To coincide with Fasting Prayer Service
Peace and grace in the love of Jesus Christ. Good evening, let us listen to the Word of God. May the peace and grace from God be within us.
This evening, we have a fasting prayer service.
A fast is needed to accelerate the process of the tearing of flesh.
We really need a fast these days.
We are still reading Revelation 2:9-10
(the church of SMYRNA
: it has been explained since General Service in Surabaya, September 14,2014
). Revelation 2:92:9 "I know your works, tribulation, and poverty(but you are rich); and I know the blasphemyof those who say they are Jewsand are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.2:10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.The condition of the church in Smyrna
was as follows.
- In tribulation,
- In poverty,
- Facing the blasphemy by the synagogue of Satan. The Jews (as a representation of the Christian) that love to blaspheme is the synagogue of Satan.
- Facing the prison.
In conclusion, the church of Smyrna was in the physical tribulation or a spiritual suffering with God.
What the church of Smyrna has had has the equal value with a fasting prayer
, that is having a physical tribulation or suffering with Jesus (in a fast, we actually have food and drinks, but we don't eat and drink, like the poor).
It is in different form, but it has the same value
. Matthew 6:176:17 But you, when you fast, anoint your headand wash your face,The characteristics of a true fast
are as follows.
A fasting prayer
- 'Wash your face' (washing the face with water).
The face refers to the heart.
An example: when the heart fears, the face turns pale, and when the heart is angry, the face turns red.
Washing our face refers to having a heart purification by God's word.
- 'Anoint your head'
The head refers to the mind, and the anointment refers to the Holy Spirit.
Anointing our head means that our head is anointed by the Holy Spirit.
is giving the greatest chance to the Word in the anointment of the Holy Spirit, or the sword of the Word to sanctify our heartand mind
Through fasting, we will have the tearing of flesh and it will be useful for us. The advantages of a fast
are as follows.
- Matthew 4:1-2
4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
4:2 And when He had fastedforty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.
The first advantage is to face the tribulations in the desert of the world, such as follows.
We will experience the 3 trials that Jesus has had. This is why we need to fast. We have to face the physical struggle and difficulties through a fast. We need a fast!We need to take some time to fast. It is obligatory!Jesus Himself has given us examples when he faced the three trials of the Satan. These 3 trials will be given to us to destroy us too.
- Matthew 4:3-4
4:3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread."
4:4 But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'"
The first trial is the trial in monetary thingsand other difficult or even impossible things(it is difficult to eat, it is like changing stones to become bread).
Yet God said 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every wordthat proceeds from the mouth of God'.
It means: through a fasting prayer, we struggle so that we can live from God's Wordwhich is able to create from nothing into something, from impossible to possible, nurture us and help us, so that we don't depend on anything on the earth. We have jobs, but we don't depend on it, but on the Word.
- Matthew 4:5-6
4:5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple,
4:6 and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge over you,' and, 'In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.'"
The second trial is 'set Him on the pinnacle of the temple', which is a trial in the services and ministries, where we face a lot of challenges, difficulties, stumbling blocks, and the time will come that we will face the persecution (in 2 Timothyit is mentioned 'all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution').
Satan throws the persecution to stop us from ministering God.
Through a fasting prayer, we struggleto avoid the challenges, difficulties, stubmling blocks, so that we can be faithful and fervent in spiritin the ministry.
- Matthew 4:8-10
4:8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.
4:9 And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me."
4:10 Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.'"
The third trial is the trial in worship.
The devil showed Jesus the wealth of the earth. It refers to the world will all of its influence, such as business, happiness, sadness, wickedness, and uncleanness that try to bindGod's children to love the world.
Loving the world means not loving God or not being obedient.
In the happiness of the world or in the middle of difficulties, we become disobedient. It means that we have loved the world and worshipped Satan.
Through a fasting prayer, we struggle to have a life changefrom the carnal human into a spiritual one like Jesus. We can be like God and be as glorious as Him, and we will be able to welcome His second coming.
We will be lifted up high to the glorious clous, enter the kingdom of 1000 years of peace and the kingdom of Heaven.
Satan want to switch the kingdom of 1000 years of peace (the paradise) and the kingdom of Heaven with the kingdom of earth. Don't let it be!Let go everything and be changed. We will not be like the world or Satan.
An example: in our clothing. Beware!It is not that we shouldn't follow the mode, but don't follow those that leads to disobedience to God's Word.
- Matthew 17:14-15, 21
17:14 And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying,
17 :15 "Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epilepticand suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water.
17:21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayerand fasting."
The second usage of fasting is to face the destruction of the marriage and the fruits of marriagewhich is caused by the epilepsy.
9:25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: "Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!"
An epilepsy is caused by the evil and unclean spirit, described as follows.
'However, this kind does not go out except by prayerand fasting'
- The evil spiritmakes us spiritually deaf and dumb.
The consequencesis being epileptic which makes a lot of fights, hatreds, and violence in the marriage.
- Spiritually deaf means we can't listen and be obedient to the true Word, but we will only listen to gossips or other things.
This is the beginning of an epilepsy, or a beginning of a downfall.
Beware!Don't listen to other things to much.
"This is why I told the youth to be careful in facebook, because if they listen too much to other things, there will be no more time to listen to the Word. It is dangerous because the epilepsy is attacking.I told the youth that I support the advacement of technology, even we use the internet for our live stream. Yesterday, I got and email from someone in Bali. I don't know who they are. I received a lot of emails. They listen to the Word. I told the youth, don't write bad things on the internet. Instead, write 'Oh the Word of God changes my life'. If the christians write sad stuffs, other people won't convert to be a christian. Pay attention, especially regarding the marriage. Pastor In Juwono, back in the eighties has already said that one day, marriage will be diobral. I thought that it was about the wedding day, because indeed there are a lot of ... We are not old-fashioned, but we won't expose the marriage like that. Now I understand, that actually it is more than that. In a wedding day, there are only a few people that are invited, but on the internet, there are a lot of people. Be wise in using the internet. Use it to spread the Word."
Don't listen to other things. It will make us deaf and it will be very dangerous. If a youth is deaf and he loves to listen to other things, soon he will be epileptic.
If we are deaf to the Word, the next step is being dumb.
- The spiritual dumbmeans that the mouth gets used to telling lies, gossips, and malices, it can't tell the truth anymore.
This is the first thing that Satan attacks.
The children will against their parents and yell to them. This is an epilepsy. Their lives will be blind, and they have no break.
These two things are breaks. When the Word comes in, our mouth is guarded and everything else is too. If the Word doesn't come in, the mouth is out of control, and so will the others.
If our ears are deaf and our mouth is dumb, the unclean spirit will get into us.
- The unclean spirit, as follows.
- The sins concerning eating and drinking (smoking, being drunk, drugs).
- The sins of marrying and giving in marriage (the sins of sex with a lot of varieties, adulteries, mix marriage).
The marriage and the fruit of the marriage are really destroyed.
A fast is important for us. For the parents, please take some fasts for you yourselves, but also for your children to stop them from being epileptic.
Through a fast, we struggle so that we have good ears, which can listen and be obedient to God's Word and a good mouth, that can speak good things, be a witness, and worship God.
The resultis everything will be good. If our ears and mouth are good, everything will be good (Mark 7:37) and our marriage will be united and we will enter the greater unity, which is the supper of the Marriage of The Lamb on Jesus' second coming.
7:37 And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, "He has done all things well. He makes both the deafto hear and the muteto speak."
Everything depends on the ears and mouth.
Through a fast, we will really fight the deaf and dumb spirit.
- 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 them away.
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 their assistant.
The third usage of a fast is to do a special task from God, that is to preach the Word to those who have already been saved to enter the building of the perfect body of Christ (' they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews')
The Jews refers to the christians.
A special taskrefers to the building of the perfect body of Christ, or the fellowships.
We are used according to what God asks us, and not based on people's order. Some people are moved to join the fellowship, some others are moved to pray or give offerings. Everyone is in one team, both those who go or those who stay (we are in the united body of Christ).
We have to pay attention, never refuse the movement from God even though there are problems! This is serious!Every time we refuse the movement from God, the time will come that we can'ttake it anymore, God will not use us. It means that we will enter the building of the body of Babylon and we will lead to death.
We need to be earnest. If we are moved to stay, to pray, or to give offerings, do it according to the movement from God. We work as a team. There is someone who preach, but there are also others who help, as it is mentioned 'They also had John as their assistant'. Everyone works as one body.
We will face 2 difficultiesin the building of the body of Christ, as follows.
13:6 Now when they had gone through the island to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-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.
The activities in the building of Christ's body(in Matthew 4:18-21) are portrayed in 2 things as follows.
- Bar-Jesus prevented the Governor to listen to the true Word.
It refers to the false prophets and antichrist.
A false prophetsteach the wrong teaching, and false gossips. We will face a lot of these. The true movement will be rejected and the wrong one will be supported.
This is really a mistake that comes from gossips.
An antichristrefers to the bound of money. Sometimes we are like Judas. When there was a woman who anointed Jesus' body with an expensive anointment that worthed 300 dinar (a salary of a year that was given for the building of Christ's body), Judas said 'why this waste'.
Be careful of this bound of money that will make us very stingy to God. Judas was very stingy to God. If we are stingy, God will not count us, which is also happen to Judas. He doesn't get a place in Christ's body. On the other hand, the sinful woman who was initially not counted, but since she anointed Jesus, she was counted and became a member of Christ's body.
Don't be stingy to God, either for power, money, or anything else.
- The governor, which is a busy man. It refers to the business of the world.
"I asked to a government officer who was the right hand of Habibie in PT PAL. I asked him how was his life, and he answered me that he was rarely at home. He didn't have enough sleep because he had to go here and there."
The business often prevents us from coming to God. Yet, God is calling those who are busyto be used in the building of Christ's body, not those who are unemployed. This is the wisdom of God.
4:18 And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a netinto the sea; for they were fishermen.
4:19 Then He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."
4:20 They immediately left their netsand followed Him.
'casting a net'refers to a business.
'They immediately left their nets'means that they were set free at the moment God called them.
Only Jesus' wisdomas a High Priest that able to call and use our livesin the middle of our business in the world. Maybe we are busy in campus, but we can enter the church.
"I have told you many times about my son. His friends said to him, 'Well, it is ok to go to church on Saturday and Sunday. But on Tuesday, and Thursday too? Seriously?' This is the wisdom of Jesus. He usually comes to the church in his school uniform. If it is not Jesus' wisdom, he won't do it although it is a command from his parents, because he has exams and other things."
This is the power of Jesus' wisdom through the sword of the Word and His prayerwhich can cut the bound of the world and He can use us.
Don't be hesitant!If we are willing, but there are troubles, let's struggle this night to let Jesus' wisdom through the sword of the Word and His prayer set us free from the business and He can use us.
We don't have to quit from our job. We still working but God will set everything well.
4:21 Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them,
- 'casting a net'.
It meansas follows.
We spread the net through singing, playing instruments, preaching the word, or telling testimonies. Don't forget, we don't only cast the net, but also mend them.
- Calling the sinful people to be saved through a good newsor the gospel word. There are a lot of people around us that don't believe in Jesus. Let's cast the net to call them to be saved.
- Moreover, we have to call those who are saved by choosing them through the bride tidingsor the teaching word, to enter the building of Christ's body.
- 'mending a net'.
It meansthat God will mend everything that is not rightwhile we cast the net.
"Don't count it! Don't say 'I still busy doing this. After I have finished, I will minister God'. You will never finish it. My son always laughs when I said this. Since he was a little boy, I have already said this, until now. There was a pregnant woman, and I visited her house. It was far away from our church in Gending. I asked her to go to church, but she said that she was in the beginning of her pregnancy and she was afraid. Then I said 'it's ok I will wait for you.' Then I visited again and she said that she was at the last day of her pregnancy so she couldn't go to the church. I visited her again, she said that she already had a baby. After that, I visited again and she said, 'Now he is running everywhere, it is difficult to go to the church'. And until forever she will never go to the church."
Let's cast the net and God will mend our net. God will not tell lies to us!He is mending everything that is not right in our lives. Everything that is not right this night, give it all to Him. The most important thing is to cast the net and let Him mend everything.
When Saul searched for his missing donkey, Samuel asked him to burn a burnt offering to God first. Saul said, 'no, my donkey is ...'but Samuel said 'Don't worry, it is found. Do it first'.
Cast the net, and mending the net will be God's thing until we are perfect.
Matthew 6:186:18 so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly
If our fast is true
, God is looking at us from Heaven. God will see the way we struggle until we fast
"I always say this to the youth and to my son, Markus. God sees, and He writes. Don't be hesitant! I was living in a church while going to school for 4 years. It was indeed hard. After school, I had no time to play, but I moped the church. God wrote everything that I did. Although I had the difficulties for 4 years, He will give me an everlasting relief. It's better than living happily now without any hardship for God, but having a miserable life later. It's better now, let's take a fast.
If our fast is true, God's eyes are upon us. He sees, notices, cares, and struggles for us until He shouts 'It is finished!
', which means 'it is finished
' on the cross, but also 'it is finished
' in the New Jerusalem, we are perfect and we deserve to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
We struggle in a fast, we are not alone. God will also struggle for us to face these things.
- Problems in the desert(monetary problems and other things).
- Problems in the marriage(the destroyed marriage or the fruits of marriage).
- Problems in the ministryto God (our special task).
God also struggle for us to make us useful and everything will be fine.
God blesses us.