineskin, how old it is and how full of aromas it is, because the wine has spent a long time in that wineskin, therefore it is very strong in alcohol.
It is the same thing, the Pharisees and some Jewish Christians did not like the gospel of salvation by grace through faith which Jesus and His disciples preached; they wanted a gospel of salvation by works of the law through faith! What is the difference one might ask? If it is salvation by grace through faith, it means the Godhead did it all! They have already blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places and given us all things that pertain to life and godliness by the death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:3, Ephesians 2:8-9, 2Peter 1:2-3); and then our faith is just a positive response to what has already been freely given to us, and it pleases God (Hebrews 11:6). But if it is salvation by works of the law through faith, it means that we say what the Godhead freely provided for us by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, was not enough; we need to establish our own salvation based on our works of the law, we need to merit the blessings and promises of God, and our faith becomes a kind of currency or merit system, that we establish to buy things from God or to get God to move on our behalf, for we think God owes it to us.
Paul tells us: Even so then, also in this present time a remnant according to the election of grace has come into being. But if by grace, then it is no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it is of works, then it is no more of grace; otherwise work is no more work (Romans 11:5-6). You are a fool and have been bewitched by self-imposed religion, if you try to establish your salvation by the works of the law through faith, instead of grace through faith! Paul says: O foolish Galatians, who bewitched you, not to obey the truth, to whom before whose eyes Jesus Christ was written among you crucified? This only I would learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law, or by hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now made perfect by the flesh (Galatians 3:1-3)? You receive the Spirit of the Lord when you become born again, and it was by grace through faith!
Many times when we read the Old Testament, we see all the mighty wonders and miracles those men and women of old performed in the name of the Lord, we are in awe of the Lord God. That is why people sing “these are the days of Elijah, the days of Ezekiel, the days of Moses, the days of David”. What they are saying is: we want the strong power and manifestations of the Spirit of God like they had in their days. In our examples of wine and wineskins, they are saying: we want the old wine, for the alcohol in it is very strong. We want the old wineskins, in other words we want to act like Moses, Elijah and Elisha and Phinehas; they had strong characters. So Christians try to imitate them, because they like the power and manifestations of the Spirit of God in their life.
But Paul tells us that God in the New Covenant has prepared something better for us. It is because we do not know who we are in Christ that is why we are envying the people of old. When Paul had listed the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11, he says these all, having obtained a good report through faith, did not receive the promise, for God had provided some better thing for us, that they should not be made perfect without us (Hebrews 11:39-40). Therefore since we also are surrounded with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1-2). Jesus has become our gold standard; we are to imitate Jesus, to follow His teaching of salvation by grace through faith, and we will have the power and manifestations of the Spirit of God, even greater manifestations than the people of the Old Testament.
Just like the wineskin gives a strong aroma to the wine the longer the wine stays in that wineskin, so the message or teaching of the Pharisees was based on their works, on the traditions of the fathers (the old oak tree which defuses its aromas into the wine). Yes, some of the traditions of their fathers were good, but some of them were just shadows or types of Jesus Christ. And they had great manifestations of the Spirit of God.
Many times the hardest people to change, are the people who have been in church for so long, they are so religious, they hold onto traditions of the founding fathers of that church, even if some of them are not scriptural. You can show them from the scriptures, but they will not believe you; because the founder of their denomination said so. They no longer go by what is written, but by what the founder of their denomination said. They become like that old wineskin which burst when new wine is put into it; basically the old wineskin rejects the new wine and its leaven, like religious people reject the teaching of the gospel of salvation by grace through faith, and the Spirit of grace. No wonder Jesus told us: you have made the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down, and many such things you do (Mark 7:13).
That is why Jesus had a lot of problems with the Jewish leaders; they had their own interpretation of scriptures based on their belief group, either Sadducee or Pharisee. Jesus had to tell them: you have heard that it had been said…. But I say unto you… (Matthew 5:33-34). It is so hard, but not impossible, to make people who have been taught a certain way, to change their mind, because they love their old ways, they love the traditions of their church, even if those traditions violate the written word of God, and make it of none effect (Mark 7:13).
Jesus wants to pour His Holy Spirit or wine into new wineskins, the teaching that will ferment that grape juice into strong wine, is the teaching of salvation by grace through faith, not salvation by works of the law through faith. They will not do things because their fathers did it that way, but they will do it with understanding and revelation of the scriptures. They will not fast for the sake of fasting, and when people ask you why do you fast; you do not even know the reason? Your only answer is: we do it every year in our religion. Yes, you are right it is religion, and God is not in religion. People who have tested the old message based on their works of the law, on their performances, are happy with it; they do not want to change it, because it helps them boast about their works of the law and self-righteousness.
But the message of salvation by grace through faith says you have nothing to do with it, it is a gift of God: Jesus died in order for you to receive that salvation package. Jesus is truly the author and finisher of our faith, and all ought to look unto Him; not unto ourselves and our good deeds, though we ought to do them (Hebrews 12:2)! People will say: I still prefer the old wine because it is strong; the new wine is weak in alcohol; it is to say: I prefer the Old Testament, for they had powerful manifestations of the Spirit of God. But Jesus is saying: wait a little while, be patient with the new wine, it will ferment and become even stronger than the old wine. Allow the teaching of the gospel of salvation by grace through faith to grow in you, age or mature in you, and you will truly experience the manifestations of the Spirit of God without measure (John 3:34). Verily, verily, I say unto you, He who believes on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father (John 14:12). Haggai prophesied: The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, says the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, says the LORD of hosts (Haggai 2:9).
In conclusion of the series of the Perfect Redemption Plan and the Application of the Perfect Redemption Plan, I say what Paul told us. Paul told us: I have not shunned or avoided to declare to you the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27). I have kept back nothing that was helpful, but I proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from home to home (Acts 20:20). I reasoned with you from the scriptures, explaining and demonstrating every point I raised (Acts 17:2-3). This is brother Gery’s ways and methods too, and it was also Jesus’ ways and methods; for it is written: beginning from Moses and all the prophets, Jesus expounded or explained to them in all the scriptures, the things concerning Himself (Luke 24:27).
What was helpful to me I have not kept back; but delivered them to you according to the scriptures, explained and demonstrated them according to the scriptures; so that if anybody has a problem with that, let him or her take it up with God who wrote the whole bible. My words will fail, but the written Word of God will never fail, it is forever settled in heaven (Psalm 119:89). Just like Jesus taught us; and Paul hammered it home: I have learned not to think beyond what is written in the Scriptures (1Corinthians 4:6).
I am brain washing myself in a positive sense of the term! Yes, my mind needs to be washed by the washing of the water by the Word of God (Ephesians 5:26); that is the only way I will have it renewed, and my life will be transformed as a result of that (Romans 12:2). The faithfulness of our Lord God endures to all generations, God will not pass us by, but He will show Himself mighty on our behalf, because our heart is loyal toward Him, and we have determined to be doers of the Word not hearers only (Psalm 119:90, 2Chronicles 16:9, James 1:22). We are for signs and wonders in our generation, in Jesus’ name (Isaiah 8:18)! Brothers and sisters, remember brother Gery, the apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ to the 50 European nations, in your prayers, Amen!