Along with the fast
Peace and grace in the love of our Lord Jesus Christ.Matthew 6:16-176:16 “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6:17 But you, when you fast, anoint your headand wash your face,
The characteristics of the true fast
are as follows.
- ‘Wash your face’
The face refers to the heart. Washing the face means to have our heart be sanctified by the Word.
- ‘Anoint your head’
The head refers to the mind. Anointing the head means to have our mind anointed by the Holy Spirit.
If these two points are combined, fasting
is letting the Word in the anointment of the Holy Spirit
or the sword of the Word to freely sanctify our heart and mind
, which is equivalent to sanctify our senses. Our heart and mind are sanctified so that we have a thought and feeling like Jesus
.What are Jesus’ mind and feeling?Philippians 2:5-82:5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 2:6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,2:7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, andcoming in the likeness of men. 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point ofdeath, even the death of the cross.
The peak of Jesus’ mind and feeling is being obedient to the point of death
.Through a fast
, we experience sanctification for our mind and feeling until we are obedient, whatever the risk we face, we are obedient until our flesh speaks no more
If our flesh speaks (we have lusts), we cannot be obedient, but we will rebel. If our heart and mind are purified through a fast, we will have a mind and feeling like Jesus, we will be obedient until our flesh speaks no more, whatever the risks we face.
If we are obedient, the results
are as follows.
- Philippians 2:9-11
2:9Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,
2:10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,
2:11 and thatevery tongue should confessthat Jesus Christ isLord, to the glory of God the Father.
Those in heaven, on earth, and under the earth refer to Satan trinity. Since Jesus was obedient and died on the cross, He earned the power of the name which is above every name to overcome Satan trinity. The same thing goes to us, if we are obedient until our flesh speaks no more, we will have the power of Jesus’ nameto overcome Satan trinity. It is indeed hurt for our flesh to be obedient, but we will get the results.
If we have won over all problems, sins, and tears, our face will shine happily (Matthew 6:16 ‘do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance’).
- Satan is the source of problems. If we are obedient, every problem is solved, even the impossible ones, at His time.
- Satan is the source of sins. If we are obedient, we can live in righteousness.
- Satan is the source of tears. If we are obedient, we will get happiness.
In a fast, our face can shine happily.
The sad face can shine happily and we are able to worship God(verse 11: that‘every tongue should confess’).
- Acts 13:2-5
13:2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separateto Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
13:3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent themaway.
13:4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus.
13:5 And when they arrived in Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. They also had John as theirassistant.
The second result is we experience a special commissioning from God, which is spreading or testifying about the bride tidings or the true teaching Word to those who have already been saved.
At that time, Paul spread the Word in synagogues, to those people who had been in church, or those people who were already saved.
“I have always testified this secret of a God’s servant. Before I became a servant of God, I had used to fast once a week. After I became a servant of God, father Pong asked me whether I fasted or not, and I said yes. He replied, “Good, I also fast.” This is a secret that he had given me before he died. He said that we had to fast, he himself always fasted although he was already old at that time. This is a secret not many servants know. This is a special commissioning through a fast for the building of Christ’s body.”
We spread or testify the Bride Tidings to those who have already been saved to enter the building of perfect Christ’s body or to enter the latter rain movement of the Holy Spirit.
We have to fast earnestly so that God blesses and helps this special task, and God’s works upon us get real.
We have to fast because we have to face 2 hindrances in the latter rain movement of the Holy Spiritas follows.
To overcome these two hindrances, we have to do the followings.
- Acts 13:6-10
13:6 Now when they had gone through the island[a]to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name wasBar-Jesus,
13:7 who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man called for Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God.
13:8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith.
13:9 Then Saul, who also is calledPaul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him
13:10 and said, “O full of all deceit and all fraud, youson of the devil, youenemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord.
The first hindrance is Bar-Jesus or Elymas.
It refers to the antichrist and the false prophets.
- Antichrist with the power of mammon(the power of money). For example when we are going to hold a fellowship, this is the first hindrance. Without the Bride Tidings, we will get confused when we face financial problems (we are looking for sponsors and so on).
Most of the times, we gather the fund in a wrong way and we are covetous (we cannot give), even though we are a multitude. On the contrary, the Macedonians were poor and in trials, but they could give. Even the big churches are confused on fund gathering because they are covetous. It should be defeated by a fast.
- False prophets, the false gossips and false teachings.
“When we went to Medan for the first time, I got a lot of text messages about this and that, but I did not respond and it ceased over time. Those gossips came also from our students in Lempin-El, either from Jalan Johor or from Malang. They were the first and foremost who spread the gossips. Beware of gossips. This is why I do not like to hold a lot of meetings, for the Sunday school or other things. It is not that we should not hold a meeting, but I orient us to focus on only those who are absent. We are not talking about the teachers or any other thing, and no gossips.”
We have to be cautious because gossips attack us, like the false teaching.
- Sergius Paulus, the intelligent man. It refers to intelligence, power, wealth, and position.
These things often hinder the building of Christ’s body or the latter rain movement.
Thanks to God, we are indeed facing intelligent men and bible scholars, but the Bride Tidings is able to overcome intelligence and science.
The Bride Tidings can only be accepted by faith, like when God instructed Abraham to sacrifice his son as a burnt offering. According to the intelligence, it cannot be accepted. Everything starts to be disoriented by intelligence or logic.
Even the moment when God divided the water of the Red sea is considered as a natural phenomenonand not a faith anymore. The Bride Tidings can only be accepted by faith, we believe it or not. The bible can only be accepted by faith.
Because faith is higher than intelligence, if faith can accept it, logic or intelligence will also accept it.
For example: based on science, people say many things are impossible about the Tabernacle, although the Bible says so. The Bible says that there are 20 pillars. Based on science, people argue that it cannot be 20 because of this and that. This is an example of logic, and not a faith.
- We have to help each other, (on verse 5, ‘They also had John (Mark) as theirassistant’)
How can we help each other? Every one of us has to be faithful on his position. As an example, hands should be on their position. If they are not willing to be there, they will only destroy the body.
The same thing happens in the marriage. If we help each other, husband, wife, and children will get back to their positions (husband as the head, wife as the body, and children as the limbs).If we are not on our positions, we will destroy one another.
Mark was only a servant. Although no one puts concern on a servant, but because he was faithfulon his position as a servant, Mark was entrusted to write the gospel according to Markthat portrays Jesus as a servant.
Mark’s position was small. It is not whether we are chosen to do small things or big things that matters, but the fact that we are on our position is.
If we are faithful, God will use us further.
Mark was used to write the gospel according to Mark and people all over the world know it.How great is God’s work upon those who appreciate their positions.
On the other hand, Judas was great, he was a treasurer, but he was not faithful. He became a traitor and was replaced by Mathias.
God does not see the position, whether we are the treasurer, the leader, the preacher, or any other position, but the faithfulness.
- Praying for each other.
- Psalms 69:11-13
69:10 When I wept and chastenedmy soul with fasting,
That became my reproach
69:11 I also made sackcloth my garment;
I became a byword to them.
69:12 Those who sit in the gate speak against me,
And I amthe song of the drunkards.
69:13 But as for me, my prayer isto You,
O Lord, inthe acceptable time;
O God, in the multitude of Your mercy,
Hear me in the truth of Your salvation.
The third result is we receive God’s grace. It is a secret. Let us take a fast in the middle of our busy days.
There are 3 kinds of God’s faithful mercyas follows.
- The greatfaithful mercythat is greater than all of our problems. The great faithful mercy is able to help us from every problem, even the impossible ones. Do not be afraid. There are big problems, but the great faithful mercy of God is bigger to help us.
- Psalms 17:7-8
17:7 Show Your marvelous lovingkindnessby Your right hand, O You who save those who trust in You
From those who rise up against them.
17:8 Keepme as the apple of Your eye;
Hideme under the shadow of Your wings,
The second grace is the marvelous faithful mercy, which is able to:
- Nurture and protect us like the apple of God’s eye, no one can touch us. We are nurtured and protected miraculously, not a single grain of sand can get in, and even Satan cannot harm us.
- Nurture and protect us miraculously in the middle of difficultiesor impossibilities, until the age of antichrist. We are protected under the shade of God’s wings. God’s wings’ shades will send us away to the desert for 3 and a half years, far away from the eyes of antichrist.
- Isaiah 54:6-10
54:6 For the Lord has called you
Like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit,
Like a youthful wife when you were refused,”
Says your God.
54:7 “For a mere moment I have forsaken you,
But with great mercies I will gather you.
54:8 With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; But with everlasting kindnessI will have mercy on you,” Says the Lord, your Redeemer.
54:9 “For this islike the waters of Noah to Me;
For as I have sworn That the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, So have I sworn That I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you.
54:10 For the mountains shall depart
And the hills be removed, But My kindness shall not departfrom you,
Nor shall My covenant of peacebe removed,”
Says the Lord, who has mercy on you.
The third one is the everlastingfaithful mercyto
- Give us calmnessand peace in the middle of the shakes of the world, both physically and spiritually. (‘For the mountains shall depart
And the hills be removed’)
All will shake, the land, the sea, or the air. In the book of Haggai, if the shake happens, the building of the sanctuary, or the building of Christ’s body will finish soon. We know that Indonesia undergoes moral shake lately. We have to be aware, because this is the end of the building of Christ’s body.
If we have the everlasting faithful mercy, we will be in calmness and peace in the middle of the shake, and everything will be easy and light.
- On verse 6-7: ‘I will gather you’. The everlasting faithful mercy will raiseus up from all downfalls and failures, and we are healed. Everything becomes successful and beautiful on His time.
For example: King David.
Without God’s faithful mercy, David was finished because he committed adultery with Bathsheba. His kingdom should be finished, and he himself had to be stoned. However, because of God’s faithful mercy, He raised him up.
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.
51:1 Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
God is able to heal and raise those who have failed and fallen to sins. When Jesus comes for the second time, His faithful mercy is able to changeus to be as glorious as Him and we are raised up high to the glorious cloud. We will be with Him forever and ever.
Let’s use this chance tonight to let the Word and the Holy Spirit sanctify our heart and mind, so that we have a heart and mind like Jesus’, namely obedience
until our flesh speaks no more. If it happens, the results are as follows
- We have a happy face, there is power to overcome the enemies and we can worship God.
- We get the special commissioning; we are used in the latter rain movement. We face the hindrance by helping and praying for each other.
- We get a great faithful love, which is greater than our problems (our problems are solved). The miraculous graceis able to nurture and protect us miraculously. People may say that it will not, but the grace will surely be able to protect us even to the age of antichrist.
The everlasting gracegives us calmness and peace and everything will be easy and light. We are raised up from failures, even to the glorious cloud.
God blesses us.